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Initial Lifelines for Harris County Small Businesses Have Arrived

Today, May 5, 2020, Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, along with program administrators from Houston-Galveston Area Council are proud to announce that the first set of cash disbursements have been made to successful applicants to the Harris County Loan Program.

The Program was developed by Commissioner Garcia’s office and approved by Commissioners Court on April 7th. Less than 4 weeks later, money in the form of forgivable loans has begun flowing to qualifying applicants.

The first batch of businesses have already received or will receive their loans shortly. These loans can be forgivable if certain conditions are met. In total, around more than 600 local small businesses are expected to receive loans.

“I am extraordinarily pleased with how fast we’ve gotten these lifelines into the hands of our local small businesses,” Commissioner Garcia said. “For a program to be designed from scratch to money in bank accounts in less than a month exemplifies the strong leadership local government has taken during this pandemic. We’ve proved that we are often the best option to move most quickly to respond to residents’ needs. I also want to thank the fine folks at Houston-Galveston Area Council for stepping up and acting fast for the people of Harris County.”

“We’re moving as quickly as possible to navigate the applicants through the underwriting and review process, and to get funds distributed to these businesses that are in dire need,” said Omar Fortune, program manager of the Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation.

Opportunities to speak with speak with recipients of the loans will be available for press covering the program. Please contact Scott Spiegel to make arrangements. Commissioner Garcia is also available to speak with media.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON LOAN PROGRAM

The $10 million Harris County Small Business Loan Program administered by H-GAC was approved by Commissioners Court by a 3-2 vote on April 7, 2020. The money was split evenly among the 4 Harris County Precincts ($2.5 million each). On April 9, 2020, the website HarrisCountyLoan.com was launched for loan applications. In less than 30 hours, more than 7,000 requests were made for a total of more than $150 million sought by local businesses. At that time, the application process was paused. Plans for another loan program for either applicants that still have need or those that remain on the waiting list are being discussed.   

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