Houston City Council approves $15 million small business relief fund

Small businesses making less than $2 million in revenue can apply for a new business relief program through the city of Houston. (Courtesy Pexel)
Small businesses making less than $2 million in revenue can apply for a new business relief program through the city of Houston. (Courtesy Pexel)

Small businesses making less than $2 million in revenue can apply for a new business relief program through the city of Houston. (Courtesy Pexel)

Small business owners will soon be eligible for up to $50,000 in grant funding to recoup coronavirus-related losses.

Houston City Council approved a $15 million small business relief effort July 29 using Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding.

"We know small businesses throughout Houston have suffered greatly due to the global pandemic, and it could take months or years before the business climate returns to normal," Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

Small chambers of commerce and owners of businesses making less than $2 million in revenue prior to the pandemic are eligible to apply to the program, which will begin fielding applications in Mid-August. Applicants are evaluated on a scoring matrix developed by the Houston Office of Business Opportunity and nonprofit Houston Business Development Inc.

If awarded funds, the business owners can apply them to payroll, rent, mortgages, personal protective gear for employees, marketing strategies and accounts payable.


“[Houston Business Development Inc.] was very specific in saying that they would not make it cumbersome for businesses to apply,” Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum said.


MOST RECENT

The overall death total in Harris County hit 805, with the majority of deaths—78%—occurring in individuals ages 60 and older. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 17 deaths confirmed Aug. 5, including man in his 20s

The overall death total hit 805, with the majority of deaths—78%—occurring in individuals ages 60 and older.

Restaurants in Houston can now opt to take up to 50% of its designated parking spaces to create outdoor dining space as long as COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston restaurants can now tap parking lots for outdoor dining

Houston City Council has approved a proposal to allow restaurants to take over 50% of their parking spaces to expand outdoor dining capacity.

Another $20 million in relief will be available soon for Houston residents struggling to pay rent. (Community Impact staff)
Houston OKs $20M in rent relief with provision to delay evictions

The new funds will also be prioritzed to the most vulnerable residents rather than a first-come, first-served process.

The Confederate Soldiers Monument stands on the south grounds of the Texas Capitol. A group of Democratic lawmakers have called for its removal, along with other statues and portraits honoring the Confederacy. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
State legislators seek removal of Confederate monuments at Texas Capitol

The decision may ultimately lie with Gov. Greg Abbott and the rest of the State Preservation Board, which last year authorized the removal of a plaque in the Capitol that said slavery was not an underlying cause of the Confederate rebellion.

This map shows the corridors that will be subject to new transit-oriented development rules, which are designed to improve access to high-capacity transit options. (Courtesy City of Houston)
Houston adopts new development rules to promote walkable, transit-oriented projects

New development moving forward will have to conform to new standards along transit corridors and new "Walkable Places" areas.

The retail center at at 1001 Westheimer Road has been purchased for a forthcoming mixed-use development. (Courtesy Google Earth)
Developer acquires Montrose-Westheimer block for potential mixed-use project

More development is coming to the Westheimer/Montrose area.

A total of 723 of the new cases were confirmed in Harris County outside of the city of Houston, which is the most to be confirmed outside of the city in a single day. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,438 new cases, 22 deaths confirmed Aug. 4

A total of 723 of the new cases were confirmed in Harris County outside of the city of Houston, which is the most to be confirmed outside of the city in a single day.

With some Harris County residents waiting up to two weeks to get test results, the county has announced a maximum turnaround time of 3-5 days on county-sponsored tests moving forward. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County announces evening testing hours, faster turnaround on COVID-19 tests

With some Harris County residents waiting up to two weeks to get test results, the county has announced a maximum turnaround time of 3-5 days on county-sponsored tests moving forward.

In the last year, Whataburger launched a new, modern restaurant design and began offering curbside and delivery services for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the release. (Courtesy Elizabeth James for Whataburger)
Whataburger to celebrate 70th anniversary, unveil food truck, expand into 3 states

Nine more new Whataburger locations are planned by year's end, and 35 new restaurants are proposed for 2021.

Harris County Pets will offer free adoptions in August. (Courtesy Harris County Pets)
Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August

As part of a national initiative to clear animal shelters, Harris County Pets will offer free adoptions for spayed or neutered and heartworm-positive pets.