Wilco Forward

Wilco Forward Logo

Williamson County has launched Wilco Forward, a grant program funded through the approximately $93 million the County received from the CARES Act and pursuant to Texas Local Government Code Ch 381. The program was broken into three segments.

In Phase I, the County set aside $35 million for grants to Williamson County small businesses impacted by COVID-19.  The maximum amount a business could receive was $30,000. The deadline to apply for small business funding was June 30, 2020.

Phase II allocated more than $25 million in funding for cities, emergency service districts, the Williamson County and Cities Health District, Bluebonnet Trails, and the YMCA to assist with additional costs due to COVID-19.

Wilco Forward Phase III is funded with $5 million from a combination of Community Development Block Grant funds and federal CARES Act funds. Phase III provides rent and utility assistance to residents that are in need through partnerships with local non-profits. Terms of agreement were approved between Williamson County and The Caring Place, The Salvation Army, and the Round Rock Serving Center. 

“Now that we have assisted thousands of small businesses in our community, it is important to turn our attention to supporting the residents in Williamson County that have been dealing with the financial burdens COVID-19 has caused. We hope this assistance gives those in need some relief,” said Williamson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey. 

The three agencies serve as conduits for assistance. These agencies will be reimbursed by the County for rent assistance and/or utility assistance provided to a landlord, property management company, or utility company between March 1 through December 30, for a total of up to $5 million. The County will monitor the total amount of funds spent to date so that the Phase III budget is not exceeded.   

All three agencies will follow the criteria below to assess eligibility:  

  • All residences assisted must be located in Williamson County 
  • Up to the rent amount based on the lease agreement plus late fees for up to a total of 3 months  
  • For approved applications, the applicant must request additional funds after the first month of assistance on an as needed basis 
  • Up to $1,500 of utility assistance per residence on an as needed basis 
  • Applicant must show evidence that the assistance is needed due to issues caused by COVID-19.  

Each agency will handle the application and vetting process in their service areas, along with the issuing of the checks directly to the landlord, property management company, or utility company.  The following are the service areas for each entity.  

  • Round Rock Area Serving Center: Round Rock, Austin (within Williamson County), Brushy Creek/Fern Bluff MUD, Hutto areas outside of Georgetown ISD 
  • The Caring Place: Georgetown, Andice, Bartlett, Florence, Granger, Jarrell, Jonah, Schwertner, Walburg, Weir, Hutto areas within Georgetown ISD 
  • The Salvation Army: Cedar Park, Coupland, Leander, Liberty Hill, Taylor, Thrall, and all other areas of Williamson County not served by the other two agencies 

Residents will contact the agency serving their city to be able to request financial assistance.  

The Small Business Grant Program has expired.

Wilco Forward Small Business Grant Details

Information and Requirements

  • Recipients must be a sole proprietor or other small business with 100 or fewer Full Time Equivalents (FTE). Business is expected to maintain consistent total FTEs during the Wilco Forward Program.
  • For Eligible Uses incurred from March 27, 2020 to September 30, 2020
  • Eligible amount of grant is the higher of:
    • 1x the average monthly payroll costs for 2019 (same calculation as PPP, including gross payroll, retirement costs and health insurance costs; if not in business in 2019, use 2020, through March 15 to calculate average); if sole proprietor can use average monthly amount of 2019 net income or 2020 net income (must have a net profit) OR
    • 2x fixed costs (rent, lease or mortgage payment of real and business property, real property taxes, business personal property taxes, and utilities excluding costs of your personal residence) calculated on 2019 monthly average (if not in business in 2019, use 2020, through March 15 to calculate average);
  • If owner has more than one business, the owner is eligible for application for up to three businesses (all businesses must be located in Williamson County).  Ownership defined as 20% or more.  Application will include disclosure of all 20% or more owners.
  • Applications and required documentation will be reviewed by assigned Wilco Auditors based on Commissioners Court approved Wilco Forward Program Guidelines. Applicant will receive an email indicating Wilco Forward Program approval or denial.
  • Checks are to be issued to qualifying applicants by Williamson County Accounts Payable. A weekly list will be sent to Commissioners Court for information purposes.
  • Wilco Forward Program Applicant must have no outstanding tax liens or judgments (not including 2019 property taxes).
  • Applicant’s business must have been active since February 15, 2020
  • Deadline for application for Phase I is June 30, 2020.
  • Williamson County is a governmental body subject to the Texas Public Information Act. Information you submit to Williamson County in this application may be subject to the Act and, therefore, subject to public release.

