Fort Bend County COVID-19 small-business grant program funds increase

Fort Bend County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program
(Designed by José Dennis/Community Impact Newspaper)

(Designed by José Dennis/Community Impact Newspaper)

More businesses in Fort Bend County will be able to receive grant funding to help them cover costs related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commissioners Court approved in a 4-0 vote an amendment to the Fort Bend County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program to expand the program, which launched June 15. Precinct 2 Commissioner Grady Prestage was absent from the meeting.

Under the amendment, the total amount of funds available for small-business grants has increased from $22 million to $38 million, according to the motion read by Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers. An additional $1 million will go to consultants who will help minority-owned businesses apply for the grants, he confirmed via email.

The approved amendment also expanded the eligibility criteria so more business can apply. Under the amendment, the following the changes have been implemented:

  • Eligible businesses include those with up to 50 employees. Previously, only businesses with up to 10 employees were eligible.

  • Eligible businesses include those who have received assistance from the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Previously, only businesses who had not received this assistance were eligible.

  • Businesses do not have to experience a revenue loss because of the pandemic to be eligible. Previously, only businesses that experienced a 25% or more revenue loss from the pandemic were eligible.

  • Businesses with annual sales between $25,000-$5 million are eligible. Previously, only businesses with revenue of $100,000-$2 million could apply.

  • Grant amounts range from $5,000-$25,000. Previously, grant amounts were limited to $10,000.


The county will have to temporarily pause accepting applications for a few hours to update the application process and form online, County Auditor Ed Sturdivant said at the June 22 court meeting. As of 8 a.m. June 24, the county's website is not accepting applications and states it will reopen at 8:30 a.m. June 25.

Under these expansions, the total number of businesses the grant program can assist is about 2,500, Sturdivant said.


The program’s initial $22 million was estimated to help about 2,200 businesses, said Jeffrey C. Wiley, the president and CEO of the Fort Bend County Economic Development Council, during a June 12 webinar about how to apply for the grants.

At the time of the court meeting, the county had received a total of 721 applications for the small-grant program, Sturdivant said.

Funding for the Fort Bend County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program comes from federal and county funds, specifically the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and the Fort Bend County COVID-19 budget, according to the motion read by Meyers. The county received a total of $134.3 million from the federal coronavirus relief bill.
By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. She covers education, transportation, local government, business and development in the Katy area.


MOST RECENT

Armored Sports camps feature basketball, flag football and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
Armored Sports camps to launch in venues across Greater Houston

A new Christian sports camp for youth is launching this summer in churches across the Greater Houston area.

"Breaking Strongholds" is a faith-based, eight-episode series that explores topics such as suicide and depression. (Courtesy Terry Weaver)
Series shot in Montgomery County aiming for Hulu, Netflix deal and more Houston-area news

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

Here is the latest case, hospitalization and vaccine data from Fort Bend County. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nearly 30% of eligible Fort Bend County population fully vaccinated against COVID-19

From March 26-April 8, the county reported an average of 91.6 new coronavirus cases a day.

The temporary waiver covering initial vehicle registration, vehicle registration renewal, vehicle titling, renewal of permanent disabled parking placards and 30-day temporary permits will end April 14. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
DMV officials say no grace period following waiver of car title, registration; new housing set for Magnolia, Cypress

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

After serving up chicken in College Station for nearly three decades, Layne’s Chicken Fingers is opening its first location in the Houston area in Katy. (Courtesy Layne's Chicken Fingers)
Layne's Chicken Fingers coming to Katy; Gyro King opens in Sugar Land and more Houston-area news

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

Less than 25% of American office workers have returned to in-person office settings since the start of the pandemic. (Courtesy Pixabay)
DATA: Texas metros lead the nation in return to in-person work since start of pandemic

About 37% of Houston office employees had returned to in-person work as of the end of March, as compared to an average of less than 25% in other major U.S. metros.

In order to move to Level 2 on the threat level system, Hidalgo said the county would need to get down to an average of 400 new COVID-19 cases reported daily, a positivity rate of 5% and an ICU population of 15%. (Screenshot via Facebook Live)
'We're close' Hidalgo says of possibility for Harris County to lower COVID-19 threat level

In order to move to Level 2 on the threat level system, Hidalgo said the county would need to get down to an average of 400 new COVID-19 cases reported daily, a positivity rate of 5% and an ICU population of 15%.

After serving up chicken in College Station for nearly three decades, Layne’s Chicken Fingers is opening its first location in the Houston area in Katy. (Courtesy Layne's Chicken Fingers)
Katy-area to be home of Houston area’s first Layne’s Chicken Fingers

The 2,400-square-foot restaurant will be located at 23703 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy.

Though several sections of Katy-area roads remain in the top 100, the ranking of five sections of road dropped between 2018 and 2019—and most have seen drops multiple years in a row, according to the report. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Several Katy-area roads among Texas’ most congested in annual report

One local road, I-10 from North Eldridge Parkway to the Sam Houston Tollway, is ranked the 14th most congested in the state.

(Courtesy Fish and Camaron)
Teriyaki Madness opens in Katy

The fast-casual Asian restaurant will serve bowls of Asian-inspired teriyaki food that includes fresh vegetables, rice and protein.

According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
TEA Student Assessment Division calls STAAR Online Testing Platform connectivity issues 'completely unacceptable'

According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I.