The list of applicants ranged from a restaurant, jewelry store, beauty and barber establishments, and a medical clinic.
The third set of loan recipients received loans ranging from $7,000 to the maximum amount of $10,000.
HELP for Small Business was launched on May 1. Twenty-four small businesses have been approved thus far for loans. The total amount lent out is now at $253,500. The program started with a $1 million fund, so funding is still available for eligible businesses.
“The HEDC and the City started this program to reach those in need, and we are doing that.” Raudel Garza, Harlingen EDC CEO, said. “This program is also helping us connect better with the small businesses here. Many of them are understanding the resources available to them through the HEDC.”
“The reaction to the program has been very positive, and there have been many tears of joy, virtual hugs and high-fives.”
At the most recent regular Harlingen EDC board meeting held Tuesday, June 23, board members approved changes to the applicable terms.
The board approved to raise the max number of employees to 50 and decrease the loss of revenues to 10%. Currently, businesses must have 25 or less employed and proof of a 25% loss of revenues during the COVID-19 crisis period.
These changes will not be made effective until the Harlingen EDC takes presents the changes before the City of Harlingen City Commission for approval.
Small business owners are still encouraged to apply if they believe they meet the qualifications.
Receiving funds from federal resources such as a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) does not disqualify them from these local funds if they show a bigger financial need.
“It’s great that the city and the EDC have been able to help out with the HELP loan,” Frankie Flav’z owner, Frank Macias, said. Macias was recently approved for the HELP for Small Business loan that he intends to use to help expand his business.
“This loan will help your business as they’re (HEDC) out to help small businesses.”