Local law firm providing restaurants with corporate sponsorships
The law firm of Fitz-Gerald, Hebert and DeLouche is committed to setting a positive example of community during the uncertain times of COVID-19. The firm has provided Big Daddy’s Sports Grill, 1737 West Sale Road, and Mr. Bill’s Seafood Express, 500 East McNeese St., with corporate sponsorships aimed at assisting the businesses financially and providing free meal credits to families in need.
“We have a very sincere desire to help people. We all have a Christian foundation here and it’s not just a ploy for us, it’s sincere,” Jay DeLouche, partner with the firm, said.
DeLouche said the firm decided to focus on local restaurants “because they’re hurting the worst.” He said the firm has a multi-faceted goal including financial assistance for the small businesses, community help with free meal credits and a “payit-forward mentality” recognizing that all businesses are facing tough times.
“We’re hurting, too. Our phones aren’t ringing but the Christian philosophy is when you’re struggling, help somebody else.”
He hopes the idea of sponsorship catches on with other businesses and individuals who have the means to lend a hand during these times of social isolation.
“We all gotta help each other. Everybody’s struggling. Lawyer, restaurant, retailer, everybody’s hurting. We’ve got to band together,” he said.
Chad Pousson, Mr. Bill’s Seafood Express co-owner, said the business in incredibly thankful for the law firm’s interest.
“It is an awesome thing… They put money out and try to help people out. Those guys really stepped up.”
Pousson said the restaurant is down 60 percent in revenue but “we basically have not laid off any employees. I’m just not making a profit.”
He said he is determined to see his employees through this crisis, even storing extra food in the freezer for them in case of crisis.
Likewise, Jerry LeBlanc, Big Daddy’s Sports Grill owner, said the business is seeing only about 30 percent of its normal business.
“Some things we’ve had to discount just to get people to come in to use us again.”
LeBlanc said he’s using the sponsorship to make sure he is able to continue to pay staff.
“I couldn’t’ look at my employees and have that greedy attitude that says, ‘I can take care of myself but I can’t take care of y’all.’ That’s why we’re staying open — for them.”
He expressed gratitude for the law firm’s sponsorship, saying it sends an important message about community and self-reliance.
“I never was one to wait on the government to bail us out. Hopefully we’re sending a message, ‘Pull your boots up and take care of yourself.’ ”
Community members interested in utilizing the meal credits should visit the Facebook pages of Fitz-Gerald, Hebert and DeLouche, Big Daddy’s Sports Grill or Mr. Bill’s Seafood Express or call Big Daddy’s Sport Grill, 477-9033, or Mr. Bill’s Seafood Express, 477-9746.
Mr. Bill’s Seafood Express co-owner
Special to the American Press