Fort Bend County allocates millions to help small businesses and nonprofits

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- As the deadline to spend COVID-19 relief money approaches, Fort Bend County leaders are allocating millions of federal dollars to help businesses, and nonprofits that serve struggling neighbors.

Second Mile in Missouri City said the carts and lines never seem to slow down, especially during the pandemic.

Isaac Somiah has found himself visiting the nonprofit during the pandemic.

"I'm haven't worked since March," Somiah said. "It has been very hard."

Second Mile helps people with food, rent and utilities.

On Wednesday, Somiah was one of dozens who received a trunk full of goods.

"It brings me a lot of joy because even if you don't have money in your pocket, you have food, and that's the most important thing," Somiah explained.

Since March, Second Mile volunteers have barely had time for a break.

"We're now serving 252 families a day, as opposed to last year, it was between 40 and 60 a day," Second Mile executive director Sarah White said.

To make it work, the agency needs more volunteers than money.

Thankfully, more help is on the way.

County commissioners allocated half a million dollars to help these five local nonprofits: Attack Poverty, Katy Christian Ministries, Casa el Buen Samaritano, East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry and Second Mile.

"We believe these funds will help us when we're able to get them," White explained. "We'll be equipped to help more people."

County leaders also approved more help for small businesses.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken DeMerchant pushed for $2 million of federal dollars be allocated for a small business relief program, which commissioners approved.

Even if an owner received money before, DeMerchant said they can apply again.

But the clock is ticking. The CARES Act funds must be spent by the end of the year.

"They are simply helping our citizens," Fort Bend County Judge KP George explained. "Supporting them and caring for them is only a common sense thing as far as I'm concerned."

Interested business owners can apply for the grant here.

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