The Helotes Economic Development Corporation is funding $425,000 to provide rapid financial assistance to small businesses located in the City of Helotes that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and require financial assistance to meet all of their business needs. Local Helotes small businesses and non-profits may be eligible to obtain grant funds up $25,000 of emergency relief to be used for business continuity.
The grant application portal will open at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, April 5. The grant application portal will close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 23, 2021.
Applicants should use the grant portal to complete their application online. Once you start the online process, you will need to have all documentation accessible on your computer and ready for upload into the online system. Review the Helotes Small Business Grant Program Documentation Checklist for details. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
Click here to review the Helotes Small Business Grant Program Guidelines.
The City of Helotes has partnered with economic development nonprofit organization BCL to administer the grants. BCL will be responsible for collection of applicant documents, ensuring applicant eligibility, and securing verification/records to demonstrate a need for funding.
Eligible Businesses Eligible businesses must have a physical address and operate in the City of Helotes.
A small business or small nonprofit must satisfy the following criteria to be eligible to receive a grant award:
- Must meet the definition of an “eligible small business” (see Definitions and Additional Information in the Helotes Small Business Grant Program Guidelines.
- Businesses must currently be operating
- Business must be impacted by COVID-19 and the health and safety restrictions, such as business interruptions or business closures incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Business must be able to provide organizing documents including 2018 or 2019 tax returns or Form 990s, copy of official filing with the Texas Secretary of State, if applicable, or local municipality for the business such as one of the following: Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration, or Government-Issued Business License.
- Applicant must be able to provide acceptable form of government-issued photo ID.
- Applicants with multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants and are only allowed to apply once using their eligible small business with the highest revenue.
- Businesses without a physical location in the City of Helotes
- Nonprofit businesses not registered as either a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), or 501(c)(19)
- Government entities or elected official offices
- Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities (regardless of whether such entities qualify as an eligible small nonprofit)
- Passive businesses, investment companies, and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns
- Churches and other religious institutions (regardless of whether such entities qualify as an eligible small nonprofit)
- Financial businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies, and factoring companies
- Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state, or local law
- Businesses of professional services such as physicians, clinics, dentists, attorneys, engineers, architects, insurance agencies, vacation and long-term rentals, and sexually oriented businesses
- Businesses engaged in any socially undesirable activity or activity that maybe considered predatory in nature such as rent-to-own businesses and check cashing businesses
- Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity
- Speculative businesses
- Businesses of which any owner of greater than 20% of the equity interest in it (i) has within the prior three-years been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against such owner, or has had commenced any form of parole or probation (including probation before judgment), for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public (federal, state, or local) transaction or contract under a public transaction; violation of federal or state anti-trust or procurement statutes or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property, or (ii) is presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a government entity, (federal,state or local) with commission of any of the offenses enumerated in subparagraph (i) above
- “Affiliated” companies (as such term is defined in 13C.F.R.§121.103)
- Multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants and are only allowed to apply once using their eligible small business with the highest revenue
- Business who received more than $20,000 from previous Helotes EDC, Bexar County, or LiftFund COVID-19 grant funds
Uses of Funds
Only those costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety restrictions such as business interruptions or business closures incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are the eligible uses of grant funds:
- All employee expenses including payroll costs, healthcare benefits, paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums
- Working capital, overhead (including rent, utilities, mortgage principal and interest payments (excluding mortgage prepayments), debt obligations (principal and interest) incurred before March 1,2020
- Costs associated with re-opening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to state-mandated COVID-19 health and safety restrictions and business closures
- Costs associated with complying with COVID-19 federal, state, or local guidelines for reopening with required safety protocols, including but not limited to equipment, plexiglass barriers, outdoor dining, PPE supplies, testing, and employee training expenses
- Any other COVID-19 related expenses not already covered (for the same period) through grants, forgivable loans, or other relief through federal, state, county, or city programs
Ineligible Uses of Funds
- Human resource expenses for the State share of Medicaid
- Employee bonuses or severance pay
- Legal settlements
- Personal expenses or other expenses unrelated to COVID-19 impacts
- Expenses for repairs from damages already covered by insurance
- Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services
Ready to Apply
Ensure you have all the items listed on the Helotes Small Business Grant Program Documentation Checklist easily accessible on your computer and ready for upload. These items will be required during the online application process. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
For questions about the program or application process, call us at (210) 767-2549 or email HelotesGrant@bcloftexas.org.
Income and Economic Injury
Do I have to demonstrate economic injury to qualify for this program? Yes, you must show a loss of at least 15% of gross revenue for any quarter in 2020 or 2021 as compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
My business was on track to show big growth, but only grew slightly or did not grow at all. Am I eligible for this program? In order to be eligible, you must show a loss of at least 15% of gross revenue for any quarter of 2020 as compared to the same quarter in 2019.
