The city of Southlake announced Oct. 20 the framework of a new business relief grant program in an amount of $1 million to support local businesses and bridge financial aid gaps.
Daniel Cortez, director of economic development and tourism for the city of Southlake, gave a presentation to City Council on an upcoming grant distribution to local Southlake businesses that will use money from the Southlake Economic Development Investment Fund. The grants will be distributed in amounts not to exceed $10,000.
Applications are expected to open in December, and distribution is scheduled for February 2021, he said.
“What we've seen from businesses that are applying for the Tarrant County grant, and even the Paycheck Protection Program, is just the sheer volume of them,” Cortez said. “We feel confident that most that apply should be able to qualify for this.”
In order to qualify for the grant, businesses must have fewer than 50 employees, be located within the city of Southlake and be registered to do business in the state of Texas. Businesses must have been operational since January 2019 and must be able to show proof of pre-pandemic profitability. They must also be able to show a loss of income as a result of COVID-19 and must not have had any unpaid rent before Feb. 29, 2020.
In addition, business owners must own at least 51% of the company and be in good standing with the city, Tarrant County and other taxing entities.
According to Cortez, businesses that have already received prior funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration grants or the PPP can still apply for the city grant program.
Grants will be distributed using in three tiers based on need. The first tier will allow businesses that had to shut completely to qualify for 100% of the grant. Essential businesses that were partially closed will be eligible for the second tier and receive 75% of the grant, and businesses that were closed but still able to provide services through telecommuting or other methods are eligible to receive 50% of the grant.
“We want [our citizens] to understand that this is their $1 million ... that we’re giving back to our business community,” Mayor Laura Hill said.