Harris County Small business grant program restarted, here's how it's different

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County restarted its small business grant program, but if you're looking for money, the county made some changes.

JC Sports in Atascocita closed its doors for more than two months. They reopened after receiving $25,000 from Harris County.

"Because of that grant, I'm up to date on my bills," owner, Jennifer Coronel explained. " I don't have creditors chasing me down. Thank God."

Coronel applied when the program only offered $10 million, and was a first come, first serve basis.

As the program resumes, it looks a little different.

This time, there's $30 million available.

This first round helped 430 business. It's open to a lot more in the second round, but already 1,000 applied Monday morning.

"Over ten days, we will see thousands more for a program we hope to be able to support 1,500," Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia explained.

Businesses must have less than 30 employees. Owners can receive $25,000.

There's no need to rush to apply. Owners will be selected at random.

This applies to all kinds of businesses. "A salon that's employed 10 people for 20 years," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. "A local bakery, an auto repair shop, the corner pharmacy, mom and pop cafés and restaurants."

It won't take long for owners to get money. It should start flowing by the beginning of August.

At JC Sports, money came quick enough to allow staff, and young athletes to return.

"Go for it," Coronel said. "It's free money. It's free money to keep your doors open."

Applications will be accepted until next Friday. If you're interested call 713-845-2476, or click here.

Fort Bend County is also looking to help small business owners after launching a similar program last month. The county budgeted for more than $30 million in relief, but only about $20 million has been requested. If you want to learn more, click here.

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