The City and County of El Paso have each approved $1 million funding to establish a Small Business Emergency Relief Program, managed by LiftFund, a nonprofit organization that helps finance new small business and startup companies.
The new program will allow eligible businesses to apply for zero interest loans and some grants.
The LiftFund will be responsible for distributing $1.7 million in funds, which according to the company will have a $23.8 million impact on the local economy based on previous studies. Businesses can receive a loan of up to $25,000 and a grant of up to $5,000. LiftFund will start taking applications beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020 on its website.
“During this time of uncertainty many small businesses have been forced to close in order to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19, and this program will provide an opportunity for them to reopen after restrictions are lifted,” said Mayor Margo. “We need to come together and support our local businesses as we recover economically.”
“Many businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as we try to protect public health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said County Judge Samaniego. “This program is meant to help affected businesses weather the storm.”
“This partnership is the start of ensuring small businesses have an opportunity to stabilize during this uncertain time. This investment and gift by the City and County is a start, and our small business community needs us now more than ever,” said Lupe Mares, Vice President of LiftFund El Paso.
Businesses with ten employees or less can apply for a loan, while businesses with five employees or less can apply for a grant. In order to qualify, businesses must have been operating since August 2019, have good credit, and must prepare a six month recovery plan and work capital plan that demonstrates the award will help them get through this time of uncertainty.
LiftFund will also be required to make a $1,200,000 balloon payment within four years that will be used to establish the El Paso Dream Makers Fund. The fund will be a permanent revolving loan fund for small businesses and will be administered by LiftFund.
For more information about other resources for businesses impact by the COVID-19 pandemic, visit epstrong.org and click on Resources.