EL PASO, TX – The City of El Paso announced its partnership with LiftFund, a nonprofit community lender to small businesses, to launch a new Covid Grant Program aimed at supporting establishments that were severely impacted by the pandemic.
The program has dedicated $2.15 million in funding to support local small businesses and non-profit organizations. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can receive $10,000, which can be used for business-related expenses such as payroll, working capital, rent, inventory, supplies, equipment and other operating expenses.
“It is important for the City to support local small businesses because in many ways they help drive our economic growth by creating employment opportunities for people who love our community and want to grow it, while also showcasing the beauty of our region and culture,” said Economic Development Director Elizabeth Triggs.
Applications will be open until May 31 at 5 p.m. (MST), or until funds are exhausted. The City Council reported that priority will be given to applications from small businesses and non-profit organizations that have not previously received Covid assistance funds through a municipal program….
A bilingual virtual information session will be held this March 21 to provide interested applicants with more information about the program, including eligibility, required documents and timeline. In-person application assistance will also be provided by Project Life by appointment only at (915) 465-1191.
The interest rate subsidy program addresses inflation by reducing the cost of borrowing for businesses. Eligible businesses can obtain a fixed interest rate of 2% on their loan. Since its inception, the initiative has allocated $100,000, City Hall detailed.
“At LiftFund, we are honored to team up with the City of El Paso to help small businesses and nonprofits that continue to struggle due to the effects of the pandemic. We understand that times have been difficult, and we want to do all we can to support those who need it most,” said LiftFund founder Janie Barrera.
As a community lender, LiftFund supports small business owners who are often underserved and undervalued. Since 1998, the company has provided nearly $50 million in capital to more than 3,000 small businesses in the El Paso region, 89% of which are Hispanic, 72% are low- to moderate-income, 31% are women, 23% are start-ups and 6% are veteran-owned.