Stimulus loans help save jobs, local businesses in Keller, Roanoke, north Fort Worth

Nonprofit Christ's Haven for Children in Keller was a recipient during the first round of PPP funding. (Design by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nonprofit Christ's Haven for Children in Keller was a recipient during the first round of PPP funding. (Design by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Nonprofit Christ's Haven for Children in Keller was a recipient during the first round of PPP funding. (Design by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)

For many businesses in Keller, Roanoke and Northeast Fort Worth, the federal Paycheck Protection Program became crucial in keeping people employed and businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic and after the unexpected 2021 winter storm.

In late December, a second round worth $284 billion was approved to benefit small businesses that exhausted their initial loan or did not receive a loan during the first round.

For Keller-based nonprofit Christ’s Haven for Children, the funding received in the first round allowed it to increase capacity to host and care for displaced children and teens. After receiving funds in the first round, they were able to increase care services from 80% in March 2020 to 95% by the end of 2020 without reducing staff.

“We are grateful to be able to provide normalcy, dignity and hope to more children and teens in the midst of such a difficult year,” Christ’s Haven CEO Cassie McQuitty said.

Tighter restrictions

Eligibility requirements have changed for the second round to prioritize smaller businesses. To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 300 employees and be able to show more than a 25% reduction in gross receipts within a specific 2020 quarter relative to the same quarter in 2019.

Another change came in the form of added regulations to ensure the money goes to business owners in need.

“Last spring, a fire hose was opened to get people money, and people got funds that shouldn’t have,” said Sean Bryan, a tax attorney in the Fort Worth area. “Lenders are going to be held more responsible for the borrowers and loans they give.”

According to Bryan, 60% of all the money given out in the first round was used to maintain staff payroll over the course of 24 weeks. It has also been used for personal protection equipment, filtration equipment, drive-thru windows and other items intended to combat COVID-19.

Locals react to second round

Tina Patel, co-owner of Comfort Suites Roanoke, said that prior to receiving money in the first round, she considered shutting down her hotel even though it was deemed essential as part of the hospitality industry by the state of Texas.

“We’ve worked so hard to get the corporate accounts that we have and all of our regulars that stay with us,” she said. “I knew if we ever shut down, I would never get them back.”

Patel was able to maintain a 35% occupancy rate early on, but her 2020 revenue came out to 53% of what she made in 2019.

Patel applied to both rounds of the loan program. The first time, she received $67,000, which she used primarily on payroll. For the second draw, she received $78,000, which she used to pay off her property taxes in January and avoid interest rates.

“We’re very grateful that the federal government has done this, but ultimately, it’s still not enough,” she said. “Every stimulus package that was out there—trust me, we applied for it.”

Part of the incentive for businesses to apply for the loan is the loan forgiveness program, which frees business owners from any financial obligations if the money was used as required.

Forgivable expenses include rent; utilities, such as telephone and internet; mortgage interest and any costs relating to fortifying businesses against COVID-19.

While many businesses have already applied for and even received their second PPP loan, newer businesses have struggled to qualify due to tighter restrictions. Tom Eyler, co-owner of Tune Up—The Manly Salon, received funding from the first PPP loan the day he reopened his shop after six weeks of closure.

“[The funds] were invaluable... that money carried us through that whole summer,” Eyler said.

However, when Eyler tried to apply for the second round, he found he did not qualify because he could not show the required 25% decrease in revenue. Being the owner of a new business that started in 2019, Eyler said he had only a 7% decrease in revenue even though his revenue losses were greater.

“I could really use it right now because we have been scratching and crawling to get back to our pre-COVID numbers,” he said. “I understand why they did it, but it doesn’t take into account small businesses who started in 2019.”

Providing resources for businesses

Sally Aldrige, president and CEO of the Metroport Chamber of Commerce, said her staff has been providing local members with the latest information to help them obtain assistance.

“Each business is different and has different needs,” Aldridge said. “We provide the tools and resources so members can make informed decisions on the best direction for their situation.”

Elsewhere, Christ’s Haven received between $150,000 and $350,000 in the first round of PPP loans and will not be applying again.

“We feel like we are in a good, stable place right now,” said Kelly Strzinek, communications and marketing director at Christ’s Haven. “So much of that is due to just incredibly generous donors and people in our community [that keep] supporting us.”

Eyler said he hopes the plan’s language will be modified to include newer businesses that cannot meet the qualifications.

“The next six months is going to tell if we’re going to survive,” he said. “Our gross receipts are definitely building, [but] right now, I have not broken even yet. I’m still losing money every month.”

For more information on the second round of PPP loans, business owners can contact a local bank or visit
By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.
By Ian Pribanic
Ian Pribanic covers city government, transportation, business and education news for Community Impact Newspaper in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth areas. A Washington D.C. native and University of North Texas graduate, Ian was previously an editor for papers in Oklahoma, West Texas and for Community Impact in New Braunfels.


A doctor holding a clipboard
PPG Health set to open new Fort Worth location in the Alliance area

The company has several other clinics throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

A Johnson Road repaving project will begin the week of March 1. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
City of Keller, Tarrant County to begin repaving work on Johnson Road

The project, which begins east of Rhonda Road, is unrelated to a larger reconstruction project planned for a portion of Johnson Road west of Rhonda.

At its peak of power loss, the city had roughly 50,000 homes with interrupted power, many of which had prolonged outages, Plano City Manager Mark Israelson said. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano faces long-term impacts from storm; Collin County vaccine hubs resume service and more DFW-area news

Read the top business and community news from this week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, the city's longest-serving mayor, delivered her State of the City address on Feb. 25. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price speaks to residents, business owners in final State of the City address

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price addressed residents, business owners, city staff and others in a State of the City address Feb. 25.

The coffee and wine bar offers signature drinks, such as the Honey Bear Latte, made with honey and cinnamon, as well as food options, such as breakfast tacos, charcuterie boards, baked goods and snack boxes. (Courtesy Golden Boy Coffee Co.)
Golden Boy Coffee Co. opens in Plano; Black Rock Coffee Bar coming to Southlake and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Tens of thousands of people have been vaccinated at Denton County's vaccine drive-thru clinics at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. (Courtesy Texas Motor Speedway)
Denton County agencies offer free rides to vaccine appointments at Texas Motor Speedway

Beginning Friday, two Denton County transit services will provide free bus rides to the mass vaccine clinics at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

The Keller ISD Education Center was one of at least 16 district campuses or buildings to be affected by power outages due to a winter storm Feb. 15. (Courtesy Keller ISD)
Keller ISD officials assess power outages, storm damage at multiple campuses

Keller ISD officials continue to calculate the extent of the damage caused by a severe winter storm the week of Feb. 15.

Chipotle Mexican Grill opened a new Plano location Feb. 20 at the corner of Independence Parkway and Legacy Drive. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Plano Chipotle opens with drive-thru; Tailgaters sports bar opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce has rebranded with a new logo and website. (Courtesy Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce)
Fort Worth chamber rebranding represents 'future of Fort Worth business community'

The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in January launched a new brand for the organization.