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Webinar to help small-business owners apply for aid

Along with Port Aransas, the Rockport-Fulton area was one of the hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017. The area’s residents and small businesses are still struggling after 2½ years. Texas Back in Business will be awarding grants to small businesses still in need of help. Courtesy photo

Owners of small businesses damaged by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 still have an opportunity to gain state assistance in rebuilding. Texas Back in Business is hosting a webinar over new federal funding of $50,000 to $250,000 in disaster relief to qualifying small businesses. Owners have until March 2 to apply online.

Texas Back in Business is hosting outreach presentations in 49 eligible counties. The webinar, which is 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 12, is for those who cannot attend a presentation in person.

Visit recovery.texas.gov/tbib to access the livestream. No password or registration ID is necessary, although businesses might need to download Webex to view it. To join the audio only version, call 415-655-0001 and use access code: 668 573-392.

Texas Back in Business funds are geared toward retaining and creating jobs. The money can be used for operating capital, repairs, inventory, machinery, equipment, supplies, and other expenses directly related to the business.

To be eligible, a small business must:

• have been in business on August 25, 2017;

  • be defined as a small business by the Small Business Administration;
  • have experienced damage from Hurricane Harvey;
  • and be located in one of the 49 Hurricane Harvey-impacted counties deemed eligible by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for disaster recovery funds.

Potential applicants can review the FAQ section of the website to learn more about program requirements and what will be needed to successfully complete the application process. Successful applicants will be entered into a random selection process to give each an equal opportunity for the program.

If selected, applicants will be contacted by email to schedule an office or on-site visit with a grant officer to confirm the business' qualifications for funding approval and the amount of grant qualification.

This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR). In the state's Hurricane Harvey CDBG-DR action plan, the Texas General Land Office allocated $100 million for an economic revitalization program to help small businesses impacted by Hurricane Harvey. For more information, visit TexasBackInBusiness.com.

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