For the past five years, Franny Lou’s Porch in East Kensington has not only been the spot to get coffee or a bite to eat, it's been the place for community members to gather to support one another.
Social justice discussions, CPR and NARCAN classes are among events that take place in the garden.
When the pandemic hit, the business suffered, and $800 sale days fell to under $100.
“That’s when I was sad,” said owner Blew Kind. “There was this sadness because we built this space to be a place of gathering and connection.”
Kind got creative and built a takeout window on the side of the building and applied for grants.
She received $10,000 in funding from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation or LISC Philly.
“We are very grateful,” said Kind.
The money went to building modifications, supplies, garden seating and to supplement employees wages.
“We are all Black and brown and queer,” Kind said of the 15 employee who make “cups of love” every day.
The nonprofit LISC awarded 50 establishments nearly $500,000 in total. The Small Business Relief Grants went to minority, veteran, woman and immigrant business owners to help them keep the doors open during the pandemic.
The deadline for the next round of grants is Aug. 31.