In 2007, Texas Gulf Coast communities experienced the devastating force of nature as Hurricane Harvey severely changed the landscape of those neighborhoods.
As is often the case with natural disasters, Harvey was more devastating for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and minority communities. According to the Rebuild Texas Foundation, more than 700,000 LMI-owned and minority-owned businesses were affected by the storm. Businesses suffered building damage, equipment damage, lost inventory, and disruptions in sales. Many business owners found it difficult to obtain, or were ineligible for, financial relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). And only 17 percent of businesses affected by Harvey had business disruption insurance.
In response to the devastation brought by Harvey, LiftFund created a disaster relief loan fund with the support of national and local partners. Through the fund, LiftFund has provided interest-free loans up to $35,000 and business support to businesses to help them stabilize, recover, reopen, and grow in the aftermath of the storm.
LiftFund’s Small Business Harvey Relief Fund provided $7 million in relief funding to over 320 affected businesses. Our borrowers are overwhelmingly minority entrepreneurs, a majority of them are LMI, and almost half are women. In addition to lending, we have provided almost 700 hours of business counseling and technical assistance to over 300 individual business owners. As a result of our lending, the businesses we have supported have retained over 1,000 jobs and have created an additional 700 jobs.
Read our Harvey Relief Impact Report and learn more about our disaster relief efforts, approach and keys to success.