Dave Moore, Staff Writer
Goldman Sachs and Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday unveiled a $50 million forgivable loan program designed to help Texas businesses maintain solvency during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have seen first-hand the determination and resilience of small business owners in Texas, having worked alongside them for years through our 10,000 Small Businesses program,” said John Waldron, President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs. “Goldman Sachs understands that our communities and economy rely on small business, and we are doing everything we can to support this vital engine of economic growth and employment.”
“It goes without saying that the last few weeks have been a surreal time for business owners,” said Brent Reaves, Owner of Dallas-based Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que. “I’m trying to pivot and be agile,” he added. He said Goldman Sachs stepped up when it established the program in 2011, and it is stepping up again in the age of COVID-19.
Reaves was part of a virtual press conference with Abbott, who announced that Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund, along with other community development financial institutions (CDFIs), are working to provide $50 million in loans to small businesses in Texas that have been affected by COVID-19. The loan initiative is part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, which helps entrepreneurs create job and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital, and business support services.
The loans made through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), will primarily be used for payroll so that employees can continue to receive paychecks and small businesses can retain their employees.
Business owners can apply for a PPP loan and find more information about the program on the LiftFund website.
Abbott said, “Small businesses and their employees are at the heart of the Texas economy, and they need support during these difficult times. These loans will help us revitalize our economy and restore Texans’ livelihoods as we respond to COVID-19. I thank Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund for providing this lifeline to Texas small businesses and their employees by providing them with the support they need to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19. This partnership is an important first step in our journey to economic recovery in the state of Texas.”
“As a graduate of the 2014 10,000 Small Businesses program, I can say [the 10,000 Small Businesses program] changed how I run Smokey John’s,” said Reaves.
The Texas initiative is part of Goldman Sachs’ $550 million commitment to COVID-19 relief. If all stipulations are met, small businesses can have their loans forgiven in full by the SBA.