How San Antonio small businesses can apply for a covid relief grant

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The City of San Antonio has opened a new round of grants for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic and certain ongoing construction projects.

Applications They expire on Monday, August 22.

The city has set aside $17 million of ARPA funds for the grants, which will range from $15,000 to $35,000.

An additional $10,000 will be considered for businesses that have been affected by construction. The city has identified 19 ongoing construction projects that could qualify business owners for more money. They include work being done on North St. Mary’s Street and the Broadway Street corridor. A complete list is available on page 43 of the city’s eligibility framework.

LiftFund, a nonprofit advocacy group and microlender for small businesses, is administering the grant program, which the city approved in June.

“We want to remind businesses in need: This program is not on a first-come, first-served basis,” said LiftFund President and CEO Janie Barrera. Please take the time to meet with one of the community partners on the website to ensure you submit a complete application. Please plan ahead to ship before August 22.”

Since applications opened Monday, the program has already received nearly 400 applications.

A similar grant program last year awarded $6,000 to Andrea Ley’s business, the Olla Express cafe, which was a food truck at the time. She used the grant to open her first physical location in Northwest San Antonio and to jumpstart the production of one of her signature products, piloncillo-flavored syrup.

“We are growing and it has gotten better every day,” Ley said.

Your new income figures mean you are not eligible for the current grant program.

To be eligible, a small business must show that its gross sales in 2021 and 2020 were lower than 2019. The business must be located in the city. And some industries are excluded, such as nonprofits, liquor stores, payday lenders, and others. a complete list of eligibility requirements can be found on the city’s website for grants.

The application process requires a few documents, such as a utility bill, three years of tax returns, and proof of the number of workers employed earlier this year.

“For most people, it takes 30 minutes to an hour to complete the application,” said Liliane Spenle, manager of operations and grant programs at LiftFund.

Partner groups offer to help with the app, free of charge. Those groups are Centro San Antonio, Culturingua, Maestro Entrepreneur Center, Prosper West, SAGE (San Antonio for Growth on the East Side), Southside First Economic Development Council, and LiftFund Women’s Business Center. Contact information for these organizations is available at city ​​website.

The city has previously held information sessions on the grant application process. Video recordings are archived online at English and in Spanish.

The city will not require businesses to explain how they will use the grant money. But city officials have said federal guidelines state the money cannot be used to pay off bills or outstanding debt.

LiftFund also offers a number of other city-sponsored services for small businesses, regardless of whether they qualify for this specific grant program. Those services include the “zero percent interest loan” program and free business advice.

LiftFund has previously administered more than $42 million in city grants to small businesses for COVID relief and other programs.

“These past two years have been challenging for many of our small businesses, experiencing lost revenue, supply shortages, rising costs and loss of staff, making it difficult to keep up with monthly bills and expenses” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. in a prepared statement. “Through ARPA funding, we will support San Antonio’s small businesses as they work to recover from the pandemic and also strengthen our small business community and economy as a whole.”

The grants are the first of two phases in the city’s plan to try to help small businesses. The city has said the second phase will include giving small businesses access to flexible capital funds, implementing programs to help businesses strengthen their web capabilities, coordinating a “small business safety net,” promoting local buying and show small business brokers.

The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recently estimated that more than a third of small businesses have closed since the start of the pandemic.

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