McALLEN, TEXAS – In a bid to drive economic growth, Connect Humanity and the City of Pharr have announced plans to launch a $10 million fund to invest in the digitization of businesses in the Rio Grande Valley.

Formed in partnership with the City of Pharr’s TeamPharr.Net, and other local internet service providers (ISPs), VTX1 Companies, BTX Fiber and SmartCom, the Fund will offer a one-year subscription subsidy for high-speed internet, a no-to-low interest loan for hardware and software, and digital skills training to micro- and small-business entrepreneurs, community health clinics and nonprofits serving low- and moderate-income communities across the Lower Rio Grande Valley border region.

“We have the tools we need to transform the Texas Rio Grande Valley from one of this country’s least connected regions into a digital leader,” said Connect Humanity project lead Jordana Barton-Garcia. “This means a stronger economy and more entrepreneurial opportunities. The small business broadband fund offers banks a vehicle to invest in their communities under the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act), while overturning decades of inequities and equipping communities with the resources to prosper in a digital society.”

Pharr Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez agreed. He said: “As city leaders we have committed to taking on the digital divide in our communities, because we know it’s the most powerful way to unlock the many talents and potential people have. This Fund is a necessary next step on our digital journey as we ensure that every student, every neighborhood, and now, every entrepreneur, has the broadband they need to thrive.”

Editor’s Note: Here is a video from a news conference Connect Humanity and the City of Pharr held to announce the new $10 million fun. It was held at the corporate offices of Lone Star National Bank:


Editor’s Note: The above video story is the first in a three-part series on plans to invest $10 million in the digitization of businesses in the Rio Grande Valley. Click here to read Part One.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above video story shows Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez and Lone Star National Bank Vice President Julian Alvarez.

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