Harlingen’s Emergency Loan Program (HELP) for Small Business Now Available

HARLINGEN, TEXAS (May 8, 2020) – The Harlingen Economic Development Corporation announced Harlingen’s Emergency Loan Program (HELP) for Small Business last month in response to the economic impact that Harlingen small businesses were experiencing.

The Harlingen EDC Board of Directors set aside $1,000,000 to establish the fund in order for the Harlingen EDC to provide emergency loans at zero (0%) interest to qualified businesses.

“Our business community is so interconnected and when businesses are hurting, it impacts others as well,” Mickey Boland, HEDC President, said.

“The decision to approve this program wasn’t a difficult choice to make. Business owners have dedicated their time and lives to providing a service to us, our community, and they are hurting. HELP can give them the assistance they need right now.”

Business owners began applying May 1, 2020 on the HEDC website and there will be a five-round process with the initial $200,000 being given to 20 or more applicants depending on the needs or other factions.

How does it work?

In order to qualify for a HELP loan of up to $10,000, a Harlingen business application must meet the following:

  1. Have applied for an EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) with the Small Business Administration (SBA), or
  2. Have applied for a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan through a local lender; and
  3. Has not taken the loan or has not received funding, or
  4. If the applicant did take an EIDL or PPP loan, then the applicant must substantiate the need for more funding in an explanation in the narrative section of the application.

The applicant must also:

  • Show a loss of revenues greater than 25% during this crisis period versus last year,
    • or if it is a new business, show a loss of revenues greater than 25% versus the previous 6-month average of monthly sales, or
  • Provide evidence of extreme hardship, and
  • Have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent* employees working in Harlingen as of March 1, 2020, and
  • Commit to staying in Harlingen throughout the term of the loan 

How do business owners calculate FTEs?

As it applies to HELP, Full-Time Equivalent (FTEs) are defined as 1,664-hours worked per year or 32-hours worked per week, per position or job. Part-time employees or positions can be combined to equal one FTE.

To qualify for HELP, businesses with 25 or fewer employees should not exceed 41,600-hours worked per year for all employees combined. If the applicant uses FTEs for this eligibility requirement, the applicant MUST provide sufficient documentation to show how the number of employees was calculated, which could include payroll records, F941, and TWC reports.

Here’s the formula to help determine total combined FTEs:

Total annual employee hours worked/1,664 = Number of FTEs

Example: 41,600/1,664 = 25 FTEs

The application can be found here and business owners applying must submit all the correct documents in order to be considered for HELP.  Still unsure about which steps to follow or paperwork to have ready before you apply? Watch this video here for a step-by-step. If you need further assistance, give us a call at 956-216-5082.