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More than 2,100 apply for Houston’s small business economic relief program

The mayor also announced a $2 million relief program for the arts and cultural community.

HOUSTON — Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city received more than 2,100 applications on the first day of the small business economic relief application process.

Turner said applications were able to be submitted at 8 a.m. and within the first hour they received more than 475 applications. By 3 p.m., he said they had 2,159 applications and another 957 pending.

The relief program for small businesses in Houston launched on Wednesday. The money can cover things like rent, payroll, PPE and marketing.

To qualify, businesses must:

  • Be in business for at least a year
  • Generate $2 million or less in gross annual revenue pre-COVID-19
  • Prove how COVID-19 led to a big drop in business earnings

The BakerRipley COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program and small business economic relief program launched Monday.

Harris County provided $25 million in funding, and the City of Houston provided $20 million, which will be distributed to participating landlords on behalf of eligible tenants.

For qualifications and how the program works, click here. Tenants can begin applying on Aug. 24.

RELATED: Rent relief applications for Houston-area landlords start Monday. Here's what you need to know

COVID-19 resources and emergency financial help for arts and cultural community

The mayor also announced that City Council approved $2 million for the Office of Cultural Affairs for relief grants to distribute to creative businesses hit hard by the pandemic. He explained the arts and cultural sector have not been able to access other avenues of help.

The program is open to the 1,236 businesses that have previously been vetted by their office for grants and can show they have been affected by the pandemic.

“These are important local businesses that have been impacted financially,” Turner said.

He added that the money will come from the city’s federal CARES Act funding.

Individuals will eligible for grants up to $1,000 and non-profit organizations will be eligible for up to $15,000.

To apply for this program, reach out to Debbie McNulty at the Cultural Affairs Office.