As Texas is facing its highest rate of unemployment claims in recent history, a total of $50 million in loan funds is now available for small businesses across the state to provide economic relief and help keep workers employed throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Greg Abbott on April 13 announced Goldman Sachs in a partnership with Texas-based LiftFund is providing $50 million in loans to small businesses across Texas.

These loans are made through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which provides funds to small businesses to keep workers on the payroll.

“Part of what is happening today is getting businesses up and running by getting them access to capital,” Abbott said at a news conference April 13.

Applications for these small-business loans are now available on the LiftFund website, found here.

LiftFund will administer the loans to qualified small businesses on behalf of Goldman Sachs, according to the governor’s office.

“We hope this will keep businesses alive throughout the state of Texas,” said Janie Barrera, the president and CEO of LiftFund.

According to the LiftFund website, these loans may be partially or wholly forgiven, depending on how many SBA benchmarks small businesses meet. LiftFund states on its website that no more than 25% of the forgiven loan amount may be for nonpayroll costs, and loan forgiveness will be affected by layoff numbers as well.

LiftFund has a calculator tool available on its website to help small-business owners estimate how much loan forgiveness they can expect.

Goldman Sachs will provide the loans as part of a nationwide $550 million package to COVID-19 relief, according to John Waldron, Goldman Sachs' president and chief operating officer, who spoke at the April 13 news conference with Abbott.

That $550 million relief package includes $500 million in emergency loans and another $25 million in grants to small businesses across the U.S., Waldron said.

Abbott looking at opening section of economy

During his April 13 news conference, Abbott stated his office later this week will announce an executive order outlining when businesses may open back up to the public.

“What we’re going to be doing later this week is introducing Texas to this comprehensive team we’ve put together that will ... evaluate what must be done for Texas to open back up, ensuring that what we’re doing is consistent with data and medical analysis, as well as strategies of what types of businesses will open up,” Abbott said April 13.

Abbott declined to provide a specific date for the order announcement.

On April 12, Abbott announced he has extended the state’s disaster declaration for the coronavirus pandemic. The disaster declaration was originally announced March 13.