Bastrop EDC awards $185,000 in relief grants to 62 Bastrop businesses amid coronavirus

14 Apr 2020

The Bastrop Economic Development Corporation authorized a relief grant program Monday that will distribute $185,000 to 62 Bastrop businesses struggling through the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Depending on their size and overall contribution to the local economy, each business will receive a grant totaling between $750 and $9,500.

“Each business must use the funds awarded to expand their business enterprise after the contraction they have experienced since the onset of the virus and the actions taken to slow the spread,” BEDC CEO Cameron Cox said in a news release.

The awards require each business to sign a performance agreement in which recipients agree to use the money to retain jobs, create new jobs lost during the pandemic or for any capital improvements. The use of these funds expire one year from signing the performance agreement, at which point the businesses are required to show the BEDC tax receipts and employment reports for 2020.

The BEDC’s board approved the expenditure on Monday. Board members were not given the identities of the businesses slated to receive grants in order to “objectively make these decisions,” Cox said. The Advertiser obtained the list of approved businesses Monday evening after the board’s vote.

The funds will be distributed to the businesses over the next two weeks and will be sourced from two BEDC funds: an $150,000 business incentive fund and an $150,000 fund for business expansion or retention.

The $185,000 emergency grant distribution leaves room in the BEDC funds to potentially issue a second round of grants next month if businesses are still not allowed to reopen. Businesses who were awarded money during the first round of grants will be eligible for an award in the second round, Cox said.

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