Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks at NRG Park, April 11, 2020. AP Photo by David J. Phillip.

It’s no question that small businesses are an essential and growing part of the economy. In the Houston area alone, nearly 97% of employers qualify as ‘small businesses,’ so Harris County announced it’s working to give back to those businesses in need. 

County Judge Lina Hidalgo recently discussed the start of the Harris County Small Business Relief Fund application period, where eligible companies can apply for grants between $5,000 and $25,000 until October 4, 2021. 

The county has approved a $30 million relief fund to support small businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Relief Fund was established through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and administered by LiftFund, a nonprofit that supports small business owners through funds and education. 

To qualify, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • Located within Harris County
  • Registered as a business operating in Harris County
  • Must have 30 or fewer employees (including part-time, contractors, and full-time employees and owners)
  • In operation before April 2020
  • Experienced negative impact on operations due to the pandemic
  • Annual revenue of less than $500,000 dollars in 2019 and 2020
  • Be in good standing with the Texas Comptroller’s office with no outstanding tax obligations or liabilities

To learn more and apply, visit www.harriscountybusinessrelief.org.