Preserve the Fort

Preserve the Fort

Applications are no longer being accepted for the Preserve the Fort grant program. All applications been reviewed and funds awarded from both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the program.

Last updated: Jan. 20, 2021

The Preserve the Fort grant program has now closed. A total of 1,640 grants were awarded to local businesses for a total of $54.9 million.

Grant breakdown

  • 32% of grants were awarded to Minority Business Enterprises (MBE).
  • 31% of grants were awarded to companies located in the city's target areas.
  • 3% of grants were awarded to nonprofit organizations.
  • Remaining grants were distributed to small businesses throughout Fort Worth.

The Preserve the Fort program was intended to support Fort Worth's small business community, and it achieved this goal.

  • 83% of awards went to businesses with less than five employees.
  • 14% of awards went to companies with 6-25 employees.
  • 2% of awards went to companies with 26-50 employees.
  • 1% went to businesses with more than 50 employees.

All grant recipients will be receiving an email by mid-February of 2021 asking to confirm the use of funds during the timeframe between March 1, 2020 - Dec. 30, 2020. For additional questions about the program, call 817-392-6021 or email the city's Economic Development team


 


Compliance - Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use my Preserve the Fort funds for?

For-profit businesses and non-profit performing arts organizations can use Preserve the Fort funds to reimburse the costs of business interruption as a result of required closures, voluntary small business closures to promote social distancing measures, or small businesses affected by decreased customer demand as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Eligible activities that Preserve the Fort funds could be used for include:

  • Working capital
  • Machinery & equipment
  • Payroll / health care benefits
  • Contract labor
  • Supplier payments
  • Rent, lease or mortgage payments for a business property
  • Utility payments for business properties (Does not include personal residence.)
  • Cost of critical business operations.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitation supplies and equipment.

When do I have to use my funds?

The time frame for businesses to use funds from the Preserve the Fort grant program is March 1, 2020 - Dec. 30, 2020.

All grant awardees will receive an email in early 2021 asking to confirm the use of their funds. Recipients should be prepared to provide a summary of how the funds were used by Feb. 1, 2021.

Will I be audited for the funds I received from Preserve the Fort?

Any funds awarded under the Preserve the Fort grant program are subject to audit and, if they are not used in the eligible ways outlined in the question above ("What can I use my Preserve the Fort funds for?"), those funds must be forfeited and immediately returned to the City of Fort Worth.

Further, the applicant may be found guilty of perjury and be fined or imprisoned under Section 1746 of Title 28 of the United State Code.

Will I be taxed on my Preserve the Fort funds?

According to the IRS, "the receipt of a government grant by a business generally is not excluded from the business' gross income under the Code, and is therefore taxable." (Source)

As such, all grant awardees are encouraged to work with their tax and accounting professional(s) to ensure the proper accounting of funds.

 


Business / For Profit information

Business eligibility and ineligibility

Business eligibility information

  • Businesses must have a business address located in the City of Fort Worth.
  • Businesses must have been in operation as of Jan. 1, 2020.
  • Businesses must be registered to do business in the State of Texas.
  • Businesses must have no more than 500 part- and full-time employees/contractors.
  • Businesses must have had a minimum of $12,000 gross annual revenue in 2019.
  • Businesses must be able to demonstrate a loss or reduction in sales/revenue or employment from March 1-Oct. 1, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • "Businesses" also include self-employed individuals, independent contractors and sole proprietorships.

Important note: Businesses who already received a Preserve the Fort grant earlier this summer are still eligible to receive another one during this second round of funding – with a minor funding limitation. Learn more.


Ineligible business activities

Businesses who fall under the following categories are not eligible for Preserve the Fort grants.

  • Franchisors
  • Real estate developers or investors
  • Governmental/taxing agencies or departments
  • Hobby businesses, as defined by federal law
  • Multi-level marketing concerns
  • Gambling concerns, including casinos, racing operations or other organizations 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 employes household employees, such as a nanny or housekeepers
  • Concerns engagement 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

Fort Worth City Council members, City of Fort Worth employees and their immediate family members are not eligible for Preserve the Fort grants.


