Deadlines Rapidly Approaching for Local, Federal COVID-19 Small-Business Grants

Dave Moore, Staff Writer

More than two dozen funding options are available for Dallas Region small businesses to help them contend with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, but some funding deadlines are rapidly approaching.

The funding sources – aside from the well-publicized federal Paycheck Protection Program – include disaster loans, express bridge loans, and geographically specific relief funds.

Submissions are due soon for business owners in Dallas County (outside of Dallas, June 28), Cedar Hill (June 30), the City of The Colony (June 30), and Tarrant County (July 1). There’s also still time to submit an application for the Paycheck Protection Program, whose deadline is June 30.

“We are happy to help (local businesses) recover some expenses but in the ‘Cedar Hill Way,’” Cedar Hill Mayor Stephen Mason said following a Cedar Hill City Council vote to approve the fund. “We wanted to take it a step further and do something more – something to help them not just survive, but thrive.”

Cities, counties, and towns across North Texas – from Allen to Wylie – are offering funding initiatives for small businesses in their jurisdictions. Links to those initiatives can be found here.

Federal Funds Still Available

Small businesses may be eligible for three major federal assistance programs: Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance; the Paycheck Protection Program; and the Employee Retention Tax Credit. Grants and loans are also being offered by lending institutions, corporations, and nonprofits.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance

The Small Business Association’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million, which can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. Small business owners are eligible to apply for a loan advance of up to $10,000. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. Business owners can start the application process here.

Paycheck Protection Program

Small businesses that haven’t applied for the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) are encouraged to reach out to their banks and work through the application process. PPP provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Funding remains available, but the loan application deadline is June 30. Learn more on the application process.

PPP is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the economic downturn. An additional $320 billion was added to the fund via PPP and the Health Care Enhancement Act on April 24.

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program

The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses with an existing SBA Express Lender relationship to quickly access up to $25,000. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA EIDL.

Learn more about the Small Business Administration’s Lender Match Program, which connects small businesses to lenders.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

The Employee Retention Tax Credit is for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19. Learn more about business eligibility, the tax credit amount, and other information.

Other Loan and Grant Opportunities

The DEC Network, with the support of the Dallas Regional Chamber and Dallas Community College, launched the Revive Dallas Small Business Relief Fund. The primary goal of this fund is to provide forgivable loans of up to $25,000 to entrepreneurs/small businesses of color and women-owned businesses in the City of Dallas. Communities Foundation of Texas is the fiscal sponsor and LiftFund is the administrator of the funds.

LiftFund and People Fund are also offering COVID-19 loan options through various public and private partnerships to help small businesses.