Eligible Uses of Grant Proceeds

  • Payroll costs for employees
  • Contract labor
  • Supplier payments
  • Rent, lease or mortgage payment (for real property used for business purposes, like storefront or warehouse, excluding personal residence.)
  • Rent, lease or purchase payment for business property (e.g., delivery vehicle; food truck; kitchen equipment; technology, payment, and communications systems and equipment)
  • New or expanded technology applications and Wi-Fi services
  • Utility payments for business properties, excluding personal residence.
  • Cost of critical business operations (raw materials, marketing expenses, etc. payments)
  • PPE and sanitation supplies and equipment
  • Interest on other business debt obligations incurred before February 1, 2020, excluding personal residence.

Documentation Required

  • Included with Application - documentation of ongoing concern or business: Secretary of State Texas File number; State of Texas License number; DBA, 2018 or 2019 tax return (return only, schedules not required); Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Click here for instructions on how to get your Secretary of State File Number. 
  • Signature on Application required:
    • Good Faith Certification as to truth and accuracy of information provided
    • That the grant request is necessary due to conditions caused by COVID-19
    • Agreement to audit of the use of grant funds received
    • Agreement to claw-back provisions if funds are used for ineligible purposes
  • Documentation required with application and for proof of fund uses by September 30, 2020: Proof of payment of eligible expenses including Form W-3, Form 941, utility statements, cancelled checks/receipts or bank statements
  • For Sole Proprietor Applicants provide 2018 or 2019 Schedule C
  • Form W-9. For the form W-9 form, click here. 

Ineligible Business Entities

  • Franchisors
  • Real Estate developers/Investors
  • Governmental/taxing agencies/departments
  • Hobby businesses as defined by federal law
  • Multi-level marketing concerns
  • Gambling Concerns, including casinos, racing operations or other activities whose purpose involves gambling
  • Lobbying organizations and political organizations subject to Internal Revenue Code 527
  • Sexually Oriented Businesses (live performances, product sales, items or materials)
  • Businesses primarily engaged in lending, investments, or to an otherwise eligible business engaged in financing or factoring.
  • Pawn Shops
  • An individual who employs household employees such as nannies or housekeepers
  • A business where a 20% or more equity owner is incarcerated, on probation, on parole; presently subject to an indictment, criminal information, arraignment, or other means by which formal criminal charges are brought in any jurisdiction; or has been convicted of a felony within the last five years;
  • Concerns engaged in illegal activities under federal, state or local laws
  • A business that is otherwise prohibited by federal or Texas law
  • A business that is ineligible or precluded to receive federal or State of Texas funding due to federal laws (including but not limited to the CARES Act) or Texas laws

CARES Act Funding

Williamson County received $93,382,340.10 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Aid, also known as CARES Act. The CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund, which will be used to assist states and local governments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued the money to states and certain local governments. The amount issued to each entity is based upon the population as provided in the CARES act. The funds can only be used to cover costs that: 

  • are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 
  • were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 
  • were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020
Grant Program Frequently Asked Questions

My business received PPP funding. Am I still eligible for a Wilco Forward grant?

Yes, businesses that received PPP funding are eligible for Wilco Forward grants. Wilco Forward grant amounts will not take PPP funding into account; however, when reporting on expenditure of Wilco Forward grant funds, businesses should not include expenditures that were paid for by PPP funds.

What documentation do I need to provide to prove that my business is a “going concern”?

The county only needs to receive one document that proves the existence of a business.That document may be the Secretary of State Texas File number; State of Texas License number; DBA, or a tax return.It is not necessary to provide more than one of these documents.

Can supply or inventory costs be included in the calculation of fixed costs?

No. Fixed costs for calculation of the grant amount include only: 1. Rent, lease or mortgage payment; 2. Business personal property taxes; and 3. Utilities. (Cost associated with a personal residence may not be included) However, supply and inventory costs are allowable uses of the grant proceeds.

What businesses are considered “sole proprietorships” for the purpose of using net income to calculate payroll costs

Any business with only one owner that does not have payroll cost may report using net income as a sole proprietor. This includes corporations and LLCs with one owner and with no payroll cost; however, sole proprietors who have payroll costs (that that file 941’s, W-3’s, etc.) must report payroll costs, not net income.

How does the 100%/75%/50% calculation affect the maximum grant amount?

The adjustment to a businesses grant amount is applied after a grant amount is calculated and includes an adjustment to the maximum amount. If a business has payroll or fixed costs that calculate to more than $30,000, then the adjustment is applied to the $30,000 maximum. As a result, businesses that were partially open are eligible for a maximum grant amount of $22,500, and businesses that were fully open are eligible for a maximum grant amount of $15,000.

My business has locations in Williamson County and in other counties. Do I qualify for the Wilco Forward grant program?

Yes, if your business meets the other criteria, you will qualify.  Payroll and/or fixed cost amounts used to calculate the grant amount should be only for those portions of the business that are located in Williamson County.

Please direct any additional questions not answered by the guidance or these FAQ’s to [email protected]