HAYS COUNTY, Texas — Eighteen small businesses have been awarded grant funds following the first wave of grant awards from the Hays County Emergency Cash Assistance Program (ECAP).
Additional applications are under review by the non-profit loan agency PeopleFund and the ECAP award committee. Small businesses that have not applied for an ECAP grant yet are strongly encouraged to do so, said Barbara Thomason, the ECAP award committee coordinator and director of business retention, expansion and workforce at the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP).
The ECAP fund, which was initiated by the Hays County Commissioners Court, is a collaboration between the County, the City of Kyle, PeopleFund, and GSMP. The fund will provide a grant of up to $10,000 to qualifying small businesses on a first-come, first served basis until Dec. 31, 2020, or when funding runs out, whichever is first.
One such business is Kyle Landscaping Services, a family-owned and operated landscaping business that was awarded $7,500 from the ECAP grant fund. The company saw a loss in business as multiple employees, including mechanics, contracted COVID-19.
“The ECAP fund has been a lifeline for our business,” said Diego Rangel, owner of Kyle Landscaping Services. “Without this grant, I would be with two broken-down machines and I’d be out two work crews.”
The employees who contracted COVID-19 have made a full recovery, Rangel said. The company plans to use the grant to repair equipment and give bonuses and raises to his employees who have been able to return to work. With the repaired equipment, Rangel hopes to hire more workers and start running an additional crew.
“This is a great opportunity to start again,” Rangel said. “If I had not known about this grant, I would not have been able to sustain my business and create more job opportunities for guys looking for full-time work. This is one of the best things that’s happened to us this year.”
Applications are still being accepted for the ECAP grant fund. Full details about the program can be found at HaysCountyECAP.com.
Photos of Diego and Mario Rangel, as well as Kyle Landscaping Services employees Alex M and Barry P attached.