Is there a minimum or maximum annual revenue to qualify for this program? Yes. In order to be eligible for this program, your business must have annual gross revenues of not more than $4 million from all business activities during 2020.
Where does my business need to be located to be eligible for this program? Your business must be located and operating within the City of Helotes’ full purpose jurisdictional boundaries.
My business is just outside Helotes, or my business is located in the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction of Helotes. Am I eligible? No, your business must be located and operating within the City of Helotes’ full purpose jurisdictional boundaries.
What if my business has a Helotes address but isn’t in Helotes City Limits? To qualify for this program, your business location must be within the City of Helotes’ full purpose jurisdictional boundaries.
What if my home address is within the City of Helotes limits, but my business is not? For the purposes of eligibility for this program, only the address where your business is physically located and operating is considered and it must be City of Helotes’ full purpose jurisdictional boundaries. Your home address is not a factor for eligibility for this program.
What if I live outside of Helotes but my business is within the Helotes City limits? For the purposes of eligibility for this program, only the address where your business is physically located and operating is considered and it must be within City of Helotes’ full purpose jurisdictional boundaries. Your home address is not a factor for eligibility for this program.
What if my business address is in the eligible area, but my service area is outside of Helotes City Limits? For the purposes of eligibility for this program, only the address where your business is physically located and operating is considered. Your service area is not a factor in eligibility.
What is a maximum amount of funding my business may qualify to receive? Applicants will be eligible for a grant of up to $25,000.
How will I receive funding for this program if I am awarded a grant? If awarded a grant, you will receive the full amount of your award directly from the City of Helotes and Economic Development Services.
Are there any restrictions on eligible expenses? No. If awarded this grant, you may use the funds for business needs at your discretion.
Can I use grant funds to pay my employees? Yes. If awarded this grant, you may use the funds for business needs at your discretion.
Can I use grant funds to pay for product and inventory? Yes. If awarded this grant, you may use the funds for business needs at your discretion.
Other Grant Programs
Am I eligible if I’ve applied for another grant or loan program? Business who received Bexar County COVID-19 grant funds thru the LiftFund Small Business Disaster Relief Programs are eligible for reduced grants offered by the HEDC.
Am I eligible if I’ve received funding from Bexar County Small Business Grant Fund administered by LiftFund? Due to federal guidelines, each business owner can receive only one source of C.A.R.E.S. Act funding. Businesses who received Bexar County COVID-19 grant or loan funds thru the LiftFund Small Business Disaster Relief Programs are not eligible for this program. Although, businesses are eligible to receive the difference of the HEDC $25,000 grant minus what the business received from Bexar County or Liftfund.
Am I eligible if I’ve applied for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)? Yes, you are eligible if you received PPP or EIDL funding.
Eligibility - Number of Employees
How many employees must I have to be eligible for this program? Your business must have had 40 or fewer full-time equivalent employees as of March 1, 2020.
I have more than 40 employees, but some are some part-time. How do they factor in to eligibility? Full-time equivalency is calculated by the number of hours part-time employees work. For example, 2 part-time employees each working 20 hours per week would equal the equivalent of 1 full-time employee.
Am I required to keep the same number of employees in order to be eligible at time of this application? Yes. Grant awardees must be willing to maintain current level of employees and remain in business for at least 6 months.
My business is a sole proprietorship. Am I eligible? Yes, sole proprietorships are eligible.
Other Eligibility Questions
Are franchises eligible? Yes, if the franchise is local, you may apply with only one franchise location.
How long does my business need to have been open to qualify for this grant? Eligible businesses must have been in operation prior to February 1, 2020.
Am I eligible with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number? It depends. The registered business must have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and the owner must be a permanent resident to qualify.
How do I apply if I have multiple businesses, or multiple locations for one business? Each business owner may only submit one application, regardless of the number of locations or businesses. To be eligible, the business location that applies and must be located within Helotes City Limits.
My business has multiple locations. Can I submit an application for each location? No, each business owner may only submit one application and it must be within the City of Helotes’ full purpose jurisdictional boundaries.
Applications and Priority
Is this program a first-come, first-served program? No. We will review all applications and make awards to those that qualify, with a priority on businesses that need funding the most.
What will happen if I submit an incomplete application or have some documents or pages missing? If any information is missing or incomplete, it will be incumbent upon you, as the applicant, to correct the missing or incomplete information – otherwise, your application will be determined incomplete and ineligible. Our team is not responsible to reaching out to you to correct an incomplete application.