SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – In the last two years COVID-19 restrictions and inflation have dealt a serious blow to small businesses throughout our area; business owners had to think outside of the box to ensure their doors stayed open.

Nearly 200,000 businesses in the United States failed during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Federal Reserve research and the Small Businesses Administration.

Cedric Henderson’s business did survive.

Legends Barbershop, a black-owned business in Shreveport’s Hollywood neighborhood, has been open for six years.

“When it got real it got very real. It impacted my business a lot. It took me from being able to really be in contact with my clients to a full-fledge stop,” Henderson said.

After navigating through pandemic restrictions Henderson’s barbershop faced another obstacle in 2020, a devastating fire.

“We started kind of from scratch, getting different barbers in,” Kenneth Harris, a barber at Legends said. “We had really started this shop over from scratch; with new barbers, new chairs, new equipment, and things like that.”

Cedric says he is now paying it forward. He plans to provide more than a haircut for his customers, through a future investment group he hopes to train others in financial literacy.

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“It’s certain people that can reach certain people. I feel as if I’ll be able to reach certain people that certain politicians wouldn’t be able to come in contact with,” Henderson said. “So that’s my job in the community to inform people of what’s going on, especially in our economy.”

If you’re a small business owner and would like resources to grow your business and learn more about government contracts and finance there is a seminar in downtown Shreveport, Tuesday, May 10.