Daniel Cortez, director of economic development and tourism for the city, said the grants will be awarded by three priority tiers. All awards must be used for business-related operations only. The deadline to apply for the program is Jan. 15, 2021, and grants are expected to be distributed by February 2021, he said.
According to the city’s website, the three tiers are as follows.
- Tier 1 businesses are those that have completely closed operations and were deemed nonessential during COVID-19. Those businesses can receive up to 100% of the eligible grant.
- Tier 2 businesses are those that have partially closed but were still deemed essential during COVID-19. Those businesses can receive up to 75% of the eligible grant.
- Tier 3 businesses are those that have closed and were deemed nonessential during COVID-19 but were able to continue operations through telecommuting and online operations. Those businesses can receive up to 50% of the eligible grant.
Qualifying businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria, including having 50 or fewer employees and being located within the city of Southlake with a Southlake mailing address. Applying businesses must also have been in operation since Jan. 1, 2019, and must be able to demonstrate that they were profitable prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and that they have experienced a loss of income due to the pandemic.
The relief program, which totals $1 million, will primarily be funded using the Southlake Economic Development Investment Fund.
Southlake Mayor Laura Hill said the timing of the program is important as a rise in COVID-19 cases across the state may force some businesses to shut down again.
“This is outstanding,” she said. “I think the citizens in Southlake, like the taxpayers, need to know that we're doing something like this to help our small businesses get through [COVID-19].”
Interested businesses can find more information on how to apply online at www.southlakebusinessgrant.com.