HARLINGEN, Texas – Harlingen Economic Development Corporation has been working hard to help local businesses that are struggling to survive the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

The HEDC website’s resource page is treasure trove of useful links to help businesses that need help. And, the group is giving out loans to keep local companies stay open. 

Raudel Garza

In a Zoom conversation, Harlingen EDC manager and CEO Raudel Garza said over 100 Harlingen businesses have applied for loans under HELP (Harlingen Emergency Loan Program) for Small Businesses that started May 1. Thus far, he said, 40 have successfully received funding. The EDC has given out over $300,000 in loans and has $700,000 still available to lend.

“We will continue to do this program as long as there is a need,” Garza said. “A lot of restaurants that were starting to open their dining rooms are having to pull back a little bit. Some are a little reluctant to open because of the increase in cases. We are ready to help those businesses that are hurting.”

Asked how the Harlingen economy was faring, Garza said: “I think we are going to rebound pretty well. There has been a decrease in revenues throughout the community. There have been job losses. Unfortunately, we are going to struggle through that for a time. But, hopefully we can get people back on their feet, and get people back into business, once we control this pandemic and  it is safe to go out and do that thing. There are some safe ways of doing it. Right now we are just trying to make sure that those people who are in business stay in business.”

Here is the Ron Whitlock Reports Zoom conversation with Raudel Garza of Harlingen EDC:

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