Funding levels for businesses

  • Small businesses with less than 500 employees are eligible for a grant worth up to 1.5 times their gross average monthly revenue before the COVID-19 disaster declaration on March 13. The award will be capped at $150,000.
  • Bars and music venues that were forced to close as of June 26 are eligible for a grant of up to three times their lost average monthly revenue before the COVID-19 disaster declaration on March 13. The award will be capped at $100,000.

But what if I already received a Preserve the Fort grant?

Businesses who have already received a Preserve the Fort grant earlier this summer are still eligible to receive another one during this second round of funding. However, the amount that they received from the first round will be subtracted from their final amount.

Ex. A bar who received $5,000 from a previous Preserve the Fort grant earlier this summer might be eligible for $30,000 for this second round of funding. They would receive $25,000 during the second round, because their earlier grant would make up the remaining difference.

Businesses that received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan are still eligible for this grant. Credit scores and existing debt will not be taken into account before the funds are awarded.


What can these funds be used for?

Preserve the Fort small business grants can be used to reimburse the cost of business interruption as a result of:

  • Required closures due to COVID-19.
  • Voluntary closures to promote social distancing measures during COVID-19.
  • Decreased customer demand as a result of COVID-19.


Examples of these expenses include:

  • Working capital
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Payroll/health care benefits
  • Contract labor
  • Supplier payments
  • Rent, lease or mortgage payments (Business property only)
  • Rent, lease or purchase payment for business property
  • Utility payments for business properties (Does not include personal residence)
  • Cost of critical business operations
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation supplies/equipment
  • Installation of plexiglass barriers, temperature detection systems and automatic sinks/toilets


Important note: Businesses who receive Preserve the Fort small business grants will be expected to keep track of how their money is spent, and may be called upon to produce these documents in the event of a financial audit.


What do I need to apply?

In order to apply for a Preserve the Fort grant, all businesses will need to submit appropriate paperwork documenting the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their business.

These documents help ensure that the City of Fort Worth is distributing these tax-funded CARES Act funds appropriately and responsibly, while also keeping the city accountable to the federal government for the funds it distributes.

This documentation is required for approval. If the documentation is not provided with your application, you could be denied funding. Naming the documentation correctly will help your application be processed more quickly and efficiently.


List of required documents for businesses

  • State of Texas Certificate of Formation - Get yours online
    • Must be dated on or before Jan. 1, 2020.
    • Name the document OrganizationName_TXSOS before adding it to the application.
  • DUNS Number - Get yours online at Dun & Bradstreet
  • 2019 Federal Tax Return
    • This will help reviewers compare your current situation to "business as usual" before the pandemic.
    • Name the document OrganizationName_Federal before adding it to the application.
  • Proof of Employment: Q1 2020 941 - Get yours onlinePDF File
    • Name the document OrganizationName_Q1941 OR OrganizationName_ScheduleC if you're a sole proprietor/independent contractor, before adding it to the application.
  • Profit & Loss (P&L) Statement for 2019
    • This will help reviewers compare your profits and losses during COVID-19 to profits and losses your business made during 2019.
    • Name the document OrganizationName_2019PL before adding it to the application.
  • Profit & Loss (P&L) Statement for 2020, showing data by month
    • This will help reviewers compare your profits and losses during COVID-19 to profits and losses your business made during COVID-19.
    • Name the document OrganizationName_2020PL before adding it to the application.
  • A completed, signed W-9 Form
    • Name the document OrganizationName_OrganizationTaxID#_W9 before adding it to the application.

Have these documents available for reference

  • Tax ID Number
  • DUNS Number – Grants of more than $50,000 require a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. This number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the U.S. Federal Government for contracts or grants, and can be obtained online. (Processing takes one business day.)
  • Banking institution name, account holder information, routing number, and account number for where the funds to be sent if you choose an Electronic Fund Transfer.


Application instructions for businesses



Nonprofit information

Nonprofit eligibility and ineligibility

Nonprofit eligibility information

  • Nonprofits must have a business address located in the City of Fort Worth.
  • Nonprofits must have been in operation as of Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Nonprofits must hold a current 501(c)3 designation for their organization.
  • Nonprofits must have 500 total employees/contractors or less
  • Social service nonprofits must have had a maximum revenue of $10 million during 2019.
  • Performance art center nonprofits must have had a maximum revenue of $25 million during 2019.

