The Texas Black Expo, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is committed to helping small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (coronavirus) through its Texas Small Business Emergency Micro-Grant Source (TSBEMS) fund, which offers grants to affected small business owners during this unprecedented global crisis.

The Texas Black Expo has partnered with several major corporations including H-E-B, Enterprise Holdings, Chevron and UPS, in an ongoing effort to support small businesses affected by the devastation of COVID-19.

The severe impact of the pandemic on Houston and surrounding areas has resulted in unprecedented losses for many, including thousands of small businesses whose operations have been shut down in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. To help local entrepreneurs, the Texas Black Expo created the small business emergency micro-grant source, which gives qualifying companies $1,000 each in grant funds. The grant portal is currently open. The first round of funding will be distributed by April 30.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and like every other city in the nation, Houston area companies need every possible resource available to help them keep open the doors of their operations. In addition, families depend on jobs provided by small businesses, so we want to do everything we can to help keep the local economy healthy,” said Jerome Love, Texas Black Expo founder and president.

“We have partnered with Texas Black Expo for over 17 years, and we fully support their mission to build up small businesses within the underserved community,” said James Harris, Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, H-E-B. “Small businesses are critical to H-E-B’s success, so we’re committed to helping in however we can.”

The TSBEMS fund was originally created in 2017 as a response to the devastation small businesses faced after Hurricane Harvey. Since then, more than $45,000 has been awarded to assist entrepreneurs facing business interruption as a result of a disaster or emergency. Love says the goal is to help at least 100 small businesses through the program.

Organizers continue to solicit donations to meet their goal of raising $100,000 for relief efforts through a GoFundMe effort.