Applications now open for Preserve the Fort small business grants
Applications will close at 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 8.
Preserve the Fort grant funds can be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption due to COVID-19 as a result of required closures, voluntary closures to promote social distancing, or decreased customer demand. Businesses who receive grant funding are required to document how the funds are used.
Last updated: May 26, 2020
Fort Worth recently received approximately $158 million in funding from the CARES Act, and is partnering with the United Way of Tarrant County to distribute $10 million of those funds to Fort Worth businesses through the Preserve the Fort grant program.
Of the $10 million allocated for Preserve the Fort grants, $2.5 million will be dedicated to supporting minority-owned businesses, and another $2.5 million is reserved for businesses located in the city's Neighborhood Empowerment Zones and Designated Investment Zones – areas of Fort Worth that are predominantly low-to-moderate income, which the city has already identified for revitalization efforts.
Grant applications will be processed with the help of partners at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.
Applications for Preserve the Fort grants open Tuesday, May 26, and close at 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 8.
Grant funds are open to businesses who fit the following criteria:
- Small business (250 employees or less).
- Located within the City of Fort Worth, with a Fort Worth mailing address.
- Registered to do business in the State of Texas.
- Business must have been in operation since Sep. 1, 2019.
- Self-employed individuals, independent contractors, sole proprietors, and nonprofits serving the business community are also eligible.
For more information about eligibility requirements and other questions, a list of frequently asked questions is available below in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Depending on the number of full-time staff a business employed as of March 17, 2020, the funding levels for a Preserve the Fort grant are:
- Micro-enterprises with less than 5 employees are eligible for a grant of $5,000.
- Level I businesses (with 6-25 employees) are eligible for a grant of $7,500.
- Level II businesses (with 26-50 employees) are eligible for a grant of $10,000.
- Level III businesses (with 51-250 employees) are eligible for a grant of $50,000.
If a business has already received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they are still eligible to receive these funds. However, priority will be given to businesses that have not received funding through these programs.
What can these funds be used for?
Preserve the Fort grant funds can be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption due to COVID-19 as a result of required closures, voluntary closures to promote social distancing, or decreased customer demand. Examples of these costs include:
- Working capital.
- Machinery and equipment.
- Payroll expenses.
- Heath care benefits.
- Contract labor.
- Supplier payments.
- Rent, lease or mortgage payment for real property used for business purposes. (Ex. A storefront or warehouse. Does not include personal residence.)
- Rent, lease or purchase payment for business property (Ex. delivery vehicle, food truck, kitchen equipment, technology, payment, and communications systems/equipment.)
- Utility payments for business properties. (Not including personal residence.)
- Cost of critical business operations. (Ex. raw materials, marketing expenses, etc.)
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sanitation supplies and equipment.
Businesses who receive grant funding will be required to document how the funds are used.
Business owners can complete their Preserve the Fort funding application more quickly by getting the following business documents in order:
- A completed W-9 form.
- Documentation of Going Concern and Business Verification. This will require one of the following documents: Secretary of State Texas File Number, Employee Identification Number, DBA, 2018 or 2019 tax return (schedules not required).
- Proof of employment. This will require one of the following documents: W-3 form (Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements), 941 form, or other document showing payroll expenses, employer insurance expenses, or employer retirement expenses for the first quarter of 2020 (prior to the COVID-19 emergency declaration on March 17, 2020) as well as the most current version of this document.
- Profit & Loss (P&L) statement for 2019, as well as a P&L statement as of March 2020.
- For sole proprietors, applicants are required to provide a 2018 or 2019 Schedule C.
Frequently Asked Questions and application hotline
Call center assistance
Tarrant Small Business Development Center is staffing a call center to help business owners prepare their application documentation or fill out their applications.
Contact the call center for assistance at 817-515-2603 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Preserve the Fort Partners