Fort Worth Launches Grant Program For Small Businesses

Andrew Greenstein
May 27, 2020 - 5:37 am

    FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - For small businesses in Fort Worth impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is financial help available.

    In partnership with the Unit3ed Way of Tarrant County, Fort Worth is making $10 million available to small businesses through the Preserve The Fort grant program.

    The money comes from the $158 million that the city received from the federal government through the CARES Act.

    "We decided to pull a portion of that funding to set up this grant program to assist our small businesses that are still being significantly impacted by the pandemic and looking for financial resources to help them pull through," says Robert Sturns, Fort Worth economic development director.

    The amount of money businesses will be eligible for depends on the number of employees they had prior to the pandemic.

    Those with less than five employees will be eligible for $5,000; businesses with 6-25 can receive $7,500; those with 26-50 employees are eligible for $10,000; and businesses with 51-250 can receive $50,000.

    "We wanted to do a direct allocation of $2.5 million to minority owned businesses," says Sturns. "Another $2.5 million will go into some of our designated investment zones and our neighborhood empowerment zones. And then the remaining $5 million of the fund would be allocated towards citywide support."

    Sturns says the $10 million is a start.

    "We know that we're going to be able to help some businesses, but I don't have any illusions that this $10 million is going to solve all the issues that our small businesses are facing," Sturns says. "We do have another $5 million that has being held in reserve. So we could do an additional grant program or provide some other type of programming after we close out the grant rounds to see what support we can provide."

    Along with having no more than 250 employees and being located within the City of Fort Worth, businesses must have been in operation since September 1, 2019, in order to be eligible for the grant program.

    Self-employed individuals, independent contractors, sole proprietors and nonprofits serving the business community are also eligible.

    The application period started Tuesday, May 26, and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, June 8.

    To apply, visit the City of Fort Worth website