Small businesses damaged by Harvey can now apply for grants

Small businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey could receive between $50,000 and $250,000 in federal grants, thanks to a disaster relief program that was just launched.

Texas Back In Business works under contract with the General Land Office to distribute a $100 million fund.

The program’s CEO Dan Slane said there are still tens of thousands of small businesses recovering from the 2017 storm and estimates that half of them are in Greater Houston.

“All they need was to have been in business on the date of the storm, suffered damages and in one of the 49 impacted counties,” he said.

The deadline to apply is March 2.

Slane said it took more than two years for the money to become available because it was a complicated process.

“Congress passed the relief bill in 2018 and then there was the deliberation on where it should go – FEMA, HUD, Homeland Security,” he said. “Ultimately they passed it on to HUD.” 

Since the program had never been done before, HUD – the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – then had to create rules and regulations and determine which agency should handle it.

The grant is meant to be used for operating capital, inventory, machinery, equipment, supplies and other expenses directly related to the business.

It cannot be used for repairs or renovations.

Small businesses can apply for the grant at texasbackinbusiness.com.