Fort Bend County judge launches $22M grant program for small businesses

RICHMOND, Texas – Fort Bend County Judge KP George announced Friday that he is launching a program to help small businesses struggling through the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a news release, the $22 million Small Business Emergency Grant Program will “address the financial hardships our small businesses have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic” using funds available through the federal CARES Act.

The grants will be available to eligible small businesses in the amount of up to $10,000 per business, according to the release.

In order to qualify, the small business must have “incurred eligible expenses under the CARES Act, including the purchase of (PPE), re-opening supplies, renovations, equipment, inventory and remote working expenses and lease/mortgage assistance and utilities.”

These expenses must have been incurred as of April 3.

“With the cruises closing down, air travel terrible, Disney’s not open, national parks aren’t open, it’s been no business, no opportunity,” said Wayne Chandler with Fort Bend Travel.

“We will continue to make sure you are an important part of our economy and you’re an important part, we care about you,” said Fort Bend County Judge KP George.

To qualify, businesses must not gross more than $2 million yearly, must have experienced a 25-percent revenue loss and have up to 20 full-time employees.

They also must have been in good standing before the march.

The county said it’s prepared to add $12 million more to the program.

“This is the first phase of the program. If we see there is a huge demand for this program, we have more money, commissioners court is in discussion to allocate more money,” said George.

The Chandlers are thankful for the help.

“This year, it’s devastating and we’re just hoping with the grant here, we can get back on our feet,” said Chandler.

The county said businesses that haven’t received any other assistance will be the priority.

Registration opened at 8 a.m. Monday.

To apply, please click here.

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