Small Business Loan Program for Fort Bend County Nears Approval

Eligible businesses must have been significantly impacted by the pandemic or be a new business that will contribute to the county’s economic recovery. (Courtesy of Fotolia)

$2 million will potentially be available for small businesses in Fort Bend County that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through the Regional Revolving Loan Program.

The program is in partnership with Fort Bend County and the Houston-Galveston Regional Council. It was unanimously approved at the Feb. 8 meeting of the Fort Bend County Commissioners’ Court. The program will be presented to the H-GAC Board on February 15 for approval and will be launched shortly thereafter.

“The Triple R Program offers businesses in Fort Bend County that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic the opportunity to apply for grants and loans that will help them recover, thrive and demonstrate resilience,” said Omar Fortune, head of small business finance for H-GAC, via email.

Businesses interested in the loan program will need to see if they qualify and then complete an application to be considered. Eligible businesses must have been significantly impacted by the pandemic or be a new business that will contribute to the county’s economic recovery. An example of an affected business would be one that had to close due to the pandemic.

To promote equity and awareness, the program will raise awareness among minority and women-owned businesses, according to the agenda papers.

A company cannot receive funds greater than $1 million, according to the agenda documents. The program will be available until December 31, 2028, if approved. Applicants are encouraged to use the Fort Bend County Small Business Emergency Grants Consultant for assistance with their applications once they are available.

The loans are meant to cover things like rent, mortgages and payroll for businesses to help them recover.

“This is the first of its kind in the state that I know of. Hopefully other jurisdictions will follow our lead,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers.

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