HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo held a news conference on Monday about assistance for small businesses in the county.
During the news conference, Hidalgo addressed the new program alongside multiple local officials.
Hidalgo said the Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to approve a $30 million grant that will go toward helping small businesses, in addition to the already-approved $10 million.
According to Hidalgo, the money will go toward helping the “smallest of the small” businesses and those in lower-income communities, businesses that employ 30 or fewer people and those that haven’t gotten any financial assistance yet will be prioritized.
Applications are now open and will be open for 10 days, Hidalgo said. The money is not first-come-first-serve, so applicants have until the 10 days pass to apply. Once the application period closes, the recipients will be selected at random.
Hidalgo said the county is hoping to help at least 1,500 small businesses. Businesses must have been open all of 2019 to qualify.
The goal of the new grant is to help those businesses that are struggling the most and that would likely face bankruptcy without help.
The $30 million is structured as a grant, so businesses will not have to pay it back, Commissioner Adrian Garcia said. The original $10 million was structured as a loan program, but officials are working on converting that to a grant program to help business owners.
Garcia said the idea is to help businesses keep their doors open and their employees paid.
“Anyone who benefits from this program, I ask that you pay it forward,” Garcia said.
To apply call 713-845-2476 or visit ReadyHarris.org.
Hidalgo said the county is also working on another program to help renters who cannot make payments.
Watch the complete news conference below:
🔴WATCH LIVE: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo gives update on assistance for small businessesPosted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Monday, July 13, 2020