The El Paso Business Strong Program is a collaboration between El Paso County and LiftFund for $1.75 million in capital through a forgivable loan program.
The program product is a forgivable loan up to $50,000 at zero percent interest rate with goals to reach forgiveness.
On January 5, 2021, the County of El Paso will make aid to small businesses located in El Paso County which have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 through its Financial Assistance for Safety, Technology and Economic Resilience (FASTER) program. This assistance is available in several forms, including grants, loans, and technical assistance. LiftFund will administer $1.75 million in a loan forgiveness program.
Non-Profit organizations and businesses located in El Paso County that can demonstrate a negative impact due to COVID-19 and who have implemented a health and safety policy pursuant to County Judge’s Orders. We strongly encourage your business to take the Pledge to Safety.
During the packaging process the applicant will commit and determine their level of forgiveness.
Loan Amount: Up to $50,000
Cost: 2.5% commitment Fee
Interest Rate: 0%
Term: Varies on Size of Loan and Forgiveness Program Options
Deferment of Payment: 180 days, or estimated project completion plus 60 days for larger projects in coordination with the County
Businesses may apply for the following expenses associated with re-starting business operations: payroll, lease/mortgage, supplies, inventory, utility, etc., compliance to meet Pledge to Safety Standards.
Applications must be submitted online starting January 5, 2021 at 9:00 AM MT and will close when funds are exhausted. Applications submitted will be packaged on a first come first serve basis with a priority of Tier 1 and Tier 2 designation by El Paso County.
Applicants will create an account to apply online. This will allow users to save progress on their applications should they need additional time to fill out the application.
Please make sure to keep a note of your user name and password. Click the link below to begin your application
Tier I: Businesses located outside of the City of El Paso and within El Paso County.
Tier II: Businesses located within El Paso city limits.
Any remaining Tier I funds will be made available to any business located within El Paso County, including businesses located within El Paso city limits after March 5, 2021.
All businesses receiving a grant will be required to complete a follow-up survey after the grant is awarded for documentation and impact purposes. Grant recipients must also keep detailed records of 2020-2021 reopening dates, receipts for expenditure of grant funds, and staff and payroll records for review which the El Paso County and LiftFund would be able to access.
Forgiveness tracking begins at the beginning of the application period. A customer will decide which options of the forgiveness programming elements they will apply to their funding. The timeline for forgiveness will be coordinated between the County and LiftFund to ensure the business owner has enough time to meet the requirements.
|Forgiveness Options (Select those that would apply)||Business Requirement|
|Non-essential business voluntarily reduced capacity below guidelines and directives issued by health authority, Texas Governor or County Judge by 25 percent||Proof in coordination with the County|
|Businesses who provide employees with a living wage of $12.50/hour||Proof using employee salary reports including 941|
|Businesses seeking to install new equipment that promotes public health and safety for employees and patrons, including: o Drive Thru/Walkup Service Window o Plexiglass or other clear shields at strategic locations o HELP Air Filtration, Bi-Polar Ionization, UV Light Purification o Other specialized equipment that limits the spread of contagion via anti-microbial or anti-septic technology/design (e.g. antimicrobial mats, touchless door entry, automatic flush toilets, motion sensor faucets, motion sensor light fixtures )||Proof of utilization and validation with the County|
|Business constructs open or semi-open facilities to move operations involving interaction with customers away from indoor facilities||Proof of expenses and project scope with County validation.|
|Business invests in technological solutions that: o Allows of employees to work from home for120 days o Increases digital sales||Proof of expenses and proven increases in revenue by business.|
|Businesses replace current POS system with one that allows for touchless payments||Proof of expenses and utilization in POS.|
|Participate in business coaching program/curriculum||Proof of coaching by business owner and partner.|
|Other proposals focused on promotion of public health and safety (for employees and/or consumers) or promote business sustainability and resiliency.||Business submits concept and idea for implementation and it is approved by County to proceed.|