Buda on its third wave of small business support

By Sahar Chmais

In another move to support Buda businesses impacted by the coronavirus, the Buda Economic Development Corporation has opened up a new loan for Buda businesses including those in the ETJ.

“We hope this loan helps a number of Buda businesses who are facing hardships during this unprecedented time,” said Jennifer Storm, president of Buda EDC. “Any business owner that needs a hand up could benefit from this program.”

Buda has already created two business funding programs, and this will be a third opportunity for businesses to partake. The Still Budaful Small Business Loan Program was approved by city council for a total of $100,000 and provides an interest-free loan of up to $10,000 for each business that applies and qualifies. Application submission will be open until Aug. 26 at 5 p.m.

“This loan program,” Storm said, “creates an opportunity for businesses in the city of Buda and its ETJ to continue to get support as they need it.”

This loan is forgivable under certain conditions.

Loan forgiveness applies if a business can retain or create at least one full-time job within three months after receiving the funds. The business must also stay open for at least six months after applying. Businesses wanting to participate must also sign as individual borrowers and cannot change the type of business once they receive their loans.

Businesses that receive a loan should cover costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, cost of goods sold, inventory and other ordinary costs of doing business outlined in the program’s guidelines.

Not all businesses will be able to receive the loan, but evaluations are based off of current need, physical location, eligibility and availability of funds.

Eligibility for the loan requires that businesses have 50 or fewer employees, businesses must be located in the city limits or ETJ, must be registered as a business with the Texas Secretary of State and be in good standing. Businesses have to provide information about their revenue and prove they are experiencing extreme hardship.

Loan should be used to cover rent or mortgage, employee support, utilities, purchase of supplies to offer alternative business access, COVID-19 supplies for cleaning and protection, and more.

So far, during the pandemic, the city of Buda has provided several funding opportunities to businesses and they have waived rent costs for Inspired Minds Art Center for several months.

“We do not know what the future holds during Covid and beyond,” Storm told the Hays Free Press, “but one thing will remain – Buda supports its businesses, today and into the future.”

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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