Harris County’s $30M small business assistance program open for applications

Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously June 30 to approve the Harris County Small Business Recovery Fund, a $30 million grant program designated for struggling small businesses that have not yet obtained financial assistance from other COVID-19 relief programs, according to a press release.

The program opens for applications Monday, July 13, 2020 at 8 a.m., and will remain open until Friday, July 24, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. Applications can be submitted online at www.harriscounty-sbrfund.org or call (713) 845-2476 for additional information.

Through the program, eligible businesses may receive a grant of up to $25,000 to cover payroll costs, rent and accounts payable, among other operating expenses. Funding comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, officials said.

“Helping small businesses survive the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic directly helps the working men and women employed by those small businesses,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis. “The need in our region is immense, but we will support as many of our vulnerable businesses as possible, fairly and transparently, so that the thousands of families who rely on small businesses continue to have the ability to pay their rent, feed their families, and make ends meet.”

Earlier in March, the county provided $10 million to about 400 small businesses through a separate small business relief program. The HCSBRF is part of an effort to assist a broader range of businesses struggling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.

Officials said priority will be given to applicants that have not received prior assistance from other COVID-19 small business relief programs.

What You Need to Know

  • For profit and non-profit businesses must have 30 or fewer employees.
  • Business must be located within Harris County to be eligible for the program.
  • Businesses located within city of Houston are not eligible for the program unless they are located within Precinct One.
  • Business must have been in operation for the entire 2019 calendar year.
  • Gambling businesses, residential builders, speculative real estate investors, and sexually oriented businesses are not eligible.
  • Funds can be used for a wide range of business operation costs.
  • Funds will be distributed in two (2) installments: 75% upon approval and 25% in November 2020.
  • Business must show proof that it is still in business in order to receive the final 25% grant installment.

What’s Needed To Apply?

  • Business tax return for 2018 or 2019
  • Income and expenses for three months
  • Articles of incorporation, business license, or DBA certificate
  • Business must have been in operation for the entire 2019 calendar year
  • W-2 statement, pay stubs, or personal tax return