photo credit: CARE Canada

Helping small businesses in Beirut

The August 4th explosion in the port of Beirut left Lina in shock, in more ways than one.

At 26 years old, she was a proud business owner of a beauty salon. But after the explosion, her shop was destroyed – the windows shattered, the walls crumbled and her equipment was broken.

“My source of income is damaged and there is nothing to pull me out of this catastrophe,” said Lina at the time.

It wasn’t just her business, it was her livelihood and that of so many who depended on her.

Lina is divorced and the sole provider for her daughter — and her extended family of six — all of whom live together in a home in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon.

A very proud young woman, she was determined, but she struggled to restore her business and keep it open without laying off any of her employees.

The current pandemic, combined with the economic crisis, created additional hardships for her.

“I’m worried about the economic situation, especially the dollar exchange rate and the inflation and how it is affecting my business and increasing the prices,” said Lina.

As a member of the Humanitarian Coalition and supported by the Government of Canada, CARE Canada has been working to rebuild small businesses in Lebanon that were impacted by the blast.

CARE Canada provided Lina with a rehabilitation grant and a business restart plan. Lina used the grant to repay 60% of her rehabilitation debt and interest fees, the accumulated shop rental fee and salaries for the three staff members she employs.

The grant has allowed Lina to resume the full services that her shop provides. She was able to retain all her staff and provide for her family again.