New software supplying small business grants in Harlingen

HARLINGEN — Like quite a few compact business enterprise entrepreneurs, Lori Rodgers is functioning on massive options to spruce up her arts studio.

So she is turning to City Hall to support her fork out for a new roof for her Rio Grande Valley Arts Studio.

On Thursday, Mayor Norma Sepulveda and the city’s Economic Development Company are unveiling a new software presenting grants of as substantially as $10,000 to enable small enterprises fund updates to their shops.

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Metropolis Hall, Sepulveda and customers of the EDC team are set to assist people use for grants, with the town providing to match 50 % up to $10,000.

“It’s a going to be a little part of it but it is likely to be a big chunk,” Rodgers mentioned of her plans to utilize for a $10,000 grant. “It’s an excellent software. It will seriously assistance little businesses that have set their blood, sweat and tears into their organization to better the community.”

Initially spherical

To start the Revitalize Harlingen software, officers are environment aside $150,000, focusing on an place west of Commerce Street from West Jackson Avenue to West Harrison Avenue, West Van Buren Avenue to West Jackson, West Harrison Avenue to M Avenue, West Tyler Avenue to M Avenue and F Road to West Jackson.

“I would like this to continue on and go into additional zones,” Sepulveda reported Wednesday, referring to the program’s future focus on location. “This is ideally the to start with of many. We want to see the return of our financial investment.”

The software will offer you grants to qualifying small businesses’ residence homeowners and tenants arranging to up grade their shops’ facades, suppress charm, signage and landscaping.

“Property proprietors and/or tenants are in a position to apply for up to 50% of their total exterior undertaking expenditures, to a optimum of $10,000,” a push release states. “This program is intended to enrich business enterprise storefronts, persuade position retention and stimulate economic exercise.”

Rio Grand Valley Arts Studio is pictured Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, on West Jackson Avenue in Harlingen. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

Assisting small firms grow

In Harlingen, like in other towns, small enterprises enable generate the financial state.

“It’s certainly going to make a change,” Sepulveda said of the new program. “My objective is to enable absolutely everyone doing small business right here get that aid. I don’t want a single organization in Harlingen to near its doors simply because it doesn’t have the assets. If there’s a way for us to avoid that, we want to phase in to see what is offered.”

Application procedure

The application provides a simplified application approach.

“We’re trying to streamline the method,” Sepulveda mentioned, introducing assets house owners and tenants can even utilize with a cellphone call.

Concentrating on following enterprise zone

Now, the EDC is conducting a survey to help figure out the next region the program will focus on, Sepulveda mentioned.

“That way the local community can explain to us what exactly is their require,” Sepulveda reported. “We need to see how to concentrate our dollars. We want to revitalize spots still left out in the earlier.”

Primetime Loved ones Barber Store is pictured Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, on West Harrison Avenue in Harlingen. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

Initially move

The grant software is the 1st portion of a bigger campaign aimed at revitalizing components of the city, Sepulveda claimed.

“This is certainly the begin of lots of a lot more systems to profit the company neighborhood,” she mentioned.

Downtown program

In the city’s downtown area, a related grant system has aided firms revamp their stores even though boosting their home values, Eric Ziehe, president of the EDC’s board, claimed.

“As a real estate expert, I understand the value of property and advancements produced to the exterior of a small business, restoring and enhancing provides value to a enterprise,” he mentioned. “I’ve seen this software get the job done in our downtown space and we need to have to arrive at out to the qualifying organizations, who could use this matching grant.”

Additional than 30 a long time in the past, residence operator Monthly bill DeBrooke assisted the Downtown Enhancement District launch the city’s extensive-managing grant method.

“On the west aspect of the tracks, just about every constructing in the district has been given grants,” DeBrooke stated. “The variation is wonderful. We have turned the west facet of the tracks from in essence a bar district to a vivid business local community made up of small business owners.”

For far more facts on the city’s new grant software, go to


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