SAN ANTONIO (December 6, 2022)–Bexar County announced last week that the Bexar County Assistance Program will offer $20 million in COVID relief grants to small businesses and nonprofits in January of next year. The $20 million fund will create two different programs, one $10 million program for small businesses and a separate $10 million program for nonprofits.
Administered by local nonprofit small business advocate, LiftFund, the program was designed to assist local businesses and nonprofits recover and grow after the challenges of the pandemic.
Through the program, small businesses and nonprofits can apply for $10,000 -$50,000 in direct relief grants. Both programs are set to start receiving applications in early January.
To qualify, applicants must show that they were negatively affected by the COVID pandemic. Small business applicants will be given priority if located in suburban and unincorporated areas. This is an effort to reach businesses that may have been underserved by previous relief programs.
Community partners will be available to assist interested applicants with the online application, to give as many businesses and nonprofits as possible the opportunity to apply.
According to LiftFund, a website with full details on eligibility requirements, necessary documents, and the program timeline will be available in late December.
Bexar County approved funding for the program earlier this year after collaborating with LiftFund and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SAHCC). The team was dedicated to finding a way to use American Rescue Plan Act funding to provide direct economic relief for community businesses still struggling with the effects of the pandemic.
“Like in many communities, the aftermath of the pandemic continues to be felt by Bexar County. This program puts funding directly into the hands of small businesses and nonprofits to help them strengthen the families and neighborhoods of our county,” says County Judge Wolff.
LiftFund founder, Janie Barrera, is a staunch advocate for small businesses in the area and nationally. She was recently appointed to the U.S. Treasury Committee for Racial Equity to advise Secretary Yellen on efforts to improve financial inclusion for communities of color.
“This type of funding is essential for rebuilding the economy of Bexar County communities. We want to thank Judge Wolff and the County Commissioners for bringing this program to life. LiftFund is proud to serve the small businesses and nonprofits that are the heart of this county,” says Ms. Barrera.
Throughout the year, the SAHCC and LiftFund have combined efforts to urge the county to allocate ARPA funding for direct relief to small businesses.
“The SAHCC is proud to continue our advocacy efforts with our partners at LiftFund, and grateful to our county leadership for their support of our small business community,” said SAHCC President & CEO, Marina Gonzales. “The grant program will go far in supporting our members and small business community.”