Additional $10M for small-business grant program committed as Williamson County develops second phase of CARES Act funding distribution

Williamson County committed an additional $10 million to its small-business grant program and developed the second phase of federal coronavirus relief funding distribution June 2. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County committed an additional $10 million to its small-business grant program and developed the second phase of federal coronavirus relief funding distribution June 2. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)

Williamson County committed an additional $10 million to its small-business grant program and developed the second phase of federal coronavirus relief funding distribution June 2. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)

In a federal coronavirus aid update, Williamson County commissioners were informed on the spending of its $93 million package during the June 2 meeting.

Of the $93 million in funding, the court earmarked $25 million for its Wilco Forward grant program that aided small businesses of fewer than 100 full-time equivalent employees impacted by the pandemic.

As of June 1, 3,280 applications had been filed, Williamson County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer said. Of those, 500 came in the first 30 minutes, 1,700 in the first 12 hours and about 2,600 in the first week, he said. In less than 30 days, 2,300 applications have been approved with about 750 pending review, he added.

About $23.8 million has been distributed so far, he said.

“I can’t underscore the difference this is making in our community,” Heselmeyer said. “This has been a monumental task. We have some very talented people who approved these applications.”


Heselymeyer said he predicted an additional $10 million in funding commissioners committed June 2 will allow the county to deliver funding to all applied businesses that qualify, to which the court approved.

Coronavirus funding distribution

The county received the approximately $93 million in federal funding on April 23. Since then, the county has allocated $3 million for the county, $3.5 million for technology needs and $25 million in small-business grant funding, which totals about $31.5 million, Heselmeyer said.

In a second phase, the county plans to allocate an additional $40 million, which will include $20 million for cities, $1 million for the Williamson County and Cities Health District, the additional $10 million for the small-business grant program that was previously approved in the June 2 meeting, and funding for emergency services districts and Bluebonnet Trails, a community services organization that heavily focuses on mental illness of adults and children to which the county has a contract with.

Court members emphasized money will only be given to cities where a majority of their residents are Williamson County residents, excluding Pflugerville and Austin.

“Our goal was to get the money to these entities as quickly as possible to help them with the expenditures they already made,” Commissioner Valerie Covey said.

The second phase in funding distribution was also broken down for the court. The phase is broken down into three segments to which money will be distributed through December—when the county has to finish spending the money—based on when the expenses were made, Covey said. For example, the first part of Phase 2—dubbed Phase 2 A—will cover expenditures made between March 1 through May 31 with a mid-June deadline and a similar pattern for the remaining two parts of the phase, she added.

The county will then be left with $21.5 million in federal coronavirus funding, which Heselmeyer said can be allocated at a different time.

In other news

  • Williamson County commissioners adopted a telework policy for county employees. The policy provides a baseline for department employees who may engage in teleworking, and department heads and elected officials are encouraged to add additional policies for their offices if necessary, the agenda item read. Commissioner Cynthia Long made clear the county will not pay for internet access for the employee, so before engaging in teleworking, the employee will have to be sure they have the internet bandwidth to do so.

By Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.


MOST RECENT

Census worker
2020 census: Bureau prepares nonresponse follow-up field operations

For individuals who have not responded to the 2020 census, one of about 500,000 census takers will visit the their household between Aug. 11-Oct. 31.

Georgetown’s May sales tax revenue defied projections. (Courtesy Pexels)
DATA: Georgetown’s May sales tax revenue defies projections

In its first full month of reopening since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Georgetown sales tax revenue picked up again.

Unemployment claims by Georgetown residents have dropped slightly as the pandemic continues, according to Texas Workforce Commission data. (Designed by Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
DATA: Unemployment claims by Georgetown residents drop slightly as pandemic continues

Georgetown saw a slow in unemployment claims between May 27 and June 27.

Williamson County confirmed cases of coronavirus rose July 7. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
167 additional coronavirus cases, 1 death confirmed in Williamson County on July 7

Currently, 112 patients are hospitalized, and 33 are in intensive care, per the report.

Georgetown ISD announced preliminary plans to offer classes in person and at home next school year. (Screenshot courtesy Georgetown ISD)
Georgetown ISD announces preliminary plans to offer classes in person and at home next school year

“Know this is fluid. We are going to navigate this together and communicate as effectively as we can as frequently as we can," GISD Superintendent Fred Brent said.

The Texas Education Agency released guidelines about on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency issues guidelines for 2020-21 school year

The guidelines address on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions that should be enforced at Texas schools this year.

Edward Logan is the new CEO of Sport Clips Inc. (Courtesy Sport Clips Inc.)
New Sport Clips Haircuts CEO to succeed founder

In his early work with Sport Clips, Edward oversaw the company-owned stores, taking many of them to top performers within the system.

In-person appointments for driver license renewal and replacement are now being offered at driver license offices across the state. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas driver license offices reopen for in-person renewal, replacement services

The second phase of reopening announced July 7 expanded services offered at driver license offices.

New guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New U.S. guidelines require exchange students to take in-person classes this fall

The guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas.

The Texas Education Agency and Renaissance have partnered to give students unlimited access to enhanced digital books in English and Spanish. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas students given access to thousands of books, news articles for summer reading through TEA partnership

The Texas Education Agency and Renaissance have partnered to give students unlimited access to enhanced digital books in English and Spanish.

The State Fair of Texas is expected to return in 2021. (Courtesy Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas)
State Fair of Texas cancels 2020 season

This is the eighth time in the fair’s 134-year history that the event has been called off.