BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, BCIC, has officially developed an approved program designed to assist businesses in Brownsville, Texas to access capital as a response to the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business community.
Through an existing partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA), the BCIC was able to address key challenges that the Brownsville business community faced, such as issues with cash injection, creditworthiness and severe declines in revenues. The key challenges were identified through the collaborative effort of assist.brownsvilleedc.org, where businesses in Brownsville, Texas were able to register either via email or text message to provide BCIC, the City of Brownsville, and the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce with data related to the impact businesses were facing from COVID-19 mandates. Since its inception, the online registry system has been able to register close to three hundred and fifty businesses from Brownsville, Texas and is continuing to register more through its active campaigns.
“As one of Brownsville’s economic development groups, we wanted to make sure that we were able to identify areas of opportunity where our funds could provide longevity, growth, and sustainability to the business community of Brownsville, Texas that are currently being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Josh Mejia, Executive Director with BCIC. “Through our existing partnerships with both SBA and the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, we were able to establish a program that provides financial assistance to businesses trying to access the capital made available by the federal government through SBA and its partner lenders.”
The “COVID-19 Business Assistance Grants”, a component program of StartUp Texas by BCIC, will provide the business community with two options. “Option A”, titled “Brownsville Cares” will provide critical businesses that showcase several risk factors such as substantial loss of employment a maximum of $10,000 towards earnest money that will be used for an SBA loan. “Option B”, titled “Emergency/Bridge Loan Program” will provide businesses who qualify for micro loans from lender partners interest reimbursement that will be applied towards the principal of their respective loans. Both options were designed to assist businesses in accessing funds from the federal government to continue operating at “pre-COVID-19” levels as soon as possible.
“UTGRVEntrepreneurship and Commercialization Center (ECC) a department in the Division of Governmental and Community Relations, is proud to support BCIC by providing technical and outreach assistance to our community. Our small businesses are vital to our regional economy and we, as economic development builders, are here to assist in any way we can” said Linda Ufland, UTRGV ECC Manager.
The BCIC has begun rolling out “Option A” of its new COVID-19 Business Assistance Grants program as of April 15, 2020. For businesses looking to apply, please visit either assist.brownsvilleedc.org or apoyo.brownsvilleedc.org to register. The BCIC, along with its partners, look forward to immediate impact the program will have for the business community of Brownsville, Texas. The BCIC also encourages other economic development organizations throughout the Rio Grande Valley to adopt similar programs as a response to the adverse effects the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for the region’s business community.
Please contact Nathan Burkhart, Director of Marketing & Small Business Development for any questions regarding this press release or the COVID-19 Business Assistance Grants. Visit www.brownsvilleedc.org for more information or follow us on our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for updates.