Three years have passed since Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area and other counties in the state. Texas Back in Business is a program designed to help small businesses that were affected get back on their feet, awarding grants to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
The damages caused by Hurricane Harvey were estimated at $125 billion, causing many small businesses to struggle to reopen their doors following the storm’s aftermath.
Dan Slane, CEO of Texas Back in Business, gave credit to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee as the inspiration behind starting the Texas Back in Business Program.
The qualifications a business needs in order to be awarded a grant are that they must have been in business at the start of the storm, must be classified as a small business by the Small Businesses Administration standards, suffered damages from Hurricane Harvey, not privately-owned utility and must be in one of the 49 impacted counties.
On Feb. 18, the Huntsville City Council met and listened to the program’s proposal. Councilmember Paul Davidhizar explained the procedures of filling out paperwork and then being submitted into a pool for random selection.
“I know the grant would be very helpful for any businesses in Walker County that might receive it,” Davidhizar said. “I would encourage any small business that was affected by Hurricane Harvey to apply for the grant.”
Councilmember Blake Irving also shared his thoughts on the Texas Back in Business program.
“This program is like any other, it’s not designed to put you back in business with more output than before, but depending on the amount the business receives it will at least get you on your feet and give you breathing room,” Irving said. “I hope all small business owners take advantage of this opportunity to get back on track and exceed their expectations.”
Councilmember Joe Rodriquez responded with a more tentative response to the program and it’s handling of money.
“My prior law enforcement experience has shown that anytime there is a program advertising free money from the government, fraud and greed raise their heads,” Rodriquez said.
To find out more about the Texas Back in Business program, visit their website texasbackinbusiness.com.