Paycheck Protection Program loan helps Brockway Realty during real estate market decline

(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
(Courtesy Adobe Stock)

(Courtesy Adobe Stock)

As COVID-19 was hitting Texas in March, the residential real estate market was on the decline, and Brockway Realty co-owner James Brockway was worried.

The housing market has since recovered from the pandemic, but it took a sharp decline at its onset, he said.

“[COVID-19] took a big dent out of our business,” Brockway said.

Luckily, help from the federal government became available.

Like thousands of other businesses in League City and nearby communities including Pearland, Clear Lake and Friendswood, Brockway applied for the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, which offered forgivable loans to small businesses across the county.


After initially being told he could not apply for the PPP, Brockway reached out to HomeTown Bank, which told him he was eligible. Brockway applied in late March, and eight weeks later, he was awarded a $35,000 forgivable loan, he said.

The money covered Brockway and his wife and co-owner, Penny, for eight weeks, and it came at the right time, considering the first quarter of 2020 was “awful” for real estate, he said.

“We started getting really nervous. Having that [PPP] was a very psychological boost even though in the whole scheme of running a business it wasn’t a big pile of money,” Brockway said. “It was a comfort, really.”

About 11 agents work under Brockway Realty, but they are contractors, not employees, so the PPP loan did not cover them, he said.

While many other businesses are struggling despite help from the PPP, Brockway said real estate is rebounding. There is a pent-up demand for residential real estate, and the market is returning to normal, giving him peace of mind, Brockway said.

“I believe that we’re going to continue the boom in the economy and residential sales,” he said. “The fundamentals are still there.”

However, commercial real estate is expected to take a big hit with restaurants closing and offices underutilized due to residents working from home, Brockway said.

"There's gonna be a big change," he said. "It’s already happening.”

Brockway said he knows he is not out of the woods yet. If another round of PPP loans becomes available, he will apply, he said. Like in gambling, it helps to run a business without using "scared money," and PPP loans took that concern away, Brockway said.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

<

MOST RECENT

The show is making a stop at Sam Houston Race Park this December. (Courtesy UniverSoul Circus)
Cy-Fair hosts events and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Mediterraneo Market & Cafe (Alex Grant/Community Impact Newspaper)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Mediterraneo relocating by end of year and more

Here is a roundup of local business news in Clear Lake and League City.

Council Member Robert Gallegos, Arturo Michel, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Ron Lewis.
Mayor announces changes among Houston’s top-level staff

Several key staff are retiring or leaving for new positions.

League City wants to paint traffic utility boxes with miniature murals, similar to those seen in Houston. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
League City to create painted murals on utility boxes

In an effort to create a sense of place, beautify areas, attract visitors and instill civic pride, League City is considering painting miniature murals on traffic utility boxes throughout the city.

Williams comes to CCISD from Loudoun County, Virginia. (Screenshot courtesy Clear Creek ISD)
Eric Williams named Clear Creek ISD superintendent

Per Texas law, the board was required to wait a minimum of 21 days before voting to appoint Williams, its lone finalist. He will start Jan. 18, 2021; Greg Smith’s last day is Dec. 31.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

The Coastal Texas Study includes proposals for several projects meant to protect Galveston Bay with multiple lines of defense from major storms. (Courtesy Army Corps of Engineers)
Environmentalists question proposed coastal barrier, ask for deadline extension to comment on plan

Several local environmental groups and experts have opposed portions of the coastal barrier proposal and are asking for an extension to the public comment portion of the plan.

The East Montgomery County Industrial Park off Gene Campbell Road will welcome the Lowe's Distribution Center in July. (Courtesy East Montgomery County Improvement District)
Lowe's to bring 200 jobs to Montgomery County and more Houston-area news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Exploration Green in Clear Lake is a great example of sustainable re-use of land, Houston Wilderness officials said; many of the trees being planted at the conservancy are particularly good for the environment. (Courtesy Exploration Green)
Houston Wilderness aims to restore ecosystems, increase carbon absorption through large-scale tree plantings

Houston Wilderness connects people to geographically defined ecosystems across eight counties in Greater Houston and spurs action through initiatives. The organization is coordinating five large-scale plantings over the next three months.

Harris County has launched a tool to allow homeowners to identify appraisal activity in their neighborhood. (Courtesy Pexels)
Harris County Appraisal District launches new 'Appraiser Field Operations Map' tool

Harris County has launched a tool to allow homeowners to identify appraisal activity in their neighborhood.

The letter came a week after Longoria was virtually sworn into the office by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Nov. 18. (Screenshot via Zoom)
Harris County scrambles to make creation of Elections Administrator Office lawful after Attorney General's letter identifies deficiencies

Harris County is working to make right the appointment of Isabel Longoria as the county's first-ever elections administrator after County Attorney Vince Ryan received a letter Nov. 25 from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stating that the county did not follow the proper appointment process.