DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Coronavirus has devastated many North Texas businesses and those across the state and country.
To help give small businesses in Texas a lifeline, Governor Greg Abbott announced a new program that will provide $50 million in loans.
The Governor made his announcement during a Zoom video conference with the President and COO of Goldman Sachs John Waldron and President and CEO of LiftFund Janie Barrera.
Governor Abbott said, “We want to make sure that these small businesses are not going to have to shutdown and more importantly, they’re not going to have to eliminate payrolls for their employees simply because business is required to be closed or drastically limited.”
The money comes from Goldman Sachs and LiftFund.
The loans are made through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, and will either be partially or wholly forgiven.
Brent Reaves, who co-owns Smokey John’s Barbecue in Dallas with his wife and brother, also took part in the video conference.
During an interview at his restaurant afterwards, Reaves said, “Now with Goldman getting on board, it’s only going to expedite the process that’s much needed right now.”
Reaves said he has already applied for a SBA loan for his business. “We’re still waiting for the money.”
He says it will allow all of his employees to work for the next couple of months.
Between 80% to 85% of his workers are still on the job.
He says the new program involving Goldman Sachs and LiftFund will help other businesses who haven’t applied for loans. “Today’s deal was huge.”
He is a graduate of Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses Program which has helped him and others like him to build their businesses by developing a five year growth plan.
The new program is part of the Goldman Sachs’ effort.
Businesses can apply through LiftFund’s website.
Smokey John’s Barbecue has been family-owned & operated since 1976.
Reaves said they bounced back last year after a big fire 15 months earlier.
Then Covid-19 hit.
“Our sales are down by about 40%, mostly due to the fact that people just aren’t catering like they used to anymore, which is 28% of our business.”
Governor Abbott also said Monday that later this week, he will announce a comprehensive plan to gradually reopen businesses across the state. “This is not going to be a rush the gates, everybody is able to suddenly reopen all at once. We have to understand that we must reopen in a way in which we are able to stimulate the economy while at the very same time that we contain the spread of Covid-19.”
The Governor said the state is now developing a strategic and necessary testing program that will be needed to safely reopen businesses in Texas.
Last week, the Governor told me the process would likely still require some social distancing in the workplace.