The city wants new and existing small businesses to apply for funding after receiving millions of dollars from the US bailout.
KILLEEN, Texas — The City of Killeen will soon be offering grants to new and existing local small businesses with funding from the American Rescue Act.
City leaders received $29 million, but are using $1 million of the grand total to help boost their own economy, particularly in the downtown and North Killeen areas.
There are two separate programs that Killeen offers with the million dollars available, the Downtown North Killeen Startup Program and the Town of Killeen Small Business Relief Program.
The North Killeen Town Center Startup Program aims to help those who want to start a business or expand a business. The city is focusing on this area primarily for this program because economic development is weak and they have a long-term goal of turning the tide.
“It’s so underutilized and so I’m hoping that through this program more people will be willing to invest in our downtown, with the city as our partner so that we can really develop this neighborhood,” said Danielle Singh. , Deputy Director of Killeen.
There is no limit to the amount that can be requested under the North Killeen Town Center Start-Up Program. You can get more information here.
The other program, City of Killeen Small Business Relief Program, is intended to help those struggling with ongoing financial hardship due to the pandemic. Applicants can apply for up to $10,000 under this program. You can get more information here.
“We’ve heard a lot about our small businesses, whether it’s a drop in revenue as a result of the pandemic or the extra expenses they’ve incurred,” Singh added.
Josie McKinney is originally from Alaska. She chose Killeen to open a boutique, but “Let’s Eat Texas” was only open full-service before the pandemic took its toll.
“Most businesses like mine, and a lot of retail businesses, just couldn’t make it happen,” she explained. “The overhead was too high. They had mortgages. They had rent. They had loans.”
McKinney gave the city recommendations for this program based on the challenges faced by businesses. She said the funds will help her reopen her dining room and hire staff.
“To be able to start thinking about going back to that without trying to do that would be amazing,” McKinney said.
McKinney told 6 News she’s thrilled the city is also trying to revitalize downtown and wants people to see all the potential the area has to offer. She says the help the city is ready to provide could change the whole downtown area.
“Here we’re now kind of ready to hit that reset button and I’m really excited to see the city bounce back and start having downtown events again, and start using some of those funds to help small businesses. who stuck in there. as long, or people who want to come and help move downtown forward,” she said.
Singh says supporting small businesses is vital for the city as it helps the city all around.
“Our small businesses are what make us strong as a community, so it’s very important that we support them because, ultimately, they are the ones who give us feedback,” Singh added. “They’re the ones who support other members of our community and they really make us sustainable as a community, so we always want to make sure we’re focusing on those smaller businesses.”
Non-profit organizations, publicly traded companies and franchises are not eligible for these specific programs at this time.
Interested individuals can begin applying for the funds on Tuesday, February 1.
Applications will remain open until all funds are allocated.