Charlotte restaurant hiring employees to try and help unemployment numbers

Charlotte restaurant hiring employees to try and help unemployment numbers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thursday morning, the U.S. Department of Labor said last week 2.4 million more Americans applied for unemployment benefits, bringing the total to nearly 39 million. That’s 10 times higher than when the crisis started.

A lot of people in Charlotte have been without a paycheck, but now after receiving federal assistance, one local business told Channel 9′s Genevieve Curtis that they’ve been able to put more people back to work.

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

Content Continues Below

Small businesses have been doing whatever it takes to just pay the bills. After weeks of hard work and curbside meals, 'Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood’ received aid from the Small Business Administration.

“We check the bank accounts every day and I was like, ‘Babe! I think we got!’” said co-owner Miketa Proctor.

It was money they were able to use to help hire staff.

“We’ve been able to double the amount of food we have, which I think makes a huge difference in the amount of people we can feed,” said Proctor.

New numbers from the labor department show more than 2.4 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week.

Now, with parts of the country beginning to slowly reopen, there are some new job openings.

“We are still hiring more people. We aren’t just looking at phase two,” said co-owner Jay Davis.

The owners said they’ve hired nine new staff members and are looking to fill more positions.

In phase two, LuLu’s said it will move from only curbside service to now allowing people to come in and place to-go orders.

They won't be opening their dining room until phase three.

“That honestly was the only way we could do it; with this size building we didn’t have very many options,” Davis said.

>> We’ll bring you LIVE updates on Channel 9 Eyewitness News. Get extended coverage on the free WSOC Now app on Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.

Lawmaker says NC commerce has the money to handle unemployment backlog better