Williamson County’s Wilco Forward Small Business Grant Program issued 3,662 checks for a total of more than $34.2 million. The financial boost helped thousands of small businesses that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The County’s Auditor’s Office received a total of 4,194 applications from May 6, to June 30. A majority of the 466 applications that were denied were duplicates. The Auditor’s Office is still reviewing 66 more applications. While the amount issued per grant depended on whether the business was fully or partially closed starting March 2020, the average grant was $9,350.54. Both for-profit and non-profit businesses headquartered and located in Williamson County were eligible to apply. The deadline to apply for a grant was June 30.
The program was made possible thanks to CARES Act Funds the County received from the federal government. Out of $93 million, $35 million was allocated for Wilco Forward, the remainder of the money will be utilized in phases.
“Our small business owners are a vital part of our community and the backbone of our economy, that is why the success of the Wilco Forward program was crucial to providing funds that would help them stay in business. It is also important that we provide short term support for those that have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 by providing assistance for rent and utilities,” said Williamson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey.
Phase II includes reimbursing cities, the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD), Emergency Service Districts (ESD), Bluebonnet Trails, and YMCA for COVID-19 response expenses.
- $500,000 was allocated for ESDs. The ESDs in Jollyville, Sam Bass, Hutto Liberty Hill, Jarrell, Weir, and Florence received reimbursement checks. Coupland is still pending.
- A total of $20 million will be split up and used to support cities
- WCCHD will receive up to $1 million
- $500,000 will be granted to Bluebonnet Trails
- YMCA is expected to receive up to $750,000
Phase III, which County Commissioners are expected to vote on before the end of the month, will focus on a community assistance program that will be rolled out through local non-profits serving the community like the Round Rock Area Serving Center, The Caring Place, and The Salvation Army. The goal is to provide a level of financial relief to residents by supporting them with bills like rent and utilities. A total of $5 million has been allocated to launch this phase.