Ineligible nonprofits

Nonprofits who fall under the following categories are not eligible for Preserve the Fort grants.

  • Private foundations
  • Political organizations
  • Schools and educational organizations (Excluding daycares)
  • Sports organizations
  • Concerns engaged in illegal activities under federal, state or local laws


Funding levels for nonprofits

  • Nonprofits are eligible for a grant of up to 75% of expenses they've incurred as part of their COVID-19 response, including the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The grant will reimburse these nonprofits up to $50,000.
  • Performing Arts Nonprofits who serve as the primary presenter/producer(s) of ticketed events for their performances are eligible for a grant of up to 1.5x gross average monthly revenue from lost ticket sales and concessions (pre-pandemic). This award will be capped at $100,000.


What can these funds be used for?

Preserve the Fort grant funds are intended to reimburse nonprofit organizations for costs associated with preparing their organizations to open safely for employees, clients, volunteers, artists and patrons.

These costs include:

  • Installation of plexiglass barriers for face-to-face transactions and security screenings
  • Walk-through body temperature detection systems
  • Sanitizer stands and hand pumps
  • Sanitizing supplies, such as bulk quantities of sprays or wipes
  • Sanitizing supplies for electronic stage equipment, microphones, speakers, etc. in performing arts spaces
  • Bulk supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all employees, volunteers, artists and patrons
  • Automatic sink faucets and toilet flushers

Important note: Any proposed expenses must be un-budgeted as of March 1, 2020 and must have occurred between March 1-Oct. 31, 2020. Requests for reimbursement will be accepted until Nov. 15, 2020.

Nonprofits who receive Preserve the Fort small business grants will be expected to keep track of how their money was spent, and may be called upon to produce these documents in the event of a financial audit.


What do I need to apply?

In order to apply for a Preserve the Fort grant, all nonprofits will need to submit appropriate paperwork documenting the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their organization.

These documents help ensure that the City of Fort Worth is distributing these tax-funded CARES Act funds appropriately and responsibly, while also keeping the city accountable to the federal government for the funds it distributes.

This documentation is required for approval. If the documentation is not provided with your application, you could be denied funding. Naming the documentation correctly will help your application be processed more quickly and efficiently.


List of required documents for nonprofits

  • 501(c)3 organizational document
    • Must be dated on or before Jan. 1, 2019
    • Name the document OrganizationName_501C3 before adding it to the application.
  • DUNS Number - Get yours online at Dun & Bradstreet
  • 2019 Federal Tax Return
    • This will help reviewers compare your current situation to "business as usual" before the pandemic.
    • Name the document OrganizationName_Federal before adding it to the application.
  • Proof of Employment: Q1 2020 941 - Get yours onlinePDF File
    • Name the document OrganizationName_Q1941 before adding it to the application.
  • Profit & Loss (P&L) Statement for 2019
    • This will help reviewers compare your profits and losses during COVID-19 to profits and losses your business made during 2019.
    • Name the document OrganizationName_2019PL before adding it to the application.
  • Profit & Loss (P&L) Statement for 2020, showing data by month
    • This will help reviewers compare your profits and losses during COVID-19 to profits and losses your business made during COVID-19.
    • Name the document OrganizationName_2020PL before adding it to the application.
  • A completed, signed W-9 Form
    • Name the document OrganizationName_YourTaxID#_W9 before adding it to the application.
  • For performing arts organizations: A published schedule of events or performances canceled due to COVID-19
    • Name the document OrganizationName_2020Program before adding it to the application.

Have these documents available for reference

  • Tax ID Number
  • DUNS Number – Grants of more than $50,000 require a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. This number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the U.S. Federal Government for contracts or grants, and can be obtained online. (Processing takes one business day.)
  • Banking institution name, account holder information, routing number, and account number for where the funds to be sent if you choose an Electronic Fund Transfer.


Application instructions for nonprofits



Document assistance & Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that this application process might be challenging to many business owners and nonprofits who have never had to apply for financial assistance before, or who may not be familiar with some of these documents.

