Mayor Sylvester Turner announced today that applications for the City of Houston’s Small Business Economic Relief Program (SBERP) will open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19.The program, which is funded with $15 million of the City's allocated CARES Act 2020 funds, will provide immediate and short-term grant assistance to small businesses and chambers of commerce that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Application deadline is 11:59 p.m.
The maximum amount a business or chamber can receive from the SBERP is $50,000. A business may use the funds for payroll, accounts payable, rent, mortgage, personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees, and marketing strategies, including creating an online presence and other sales alternatives.
“SBERP funds will not be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Small businesses that are in most financial need and exhibit a moderate to high likelihood of surviving the pandemic's adverse impacts will receive the most consideration for grant funds,” Mayor Turner said. “I highly encourage you to take your time to complete your application fully and carefully before the Sept. 4 deadline.”
If approved for the grant, businesses will receive funds in two phases. The first half of the funds will be awarded upon grant approval. The second half will be given after completion of the Recovery and Resiliency component of the program. This component includes, but is not limited to, assistance in strategic planning, finance, marketing and human resource management.