The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on small and minority-owned businesses. In order to keep these companies afloat, pro-business groups have been awarding sizable grants to those with compelling applications.
Local small and minority-owned businesses currently have three opportunities to apply for funds through the Job Creators Quest Grant, the Harris County Small Business Relief Program, and the Comcast RISE Investment Fund.
Read on for more information on how to apply for these awards.
Job Creators Quest Grants
Applications accepted through September 22
First Founders CDC launched its Job Creators Quest Grant to award $100,000 grants to support minority-owned businesses, including companies founded by LGBTQ individuals.
Thirty grants will be awarded to businesses located in the North, Central, and South Texas regions that employ a diverse management staff. Qualified businesses must have a current staff of 2 to 20 employees and the ability to add 1 to 2 net new premium-wage jobs (rather than minimum-wage jobs) within the next 12 months.
For more information or to apply, visit foundersfirstcdc.org/texas.
Harris County Small Business Relief Fund
Applications accepted from September 20 to October 4
Harris County has approved a $30 million relief fund to support small and micro businesses recovering from the effects of the pandemic. The Harris County Small Business Relief Fund was created with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, and is being administered by LiftFund, a nonprofit organization that supports small-business owners with funding and business education.
To qualify for this Harris County program, a business must be located in Harris County, registered as a business operating in Harris County, and have 30 or fewer employees (including part-time and full-time employees, contractors, and owners). The business must have been in operation before April 2020, and must have experienced a negative impact on operations due to the pandemic. Annual revenue must be less than $500,000 for 2019 and 2020, and the business must be in good standing with the Texas Comptroller’s office with no outstanding tax obligations or liabilities.
For more information or to apply, visit harriscountybusinessrelief.org.
Comcast RISE Investment Fund
Applications accepted from October 1 to October 14
Comcast is again awarding $1 million to Houston-area small businesses owned by people of color—including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners (among others). The effort is part of the Comcast RISE Investment Fund program, a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in late 2020 to provide BIPOC-owned businesses with the resources and tools they need.
The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is focused on small businesses in Harris County and Fort Bend County that have been in business for three or more years with 1 to 25 employees. Beginning October 1, eligible businesses can apply for 100 grants of $10,000 each. Applications must be received by October 14.
For more information or to apply, visit comcastrise.com.