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After the tornado in March, businesses in Little Rock are making efforts to reopen



Little Rock, Arkansas — Residents of Arkansas who were devastated by the tornado are continuing their efforts to rebuild and return their lives to normal, but this process is not without its difficulties.

As they work to get their establishments back up and running, the proprietors of a couple of restaurants in Little Rock have fallen into some difficulties.

“That’s my baby right there,” Trio’s co-owner and Little Rock Ward 4 Director, Capi Peck said about their restaurant.
Peck has owned the restaurant since the mid-80s.

“We’re the only original tenant from one Pavilion and the park was built in 1986,” she said.

On March 31, an EF-3 tornado caused some damage, prompting Trio’s to temporarily close their doors. These days, it has a different appearance as a result of the tornado.

“The glass blew out the doors blew off the hinges,” Peck said.

The vans belonging to the Trio were also destroyed in the collision, but fortunately, there was no damage done to the interior of her vehicle.

“Most of this will be covered,” she said.

Peck mentioned that, as a result of the assistance she received from the community, she has been in a position to pay her 48 employees since the tornado.

“We’ve sold, I think now it’s close to $15,000 worth of gift certificates. That will that’s helping us with cash flow right now,” Peck said.

Donations totaling over $10,000 have been given to her.

“A lot of our employees have two jobs, some don’t, this is their sole source of income. That has helped us take care of our staff,” she said.

She recently stated that it ought to be operational again by the end of the month.

“At that point, I’m going to be elated,” she said.

Since the storm, there has been some unpredictability around the future of Catering to You, which is located directly across the street.

According to Judy Adams, who is the owner, she is currently dealing with a lot of damage to the electrical and plumbing systems.

“The adjusters have been here, actually five of them, and the construction people getting bids,” Adams said.

She is still able to keep her gift shop open, but due to the fact that the kitchen sustained the most of the damage, they have been forced to cook in a nearby church in order to fulfill orders that were placed before the tornado.

On the other hand, she is going to put a stop to everything as of Wednesday so that workers may begin making repairs.

She predicted that, in the absolute worst case, it will remain closed until September, but she is optimistic that it will reopen earlier than that.

“We’ll be okay. One way or the other we will be okay,” Adams said.

Both companies have plans to launch their operations in the same building located off Cantrell Road in the future.

Chief Russell Evans of the Benton Fire Department detailed a “pay scale war” that is now taking on.

“Continually losing employees to other municipalities,” said Chief Evans.

There is a chance that this bump in salary will turn out to be the deciding factor.

“It’s going to essentially put us in a position where people come looking for Benton,” Chief Evans, explained.

This modification enters into force right away, and the raise will be reflected in the salaries of the staff members beginning with the pay period that takes place in June.

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