Hays County, in conjunction with PeopleFund and the Greater San Marcos Partnership, has issued the first 18 grants under its Emergency Cash Assistance Program, an Aug. 17 press release announced.

The ECAP provides grants of up to $10,000 to businesses that did not receive Paycheck Protection Program loans from the CARES Act or Economic Injury Disaster Loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Kyle Landscaping Services received a $7,500 grant through the ECAP and will use the money to repair equipment and give bonuses and raises to employees who were able to return to work after recovering from the coronavirus, the release stated.

“The ECAP fund has been a lifeline for our business,” said Diego Rangel, owner of Kyle Landscaping Services. “Without this grant, I would be with two broken-down machines, and I’d be out two work crews.”

According to the release, Rangel was also aiming to expand his business with the grant by hiring more employees to run an additional work crew.

Hays County contributed $500,000 to the fund, and the city of Kyle added another $100,000. Additional funds could be added in the future, according to the county.

Nonprofit loan agency PeopleFund and the ECAP award committee were reviewing additional applications for grants and encouraged businesses to apply if they have not done so, the press release stated.

Applications will be accepted and grants awarded through the end of 202 or until the fund is depleted.

According to the ECAP, grants may be used for the following expenses.

  • Working capital (including rent, preexisting mortgage and utilities)

  • Inventory or supplies

  • Furniture or fixtures

  • Machinery or equipment

  • Maintenance or repairs

  • Payroll or employment benefits