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.