Westchase District continues to find helpful information to share with small business during the COVID-19 crisis. As the Small Business Administration offers guidance, economic development organizations are diligently getting the word out.
The Houston Region Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) and Greater Houston Partnership have held weekly meetings focused on SBA resources as thousands of Paycheck Protection Program applications for loans are being processed. While lending institutions like Frost Bank are only serving existing clients, other banks accept applications from all small businesses.
The meetings recently addressed the following:
Tim Jeffcoat of SBA Houston gave a quick overview and answered questions regarding the CARES Act. Detailed information on the resources and programs discussed can be found on Houston’s SBA page, or on the Greater Houston Business Recovery Center site. A few additional highlights from Tim:
- EIDL Loan Questions: Nonprofits with no employees can qualify for EIDL as the program applies to 501(c), 501(d), and 501(e) organizations. While Tim is unaware of banks having issues with processing EIDL loans, there are limits on how many loans banks can service – and some banks have already reached their limits. The Federal Reserve will likely step in to provide processing assistance.
- Additional Funding: While it’s uncertain when or if more funding will become available, Congress is considering an additional $200-$250 billion package for PPP and other programs.
- Participating Institutions: The SBA Houston keeps track of banks and lenders accepting new clients. Find those lenders on their website.
ADITIONAL INFORMATION & DISCUSSION ITEMS
Harris County COVID-19 Forgivable Loan Program: The Harris County Commissioners Court approved a forgivable loan program which was officially announced to the public on April 9. The program aims to help businesses impacted by the pandemic by offering zero-interest, forgivable loans to meet operating expenses and other financial obligations. More information and a link to the application can be found here.
Texas Workforce Commission: TWC announced a new type of unemployment benefit for those impacted by COVID-19 which allows the self-employed to qualify. Childcare for essential employees will also be extended. More information on this program will be shared soon.
Greater Houston Partnership COVID-19 Resource Content:
- Greater Houston Business Recovery Center: Information on new resources, loan programs and creative the initiatives you’re implementing in your communities are sent here from around the community.
- COVID-19 Houston Business Forums: The Partnership continues to provide free weekly webinars on various COVID-related topics, open to all. GHP’s Patrick Jankowski has been providing economic updates and webinars. Jankowski leads a webinar with Workforce Solutions on Tuesday, April 21 to discuss programs available to employers facing decisions to layoff or furlough workers. Click here to register for upcoming Forums. You can also view previous webinars here.