It’s an interesting time to work in local government.
On the one hand, the current COVID-19 pandemic is impacting everything on a massive scale, from business operations and the local economy to smaller things, like how we work, socialize, and shop for groceries.
On the other hand, the stories of the innovative ways that Fort Worth’s businesses have pivoted their operations, come together to support each other, and rallied around the community have been nothing short of inspiring.
But our businesses can’t overcome this alone. And while many business owners might be looking to federal or state government for help, there are also several opportunities available much closer to home to help Fort Worth’s business community weather the storm.
Business Resiliency Microloan Program
The City of Fort Worth recently teamed up with PeopleFund to launch a microloan program that’s capable of providing at least $850,000 to eligible businesses in Fort Worth who are being impacted by COVID-19. These loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll or accounts payable, or cover other bills, and 60% of loan proceeds have been set aside for minority-owned businesses and low-to-moderate income businesses.
To qualify, businesses must have an established physical address in Fort Worth and be current with their city and county property taxes.
Protect the Fort Small Business Grant Program
The City of Fort Worth is also collaborating with other local partners like the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, and Visit Fort Worth to launch a grant program for small businesses with the support of Facebook.
This Protect the Fort grant program can provide qualifying businesses with up to $5,000, to be used for rent, mortgage, inventory, working capital, payroll, IT, or innovation and/or marketing efforts.
Applications open Wednesday, May 13, at ProtectTheFort.com.
More funding opportunities and available resources
The city’s Economic Development team is currently working on even more grant and loan support for Fort Worth’s business community, with plans to get those efforts off the ground by the end of the month.
In the meantime, funding opportunities for specific industries – from restaurants, to creative professionals and freelancers, to minority and women-owned businesses – are available on the city’s COVID-19 Business Resources webpages. These pages are being updated regularly as new information becomes available, so check back often.
These are challenging times. But the actions of our local businesses have truly showcased the heart, the grit, and the innovative spirit of Fort Worth, and organizations throughout the community are stepping up to help, however we can.
We’ll get through this together.