The New Braunfels City Council on June 8 adopted the COVID-19 Small Business Resource Grant Program to provide grants to local small businesses heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a regular meeting on Aug. 24, City Council approved payments of up to $10,000 each to 66 small businesses in New Braunfels totaling $597,262. The average grant amount will be $9,035 per recipient, and city information states the funds can be used for lease or mortgage payments, utility payments and employee payroll.

According to Jeff Jewel, the city director of economic and community development, the city received 237 applications from local businesses from June 15-19, and 188 were eligible for the program.

In order to be eligible for the program, the business must:

  • have 50 or fewer employees;

  • have been in operation since at least March 1, 2019;

  • not currently be involved in bankruptcy proceeding;

  • be current on property, sales and other tax payments; and

  • and have applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan or Paycheck Protection Program loan.

After two businesses requested to be removed from consideration, 186 applications were presented to a review committee for evaluation, Jewel said.

According to Jewel, the committee’s selection criteria stated that the business must demonstrate at least a 25% decline in year-over-year revenue between March-May 2019 and March-May 2020.

The committee granted funding to businesses that met the following additional criteria:

  • All businesses must have been mandated closed by local and the governor’s orders.

  • All businesses must have shown at least a 25% drop in revenue, were required to operate at a reduced capacity, have less than $1 million in annual business expenses and were negatively impacted by the ban on gatherings.

  • Lodging and accommodation businesses must have seen at least 25% decline in revenue, and those businesses with more than $1 million in annual expenses must have seen a decline in revenue greater than 50%.

  • Retail establishments with the greatest percentage of revenue declines received the remaining funds.

According to Jewel, the median revenue loss of applicants was 63% between 2019 and 2020.

Businesses that received funding will be required to sign a performance agreement and remain open for at least 90 days after receiving the grant.