EDINBURG — Businesses and residents have until 3 p.m. Wednesday to apply for federal coronavirus stimulus funds being distributed by the city.
The city is planning to allocate $2.5 million of those funds through its Stimulus Program Aimed at Recovery from COVID Program, or SPARC, which is awarding funds in the amount of $2,000 to businesses and $100 to individual residents.
Half of the $2.5 million is available to businesses and half is available to individual residents.
The $2,000 grant available to businesses can be used to provide financial assistance toward business operations including inventory, rent or mortgage, utilities, marketing, or purchase of personal protective equipment.
The $100 grant for residents will be awarded via a gift card that can only be used at businesses that received the $2,000 in grant funding.
Eligible businesses must have been mandated to be closed by COVID-19 disaster declarations, be physically located in Edinburg, have less than 50 employees and have an approved work safe plan.
People eligible for the $100 gift card must have a household residence in Edinburg, must have experienced certain specific pandemic-related hardships and must have a household income no greater than 120% of the area median income. The gift cards can’t be used on alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets.
Juan Villagomez, owner of Margarita’s Flower Shop, says his business was approved for $2,000 in stimulus funding through the program earlier this month. Like most business owners, Villagomez saw the pandemic wreak-havoc in his industry.
“It’s really taken a toll,” he said. “A lot of the funeral homes weren’t carrying out with the funerals, so business was slowed down for a bit and we saw some drastic changes.”
Business has picked up some, Villagomez said, but things still aren’t back to normal.
“It’s not the same, but we’re slowly getting there,” he said.
Villagomez says the $2,000, which he plans to use on basic operating expenses, will be instrumental in navigating the pandemic.
“It’s going to mean a lot,” he said. “It’s going to cover at least two months of utility bills here, and the rest we can use on bringing in more flowers and carry on with the services that we provide here.”
Residents or business owners can learn more about the program and apply at the city of Edinburg website.