DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The federal government still has billions of dollars in Covid aid left over for small businesses in low-income areas.
Tens of thousands of North Texas business owners likely qualify for federal grants up to $10,000 but few have applied for it.
The U.S. Small Business Administration sent emails to more than 11.8 million small businesses inviting them to apply for Targeted EIDL Advances.
Only businesses that receive an invitation can apply.
So far, less than one in five businesses that received an invitation email have applied and far fewer have received any of the funds.
Only $2.25 billion out of the $30 billion allocated for the Targeted EIDL Advances has made it into the hands of struggling business owners.
“There’s a lot of money still out there and there are small businesses that are still struggling,” said SBA District Director Herbert Austin.
Despite most Texas businesses being fully open, many are still struggling to recoup all its losses from the past year.
Austin said he believes one of the main reasons more businesses have not applied for the grants is because they have mistaken the SBA’s email invitation for a scam.
“There is no question about it. People are telling us, ‘Oh, I think I saw an email but I didn’t bother looking at it because I thought it was a scam,” Austin explained.
Every 15 days the SBA said it will be sending millions of small businesses owners an email inviting them to apply for the grants.
Businesses must have previously applied for an EIDL and be located in a designated low-income area to be eligible.
Only small businesses who receive an invitation can apply.
To qualify, applicants must have 300 or fewer employees in a low-income community.
Business owners also must show a more than 30% decrease in revenue during any eight-week period since the start of the pandemic.