AUSTIN, Texas - Gov. Greg Abbott announced a small business initiative Monday morning that includes $50 million in emergency loans and grants.
Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund will provide “an infusion of capital” to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Abbott said Monday morning during a Zoom conference call with leaders of those organizations.
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The $50 million in loans to small businesses will be available through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. About $25 million of that is through a collaboration between Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund.
“For those who don’t know, Texas has worked with the LiftFund to help small businesses rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. Now, we are collaborating with them once again to help small businesses rebuild from COVID-19,” Abbott said.
The coronavirus pandemic has put millions of people out of work and devastated economies worldwide. The governor said the goal of the loans is to keep as many Texans as possible on the payroll.
“Part of what is happening today is getting small businesses up and running by giving them access to capital that they need to maintain their payrolls. We want to make sure that these small businesses are not going to have to shut down and more importantly they are not going to have to eliminate payroll for their employees simply because their business is required to be closed or drastically limited,” Abbott said.
The governor was joined on the call by Brent Reaves, a co-owner of Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que in Dallas. Reaves participated in Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Program through the Dallas County Community College District.
“It goes without saying that the last few weeks have been a surreal time for business owners. I’m trying to pivot, be agile and find new ways to bring our food to the community,” he said. “When small businesses in Texas needed training to grow, Goldman Sachs stepped up. Now in this time of uncertainty, they are stepping up again to provide capital in this hour of great need.”
When it comes to reopening the state for business, Gov. Abbott said the coronavirus numbers are beginning to show a glimmer of hope with the lowest number of people testing positive in a week on Sunday.
“The curve in the United States of America truly is beginning to flatten,” he said.
Abbott said he has put together a comprehensive team to evaluate what must be done in the state and which types of businesses will be able to reopen first once health officials say it is safe. The businesses that have minimal or zero impact on the spread of COVID-19 will be the first to reopen.
“This is not going to be a rush the gates, everyone will open at once,” he said.
The governor also said there will be an announcement about the fate of the academic school year later this week.