ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Small businesses in Round Rock have gained a new resource to help them come through ongoing closures during the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Wednesday, Mayor Craig Morgan announced the Round Rock Cares fund, a new collaborative initiative that aims to help Round Rock businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund is a collaboration between the City of Round Rock, the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation, the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce and Dell Technologies — all of which donated $25,000.
During the Wednesday announcement, Morgan said, “During these trying times, people have been asking ‘What can we do? How can we help?’ It pains me daily to see the impact that this has on our citizens and our businesses.”
Morgan explained that while churches and nonprofits exist and support individuals, small businesses aren’t.
“The City of Round Rock has invested millions into downtown, which just two weeks ago was a thriving downtown, and now looks like a ghost town. So we came up with an idea to help bridge, to help businesses. So that when this is over, they’ll be able to reopen in a couple months and rehire the employees that they’ve had to let go.”Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan
The mayor said that while the $100,000 may not seem like a lot, every bit of funding helps to support the area businesses that need it the most.
Local business owners will be able to apply at the Round Rock Cares official website. Among the criteria for funding include having a Round Rock address and employing 50 full-time equivalent employees or fewer.
Round Rock Cares says priority will be given to businesses that have been forced to close; lay off employees; limit operations to take-out, curbside, or delivery; or else can prove financial hardship that put future operation in jeopardy.
Money that’s granted to businesses can be used for lease and mortgage payments, payroll, utilities, and other business needs as approved by a funding oversight committee.
Businesses must apply for funding by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3.
Morgan also implored residents and other businesses that are able to help pitch into the fund and make sure Round Rock businesses make it through the closures. In addition to continuing to support local businesses, Morgan said residents can donate at Round Rock Cares.
Former Round Rock Mayor Nyle Maxwell, of the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation, explained that donations made by private individuals are tax deductible.
“The citizens of Round Rock joining the business community in this type of collaboration is what makes Round Rock a special place to live.”