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Houston’s Small Business Economic Relief Program Is Open For Applications

Businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic can receive up to $50,000.

Small businesses in Houston impacted by COVID-19 can apply for new relief.
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
Small businesses in Houston impacted by COVID-19 can apply for new relief.

The city's $15 million program to boost small businesses struggling due to COVID-19 opened Wednesday morning, with 2,159 applications submitted within the first seven hours.

The funding is not being distributed “first come, first serve” and the deadline to apply is Sept. 4.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the program received 475 applications within an hour after the online portal opened at 8 a.m.

“We know the need is great because the virus has disrupted businesses across the country, and the grants can be up to about $50,000," Turner said Wednesday. "This is money that may be used for payrolls, rent, mortgages, personal protective equipment for employees and marketing strategies."

The program is designed to provide immediate, short-term grant assistance, and it’s funded using $15 million from the city’s allocation of the federal CARES Act.

District K Council member and Vice Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Castex-Tatum said she’s been handing out flyers in her district, hoping the funding will reach businesses that have been excluded from other relief programs during the pandemic.

“If you have small businesses in your neighborhoods that you patronize, make sure they know about the program,” Castex-Tatum said.

Business owners can apply online for the program by visiting the program’s website HERE.

According to the city, recipients will be selected using a scoring system that includes factors like financial need, geography, access to capital challenges, resiliency and job retention impact.