BEEVILLE – A group of small business owners in the city can breathe a little easier thanks to the Beeville Economic Improvement Corp. (BEIC).
That is because at a May 26 special meeting, the corporation’s board voted unanimously to award grants totaling $115,795 as part of its COVID-19 Disaster Relief Grant Program. The program, which is in cooperation with the Bee Area Partnership (BAP), is awarding qualifying businesses up to $9,999 to pay for rent, small business assistance for expenses directly related to the coronavirus crisis or three months’ worth of payroll. Prior to its decision to award the funds, the board voted to stipulate that businesses receiving funds must spend the money within 90 days.
City Councilman Eric Holland, who also serves as the BAP’s treasurer, said 41 businesses applied for aid. However, many of the applications were disqualified because they were not complete.
When awarding the funds, neither the board nor Holland named the recipients or the projects for which the money would be used. When the Bee-Picayune asked for this data, Holland said it only could be obtained by filing an open records request.
According to the information provided in the response, BEIC awarded funds to 29 businesses. Of those grants, 17 were for rental assistance, with amounts ranging from $2,400 to $9,999.
Seven small business assistance grants, ranging from $3,400 to $9,999, were approved for small business assistance. The remaining five projects for payroll assistance were funded from $2,500 to $9,999.
During the discussion about the grants, BEIC board member Orlando Vasquez relayed concerns he had heard from some area business owners. He said they complained that there was not enough time to complete an application because of when they found out about the program. The application process opened as of the BEIC’s May 5 meeting, and all applications and supporting documents were due to be submitted May 19. It also was the subject of an article in the May 14 edition of the Bee-Picayune.
“This application, really, I don’t think it’s difficult for myself,” said board member Libby Spires. “It may take a little bit of legwork, if you do it yourself, to actually get the finance information.”
Businesses awarded grant funds are:
• Bee Royalty Party Place, rental assistance, $7,500
•Roma’s Italian Restaurant, rental assistance, $5,400
• The Dance Studio, rental assistance $3,900
• Wicker Basket, rental assistance, $3,000
• Beeville Donuts & Café, rental assistance $6,750
•Total Graphics, small business assistance, $7,100
• Bee is for Books, payroll assistance, $2,500
• FIXiphone, rental assistance, $2,400
• A Place for Paws, rental assistance, $5,250
• Bella’s Cottage Inc., rental assistance, $3,450
• BTX Fitness, rental assistance, $6,000
• Bee Family Fun Center, small business assistance, $9,525.25
• Fuller Tractor, small business assistance, $9,999
• Kids R People 2 Daycare, payroll assistance, $9,999
• Lazy R Saddle Shop, rental assistance, $3,705
• VFW Post 9170, small business assistance, $9,900
• Taqueria Vallarta, small business assistance, $9,999
• Gasthaus Berliner Bear, rental assistance, $4,290
• Quick Silver Inc., rental assistance, $9,906
• Mira Vision, rental assistance, $4,500
• B-Paleteria, rental assistance, $2,850
• TLC Pharmacy & Medical Equipment, payroll assistance, $9,999
• Full Circle Village, rental assistance, $9,999
• River Bend Sports Bar, small business assistance, $9,999
• Flipping by Faith Too, rental assistance, $4,500
• Beeville Dental Care, small business assistance, $3,400
• Laugh, Love and Learn Child Care Center, payroll assistance, $9,999
• Hattie & Hazel’s, rental assistance, $9,999
• Westmoreland Electric LLC, payroll assistance, $9,999.