Small businesses and nonprofits in Bryan who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have more options for assistance coming their way after the Bryan City Council approved a Chapter 380 Agreement with the United Way of the Brazos Valley on Monday, Mar. 30.
Through the agreement, the City of Bryan will provide matching grant payments to the United Way to be administered in conjunction with the Brazos Valley COVID-19 Community Relief Fund, a relief effort formed through a partnership between the United Way of the Brazos Valley and the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley. United Way of the Brazos Valley serves as the financial manager for the fund, but does not receive any administration fees.
The total agreement is for $500,000, with 80 percent of funds directed toward small businesses in the City of Bryan to assist in keeping their workers employed, and 20 percent of funds toward nonprofit organizations that provide food, rent, utility assistance and/or medical care to Bryan residents.
Businesses and nonprofits will be able to apply for the grants of up to $15,000 through the Brazos Valley COVID-19 Community Relief Fund website,
“I want to thank the United Way and Community Foundation for ensuring that these taxpayer funds get to our local businesses and charities to best support our economic recovery,” said Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson. “The Bryan City Council is committed to providing support and assistance to residents and small businesses who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working on both short-term and long-term programs that will help those who have suffered financial losses.”
“Each one of us takes pride in calling the Brazos Valley our home,” said Patricia Gerling, president of the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley. “We live here. We work here. We play here. And we give here.”
This initiative was championed by the Mayor’s task force for Small Business Support and Recovery, which consists of community and business leaders representing Bryan-owned businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. The Small Business Support and Recovery task force has worked diligently over the past week to identify immediate needs and formulate strategies and vital partnerships to combat financial losses on the local level.
“I am incredibly proud of the work the task force has accomplished in such a short amount of time,” Nelson said. “They have come together to identify exactly how the City of Bryan can ensure our business community emerges from this pandemic stronger than it was before.”
Residents who wish to donate to the Brazos Valley COVID-19 Community Relief Fund can text BVCOVID19 to 41444 or visit www.uwbv.org/covid19.