On Friday, Dallas County Commissioners voted to add $30 million to the Emergency Business Assistance Program (EBAP), a fund established to provide economic relief to the county’s small businesses.
The county initially allocated $5 million from its federal CARES Act funds to EBAP when the program was established in June.
“With 53 [percent] of the nation’s jobs coming from businesses with less than 100 employees, and with many of these jobs being disproportionately held by low- and moderate-income people with resources that are already limited, much of the local economy is at great risk,” the county said in a press release at the time.
Small businesses in North Texas have suffered severe losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, Dallas County said that 30 percent of small businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area would run out of cash after only three or four weeks.
Libertine Bar on Dallas’ Greenville Avenue pleaded with its customers this past weekend to place to-go orders.
“Trying to stay alive, Dallas,” Libertine Bar said on its Facebook page.
“Ordering food and drinks literally keeps 2-3 people making SOME kind of money. Stay Safe. Hopefully our ‘leaders’ will start to lead better. Because no one that worked or works here is doing ok.”
On June 26, citing a spike in reported COVID-19 cases, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered bars to close for the second time and reinstated restrictions on restaurant capacity, an executive action that some jurisdictions such as the City of Abilene have declined to enforce.
EBAP offers assistance to small businesses via loans of up to $15,000.
Dallas County is using a third party, the National Development Council (NDC), to handle requests for small business loans.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan in Dallas. During the academic year, he coaches high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.