Volunteers from several organizations are standing by to assist business owners in getting these documents together. Specific times will also be available for Spanish-speaking business owners.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Application questions

  • The company name in the application is my personal name. How do I add my business or organization name?
    Applicants are able to type over their personal name and should do so, entering their business name.
  • It looks like I'm not able to save my progress on my application and return to it later. Will that change?
    Yes. A "Save Application for Later" feature is being worked on that will allow applicants to save their information and come back to it.
  • (Nonprofit Performance Art Organizations Only) There's a section asking for a listing of event cancellations, but there is no place to upload it. What do I do?
    That space will become available once the user fills in the loss revenue question. If the dollar amount is a zero, there will not be any way to upload that document.

Document questions

  • I have a document that's password protected. Can I send you the password to access it?
    No. Password-protected documents cannot be accepted. All documents must be saved so they are accessible without a password. Log in to your document using your password, download a copy of the document as a PDF, and attach that to the application.
  • Can bank statements be used in place of profit & loss (P&L) statements?
    Bank statements will not be accepted, and the profit & loss statements are required as outlined.
  • Is there a specific template I should use for my profit & loss statements?
    There is no specific template, so applicants can have as much flexibility as possible provided that all of the information is included. Some samples of profit & loss statements are available online, such as the SCORE P&L Template or the Colorado SBDC P&L Template in case you'd like an example to get you started.
  • What documents are required for the DUNS number?
    The documentation requirement has been removed, but businesses are still required to input their DUNS number on the application form.

Eligibility questions

  • Not all businesses are registered with the Texas Secretary of State. Is this required?
    The City of Fort Worth is asking that all businesses who apply for a grant be registered and that their assumed name certificates are available. This document does not need to be dated before Jan. 1, 2020, as long as other documentation is provided to demonstrate that the business was operational before Jan. 1, 2020.

General questions

  • If my business is awarded a grant, is it taxable?
    The most recent information from the U.S. Department of Treasury is that CARES Act funds provided to businesses will be taxable, but all awardees should consult with their tax advisor for more guidance.
  • If my business gets a grant, will I need to track how I use my funds?
    Yes. When applicants are awarded a grant, they will receive an email that highlights how the funds can be used, and reminds them that they will be responsible for tracking how they are using it. The City of Fort Worth will be following up with all grant recipients to collect this information, including receipts.
  • I have multiple business locations. Do I need a separate application for all of them?
    If each business has a separate Tax ID, then a separate application is needed. If there are multiple locations under a single Tax ID, then only one application is needed.
  • What happens after I submit my application?
    You should receive a confirmation email that states that your application has been received. Please make sure to check your junk/spam/quarantined emails for this confirmation.
  • Can I add anything to the application after I submitted it?
    Once submitted, the application cannot be changed unless a reviewer notes that more information is required. If that happens, an automated email will be sent to you asking you to log into your account and address the missing information, including uploading a document or filling in an incomplete field.
  • How will I be notified if you need more information about my application?
    If a reviewer needs more information, you will receive an email from fwbac@fortworthtexas.gov prompting you to log into your account and provide the missing information. Your application will not move forward until your missing information has been added. If your application is approved/rejected, you will also receive an email from fwbac@fortworthtexas.gov letting you know. We strongly recommend adding fwbac@fortworthtexas.gov to your safe senders list and make sure it's not listed as spam.
  • How long will it take to review my application?
    The goal is to turn applications around within approximately 10 days. At any point, a reviewer may request additional information from the business owner, which could result in the process taking more time for that particular application.
  • I have a question not listed here. Who can I ask?
    For general inquiries about the program, contact 682-215-6231 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. (Please note: This number will not be able to assist with document preparation.)



Apply for a Preserve the Fort grant

Applications for the second round of Preserve the Fort grants closed at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2.


Preserve the Fort Partners

city-of-fort-worth.jpg
united-way-tarrant-county.jpg
fort-worth-now.jpg

 

visit-fort-worth.jpg
fort-worth-chamber.jpg
fort-worth-hispanic-chamber.jpg
fort-worth-metropolitan-black-chamber.jpg

 

 

Thanks to the document assistance volunteers at the following locations:

jpmorgan-private-bank.jpg texas-cpa-fort-worth.jpg