Texas small business owners can apply for COVID relief loans through new fund

SOAR Fund hoping to help struggling small businesses and nonprofits

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Texas small businesses and nonprofits could get more help with coronavirus relief through the newly formed Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund.

The SOAR Fund is a new program available to help small businesses and nonprofits rebuild after the COVID-19 economic crisis.

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Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that 57% of small businesses in Texas have less than two months of cash on hand and that 35% of small Texas businesses expect to seek capital in the next six months.

Through the help of philanthropic, private and corporate investors, the SOAR fund is hoping to help “the smallest of small businesses and those that have been historically underbanked, including those in rural areas and those owned by women, people of color, and immigrants,” according to a press release.

Eligible applicants will be matched with a participating lender that will assist the business owner with the application and provide advisory support. Applicants will be able to sign up online and get matched to a lender in less than five minutes.

The maximum available loan amount is $100,000 or up to 100% of your business’ revenues for any three-month period prior to the coronavirus pandemic in 2019 or the first quarter of 2020, whichever is less. Full loan terms can be viewed here.

“We encourage all small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by the COVID pandemic and need a hand in rebuilding to apply now,” said vice president of program strategy and development at Community Reinvestment Fund Patrick Davis.

“This is affordable capital that can help small business owners and nonprofits hang on and rebuild, which is vitally important to all of us,” said Davis. “Strong southern small businesses and nonprofits will lead to a strong economic recovery for southern communities.”

There will be $50 million in initial commitments for the SOAR Fund, with the goal to eventually lend $150 million to small businesses across a handful of southern states, including Texas.

A business or nonprofit must have 50 or fewer employees to qualify and have suffered a direct economic disruption as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses that are NOT eligible include, but are not limited to:

  • Firms engaged in activities that are prohibited by federal law or applicable law in the jurisdiction where the business is located or conducted
  • Corporate-owned franchises
  • Branch banks
  • Payday loan stores
  • Pawnshops
  • Astrology, palm reading
  • Adult bookstores, strip clubs
  • Track waging facilities

The SOAR Fund covers Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Read more information on the SOAR Fund here.

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