San Antonio businesses may now apply for up to $35K in small-business COVID-19 relief grants

Eligible San Antonio small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for grants ranging from $15,000-$35,000, plus an additional $10,000 construction effect supplement for those who qualify. The deadline to apply for the grant is 5 pm Aug. 22.

According to a news release, interested small-business owners can register for the upcoming information session scheduled for 2 pm Aug. 3. The city offered a previous grant program information session on July 13.

The virtual session will be held in English, Spanish and Arabic, and will cover who qualifies, how to apply and how local community organizations can help businesses complete their application for free.

The $17 million program is funded by American Rescue Plan Act dollars allocated by the city of San Antonio and administered by local small-business advocate and nonprofit lender LiftFund, the release said.

On Feb. 3, City Council approved creating a spending framework for local ARPA funds, including a total of $30.95 million for small businesses.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the pandemic has resulted in economic challenges for many local small businesses over the past two years and that those issues have been compounded by inflation.

“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,” Nirenberg said in a statement.

Local organizations joining the effort to provide outreach and technical assistance include Centro San Antonio, Culturingua, the Maestro Entrepreneur Center, Prosper West, San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside, the Southside First Economic Development Council and the LiftFund Women’s Business Center, the release said .

Applicants can contact these organizations for free assistance in completing their application. They will also be hosting their own information events that the public is welcome to attend, the release said.

City Manager Erik Walsh said funding and resources are vital as business owners are still struggling to find financial stability in a lingering pandemic. Walsh also thanked San Antonio nonprofits and business advocacy organizations for their support in helping local small businesses.

“The first phase of our Small Business ARPA Implementation Plan will provide immediate relief through the $17 million COVID[-19] Impact Grants Program and will be followed by a second phase of strategic investments to support long-term resiliency for our small businesses,” Walsh said in a statement.

LiftFund, a local nonprofit lender and economic first responder, is again partnering with the city to disburse COVID-19 relief funding, the release said. Since the pandemic’s beginning, LiftFund has partnered with the city of San Antonio to provide more than $42 million in grant funding to small businesses.

“This grant program is a key component to helping businesses stay open, to stabilize and thrive. We are thrilled to be able to provide this support to small-business owners and to work together with the city of San Antonio,” LiftFund Founder Janie Barrera said in a statement.

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