San Marcos distributing Public Health BIG Grants for local businesses

Sierra Martin | Managing Editor
SAN MARCOS – The City of San Marcos is currently offering a total of $150,000 to area businesses through the city’s Business Improvement & Growth (BIG) grant. The funding was allocated by the San Marcos City Council from American Rescue Plan funds.
The BIG Grant provides technical and financial assistance to commercial property owners or business tenants through a 50% matching grant of up to $20,000 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Photo credited to the City of San Marcos.
Suggested projects include ventilation improvements, automation of entrances, taps, and dispensers. Other projects include constructing outdoor eating areas and installing voice or motion-activated technology.
According to the City of San Marcos, there are two BIG Grant programs, the Façade Improvement BIG Grant and the Public Health BIG Grant. Applications are no longer being accepted for the Façade improvement grant, but there is still funding available for local businesses to take advantage of the Public Health BIG grant.
The San Marcos Economic and Business Development Manager, Kelsee Lee, said that the BIG Grant applications would be open until all funding is distributed to local businesses that apply.
“[Local businesses] really need to look at what those eligible projects are, see if they have something that qualifies for that, that they’re interested in pursuing,” said Lee. “And then submit a complete application because this is a first-in-first-out kind of reviewed process.”
Lee said local businesses must apply for the grant before beginning their projects to qualify for funding.
“Remember with our grants that it’s not retroactive, and so the business needs to have that project approved by the review committee prior to starting a project,” said Lee. “So if they go and do a project, even if it’s a fantastic, wonderful thing, but they’ve done it prior to receiving the notice to proceed, then that wouldn’t be eligible for reimbursement.”
Even if the project isn’t on the list of suggested improvements, Lee encourages local businesses to apply if they think it may help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“But we definitely encourage if there are businesses who have an idea that maybe isn’t listed as a bullet point to still contact us,” Lee said. “Because they may be on to something or maybe there’s new guidance out there for a project that could be eligible.”
If the San Marcos City Council allocates money for the BIG Grant again next year, the application may reopen in October 2022.
More information on the BIG Grant can be found on the City of San Marcos website.

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