Billions in Covid Relief Help Houston Area Businesses Stay Afloat
HOUSTON – Following an immense outreach effort by the Houston District Office team, District Director Tim Jeffcoat announced the results of over a year and a half of small business support induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over $22 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aid was distributed to businesses in Houston, accounting for more than 336,000 approved loans during the two rounds of funding in 2020 and 2021. Of the District’s 32-county coverage area, Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, and Jefferson counties received the largest number of PPP loans. In Texas, over 320,000 businesses received Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), totaling more than $17 billion.
Targeted EIDL Advances totaled $88 million, and the Supplemental Targeted Advance totaled $29 million in the state. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program remains open until December 31, 2021.
Like many local businesses, La Calle Tacos in Downtown Houston utilized the Paycheck Protection Program to stay afloat. “Funds came in just in time for us to be able to stay in business. We were able to immediately bring all our staff back”, said Ramon Soriano, CEO of La Calle Tacos, “we are looking forward to continuing with our growth plan and generating jobs and revenues this year”.
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In addition to PPP and EIDL, funds from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) are currently being disbursed to eligible businesses. Preliminary data indicates that over 1,700 food businesses benefitted from awards under the Restaurant Revitalization Fund for more than $400 million in the Houston District. Restaurants, caterers, and bars led the way with the most funding.
Since March of 2020, the 14-person staff in the Houston District Office has hosted 1,276 webinars, reaching approximately 125,000 people across the region. About 100 of those webinars were in languages other than English. With an average of 20 webinars per week, the team was able to educate businesses, lenders, and partners about topics ranging from Covid-related assistance to federal contracting and access to capital.
The agency’s mission was further bolstered by the SBA Resource Partner network, which includes the University of Houston Small Business Development Center, SCORE Houston, the WBEA-Women’s Business Center, and the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Center.