Loan program still available for small businesses and some startups in the Crossroads

A loan program still available for small businesses in the Crossroads

CROSSROADS, Texas – A small business loan program is back to help small businesses, existing business owners and some startups impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newscenter 25 first reported on the non-profit LiftFund in 2019.

At that time, LiftFund and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) had announced a new partnership to invest $3 million investment in the region to foster economic activity.

Now, the non-profit and EDA are back to provide ongoing support to businesses in Victoria County and other counties in the Crossroads.

“There is a 3.5% interest loan being offered for up to $250,000 dollars,” said Laura Estrada with LiftFund.

There are qualifications that need to be met in order to be eligible for the EDA loan.

Below is a list of eligibility:

– For-profit businesses with physical address and operations within the qualified area.
– Existing Businesses, in operations prior to September 1, 2019 that suffered an economic injury
– Start Up businesses created to support the response to the crisis

A lot of businesses are still waiting for the CARES Act, which is the EIDL Grant or the Paycheck Protection Program, said Estrada.

“It can be for startups if you are getting started because of the pandemic — maybe your business closed and you lost your job — and what you did is transitioned and opened up this filler type of business in the industry you lost your job in,” said Estrada. “So, that would help a startup business owner, what we are trying to do is help the business owner if they need to buy some equipment or of they need working capital to access more capital.”

LiftFund is a patch to help them [businesses] while they are looking for alternatives, said Estrada.

“Business owners who never paid their bills are still not going to be able to get a loan,” Estrada said.

Below is a list of ineligible businesses:

– Non-Profit Businesses
– Businesses engaged in lending
– Passive Businesses
– Businesses selling through a pyramid plan
– Gambling activities
– Businesses engaged in promoting religion
– Private clubs that limit membership for reasons other than capacity
– Consumer and Marketing Cooperatives
– Any Business that had caused a prior loss to the government

One of the many things the EDA Loan Program will look at for eligibility is how well businesses have adjusted amid pandemic, said Estrada.

Estrada shared an example of how many bars in Texas have closed down, but have created a kitchen area to make it work.

Some food trucks and bars have been able to join forces to bring business for each other.

Chris Ware, owner of the Unforgrillin shared with Newscenter 25 about his experience joining forces with bars amid pandemic.

“I think between May and probably August was the hardest because no one really wanted to go to a food trailer if you couldn’t ever go into a local restaurant,” said Ware. “That was just the vibe here, we kept at it and stayed open … I think it was mid August TABC released this thing about bars being shut down, so that’s when a lot of bar owners started coming after us [food trucks]  saying ‘hey guys, you got to help.”

It’s been difficult for food trucks to find a spot for business and several of his friends have also lost trailers because of the pandemic.

According to the website, LiftFund offers the EDA loans in the following Coastal Bend Counties:

Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Calhoun, Dewitt, Duval, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lavaca, Live Oak, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, and Victoria.

For more information about the EDA loan program, please click here.