Small business relief fund launches Monday
A Countywide small business relief fund launches Monday for local businesses affected by the COVID-19 economic fallout.
Hays County, in partnership with the Greater San Marcos Partnership and PeopleFund, will provide grants up to $10,000 to local businesses as part of the Small Business Emergency Cash Assistance Program (ECAP).
“Just as COVID-19 started to peak in the region, our commissioners put together a team in my office to discuss this need, how to help the very vulnerable, very small businesses,” Judge Ruben Becerra said. “This is the backbone of our community, our economy and is our sense of place. They were being hit hardest. We needed to figure out how we could help, and this ultimately led to what we have here today.”
Hays County provided an initial donation of $500,000 and the City of Kyle provided a $100,000 donation to the fund.
Businesses may be eligible for $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000.
GSMP President Jason Guilietti said a survey conducted at the beginning of the pandemic highlighted a gap where more than 72% of the 220 respondents had not received federal coronavirus relief loans such as the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
“The goal is to go after small companies that are impacted very deeply by this, the mom and pop companies and organizations that desperately need this to continue to survive,” said Guilietti. “The small businesses with less than 10 employees and small nonprofits that are critical to our county.”
In order to be eligible for a grant, businesses must have been in operation at least since Jan. 1, 2019, be located in Hays County, be up to date on permits and licensing and be in good tax standing.
Funds can be utilized to help companies continue to operate by covering rent, mortgage, utilities, procure inventory or supplies, purchase furniture and fixtures to make sure customers are socially distant, purchase machinery and equipment, cover maintenance repair or cover payroll.
The application will be available starting Aug. 3 and can be submitted starting Aug. 10.
PeopleFund will have staff available to assist with the application process, and will be able to provide business coaches to help with accounting, legal, operation, taxes or marketing whether or not businesses are able to receive an ECAP grant.