A $25 million small business grant program is still seeking applicants for funding after the Tarrant County Commissioners Court voted to approve over 150 applicants during its Tuesday meeting. 

The program, aimed at small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, offers grants of up to $27,500. 

“We’re making some progress, but we hope to see more applicants,” said Gary Fickes, Tarrant County Commissioner for Precinct 3. 

Some issues existed when the program first opened for applications on July 11, but most of those issues have been worked out, Fickes said. 

“I think anyone who qualifies and wants to apply can do so now,” he said. 

Tarrant County has more than 1,300 applications under final review for the program. 

The Commissioners Court voted unanimously at its June 14 meeting to approve the Small Business Workforce Recovery Grant Program. The funds were made available by the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Funds will help businesses with workforce recovery, retention, recruitment, training and development, according to a county news release.

Businesses may have no more than 50 employees as of the first quarter of 2020, according to program requirements. They must also be located in Tarrant County.

The grant program will run until Aug. 31 or until funds are depleted, according to the county. Applications will be processed in the order they are received.

“That means the sooner someone applies, the better,” said Fickes. 

Eligible businesses must also fall into one of the following industries:

  • tourism, travel and hospitality (travel services, hotels and motels, event and entertainment venues, sporting facilities, convention and visitors bureaus, outdoor plazas and markets);
  • nonprofit service providers;
  • arts and culture (theater, dance, music, artists);
  • food service (restaurants, caterers, bars, lounges, taverns, mobile food trucks);
  • construction and landscaping (planning and services);
  • gym/fitness;
  • health care (acute, primary and rehabilitation centers);
  • mortuary services;
  • manufacturing;
  • personal care services (hair, tanning and nail salons, barbers, estheticians, spas, massage, tattoo parlors); and
  • retail stores that do not sell essential household goods.

Fickes expects to see more businesses apply as the program deadline nears. 

“These funds will help more local businesses stay open and keep their employees, that’s the goal,” he said. 

Fickes and staff from Tarrant County will answer questions about the grant program during a Coffee with the Commissioner meeting on Aug. 12 in Hurst. 

Business Grant Eligibility

  • Must be classified as an Impacted Industry as defined by the U.S. Treasury and adopted by the Tarrant County Commissioners Court
  • Must have had 50 or fewer employees as reported on Q1 2020 Form 941
  • Must have been in business on or before 1/1/2020 and remain in business at time of application
  • Must self-attest COVID-19 impact
  • Must be physically located in Tarrant County
  • Owners of multiple businesses are only eligible to apply for ONE business. All owners must be disclosed within the application. If a business owner submits applications for more than one business, only the first application submitted by the owner will be considered for funding.

If You Go

Discussion of Tarrant County Small Business Workforce Recovery Grant

What: Coffee with the Commissioner

Who: Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes, Tarrant County officials 

When: Friday, Aug. 12, 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.  

Where: Tarrant County Northeast Courthouse, 645 Grapeviine Highway, Hurst 76054 

For more information, call 817-248-6295  
Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Small businesses, entrepreneurs, and contractors could be eligible for grants from $2,500-$27,500.

The program is designed to provide financial assistance to impacted small businesses whose workforce has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds awarded are meant to aid in workforce recovery, retention, recruitment, training, and development.  Deadline for applying is Aug. 31, 2022.

www.tarrantcounty.com/recovery

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Bob Francis

Bob Francis is business editor for fortworthreport.org. He has been covering business news locally and nationally for many years. He can be reached at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org