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Couple Seeks Government Grant For Second Chance At Restaurant Business

by Lola Cornwell
(Conway, NC, USA)

I am the youngest daughter in a family of eight. My father and mother were hard working people who "never had more than not enough."

I remember a childhood of lack and want, not because of my parents not doing all they could, but there wasn't any place to go to get help with dreams and someone else to help make away where you can't see away.

Getting involved in cooking came very early in my life and was something that I found very enjoyable and I was good at.

My first job at 16 was working in a local restaurant, and continued on and off for the next 17 years.

I married and had children, always returning to this line of work after the birth of my children or when we needed extra income for a while.

I was a stay at home mom as much as possible, but going to work never felt like work. I loved every part of the restaurant business.

My husband and I stepped out in 1987 and bought a small diner in the little town we live in. With high expectations and fulfilling a dream of mine for so long we were so happy and anxious about what was ahead of us, and how successful we were going to be.

We truly felt we had everything we needed. We were determined to work hard and to stay focused and be willing to give whatever we had to make this business a success.

The only thing that we lacked was funding. We opened in debt and we operated in debt and we closed in debt.

The lack of money dictated our decisions for this business and not the demands of the business. Where there should have been growth we were not able to invest because of the lack of funds, therefore our business dried up because of inability to grow and branch out to meet the demands of our customers.

Instead of increasing hours we were forced to decrease which is just like cutting the very lifeline of a business. We managed to hold on until 1989 at which time we had no choice but to sell out.

My dream did not end at this time, but I learned a great deal through this experience. Every business has to have financial backing FIRST and then all the other things that you bring with you.

Hope, determination, hard work and staying focused, and making this business a major priority is essential to its success but without good sound financial backing all of these aren't going to pay the bills!

We now have an opportunity, once again, to buy a small diner here in our hometown and would love the chance to give my dream another shot.

I know my husband and I still have what it takes to make this business work. All we need is financial help and we'll do the rest.

I hope this is the kind of statement we need to put out there to be considered for a grant. Any and all help will be appreciated.

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