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Financial Assistance for Small Business Owners Fort Bend County continues to lend a helping hand to small businesses and non-profit organizations in the county that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic, with funding through emergency grants and employee incentive hiring programs. See details on two major initiatives below: Relief from Long-Term Profit LossSmall businesses and non-profits whose bottom lines were significantly affected by COVID-19 are eligible to receive up to $25,000 in forgivable grant money, which can be used for payroll or owner draws, commercial mortgage or lease payments, PPP or advertising expenses. Businesses must meet the following criteria:• Have at least one employee;• Have at least $25,000 in annual revenue, but no more than $5,000,000;• Have been significantly impacted by COVID-19; i.e., 25 percent revenue decline; and• Have been open in 2019 or have been preparing to open prior to March 1, 2020Get Hired, Get a Bonus!Our country is experiencing a nationwide labor shortage. A new program called “Get Hired” gives small businesses funding to compete in the tight labor market, which helps the companies to attract and keep valuable talent. Through the program, employees are eligible to receive bonuses at the following levels based upon their salaries:• Up to $15 per hour or $30,000 per year – $500;• $15.01 to $20 per hour or $40,000 per year – $750; and• $20.01 to $25 per hour or $50,000 per year – $1,000To participate, small businesses or non-profits must be located and generating revenue in Fort Bend County; must have been active (incurring revenue and expenses) as of Dec. 31, 2020; must have revenues of between $25,000 and $5,000,000; and must have at least one (1) employee, but not more than 50 employees.Registration for both of these time-sensitive programs is now open and will be ending by Dec. 31, 2021. Interested individuals may visit the following links for more details and assistance.