Funds are still available for Lake Houston businesses affected by Harvey
The Lake Houston Area Economic Development Partnership still has over $100,000 in funds to give out to small businesses in the area who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey,
The LHAEDP opened up the Harvey Small Business Grant Program in March. President Mark Mitchell said that out of the 6,800 businesses in the Lake Houston area only 60 business inquired about the grant and only 40 applications were submitted.
“Over 3,300 businesses applied to the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Recovery Loan Program, and so many of them were focused on that and that program could do anywhere from $10,000 up to $2 million depending on the business,” Mitchell said. “So I think a lot of people were solely focused on the SBA but there’s still supplemental support that’s needed.”
Small businesses in the Lake Houston area who were open at least a year before Harvey that are within the 77044, 77338, 77339, 77345, 77346, and 77396 area codes are the only ones eligible to apply for this grant.
Grant amounts range from $2,500-$5,000 in $500 increments.
Mitchell said the original budget for the grant program was at about $111,000. With various donations the budget went up to $260,000.
“The use of the funds has to be for taxable purchases,” Mitchell said. “If it’s to replace inventory that was lost or to increase inventory that they’re trying to play catch up from Harvey, if they’re purchasing new computers or furniture or fixtures as a result of loss Harvey or if they had to buy new capital equipment.”
Mitchell mentioned he has until March 2019 to distribute the remaining $100,000 as requirement of one of the donors.
“It’s been 15 months now since Harvey and people have kind of forgotten about our small businesses and some of them are still struggling,” Mitchell said. “They are still trying to get back to their 2016 numbers because 2017 was a wash.”
Businesses who have already received a grant from the program cannot reapply.
Small businesses in the Lake Houston area interested in applying can find an application on the LHAEDP website.
For more information, call Mark Mitchell at (281) 446-2128 or email mmitchell@lakehoustonorg.