GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Goodlettsville small businesses have at least another week of being shut down.
Nashville’s Safer at Home order has been extended to May 8, leaving entrepreneurs worried about whether or not they’ll be able to pick up business. Thankfully, there is a local church leading the charge in helping to fill the void.
“We’ve gone from a growing, booming business to now — it’s just sad,” said Julia Proctor, owner of Perk Up Cafe and Gifts in downtown Goodlettsville.
“On March 28, one day before my 35th wedding anniversary, I walked out the door and locked it behind me,” Proctor explained. “And, I’ve been gone since.”
Since then, Proctor says she’s been without an income and no concrete sign of successful re-opening.
“Financially it has been like a mountain I have never dreamed I would face,” she explained. “A lot of people don’t realize — just because you say, ‘Okay, you can do business now,’ and we unlock the door, doesn’t mean the general public feels comfortable coming. It doesn’t mean that all people are back to work. It doesn’t mean they have expendable income.”
Pastor Tim Stutler of Goodlettsville Church heard about the need of local businesses.
“They are worried about their employees,” said Pastor Stutler, “Obviously, how they are going to pay their rent, utilities and how they are going to be able to make it.”
Stutler has decided to start an initiative to help those struggling businesses by donating cash.
“We don’t feel like we can sit on a rainy day fund when somebody is going through a rainy day themselves,” Stutler said.
The church is going to donate a Sunday worth of offering to about three local businesses in need.
“We’re doing this through a third party,” Stutler explained, “We said, here’s our criteria… the third party’s gotta pick them, [and] we’re not going to know who they are. So, they don’t have to be embarrassed or anything like that.”
Stutler is now charging other pastors to follow suit.
“I would encourage other churches to consider doing the same thing. This is a very practical way of saying God loves you,” Pastor Stutler said, “If we can do it across this community, hundreds of businesses can be saved. If we can do it across the country, thousands can be saved.”
Goodlettsville Church plans to donate the funds as early as next week.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.