DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County started accepting pre-applications Monday for its Emergency Business Assistance Program (EBAP).

EBAP is funded with an allocation of $5 million in federal CARES Act dollars and is designed to rapidly provide financial assistance to small businesses located in Dallas County that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and that have been unable to obtain financial assistance to meet all of their business needs.

Small businesses may be eligible to obtain a forgivable loan worth up to $15,000.

Dallas County selected the National Development Council (NDC), a national economic development nonprofit, to serve as the third-party administrator for the EBAP. NDC has worked for more than 50 years, fulfilling its mission to increase the flow of investment capital to under-resourced communities. This work includes 25+ years as an SBA-approved small business lender.

With 53% of the nation’s jobs coming from businesses with fewer than than 100 employees, and with many of these jobs being disproportionately held by low- and moderate-income people with resources that are already limited, much of the local economy is at great risk, the county said in a news release.

Small businesses that are interested in applying for financial assistance through EBAP can click here.

Businesses that need assistance navigating the website may leave a voicemail message at (214) 845-7673 and they will receive a return phone call within one business day.

Because Dallas County expects that the amount of funding requested will exceed the funding available, not all eligible businesses will be invited to submit a full loan application.

After the pre-application period closes, NDC will use a randomized selection process to select the eligible businesses that will be invited to submit a full application.