Bexar County to Assess Creation of Small Business Loan Program Amid Coronavirus Outbreak


Bexar County Commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. on Tuesday to consider creating loan and grant programs to help small businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and will take action on other issues unrelated to the health crisis on a short agenda.

Bexar County Commissioners’ Court will consider approval of an interest-free grant and loan agreement with LiftFund, a 26-year-old San Antonio-based nonprofit, for two programs to issue a total of 5 $ 250,000 in loans and grants over four years.

The programs are meant to stimulate and encourage trade and commerce, promote Bexar County and increase employment opportunities “during this difficult time,” according to a county memo.

Under Bexar County’s COVID-19 loan program, the county is reportedly investing $ 5 million for loans of up to $ 25,000 to small businesses, which could defer principal payments for up to four months. The county would also provide a $ 250,000 grant to LiftFund to provide one-time economic development grants of $ 5,000 to “micro-businesses” with five or fewer employees that have suffered financial losses from the pandemic.

Finally, the county would provide a grant of $ 400,000 in four annual installments of $ 100,000 to LiftFund to administer the loan and grant programs.

Seating at Tuesday’s meeting will be limited, with chairs spaced at least 6 feet apart. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff signed an order last week limiting the number of people in an enclosed space to 10. The meeting will be held in the double-height courtroom of the Bexar County Courthouse, which under normal circumstances can seat around 170 people. , with 50 additional seats on the balcony.

As usual, the meeting will be webcast live on the county’s website, bexar.org.

Monica Ramos, head of public information for Bexar County, said the county wanted to facilitate access to the meeting while maintaining distance between individuals for health reasons. County residents and staff will be able to hear audio of the meeting from the hallway and enter the courtroom when their item is discussed or presented.

Ramos said the county is developing ways for residents to send statements or call with comments by phone during the public comment portion of commissioner meetings while health restrictions remain in place.

Scott Huddleston is covering Bexar County Government and the Alamo for the San Antonio Express-News. Read it on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | [email protected] | Twitter: @shuddlestonSA

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