OVID-19 is not only a health crisis, but an economic one. And the City of Fort Worth has the numbers to back it up.
Fort Worth’s COVID-19 Business Survey, which released March 17, has wrangled in more than 1,200 responses, according to a statement from Fort Worth. The responding businesses, mostly on the smaller size working in professional service, hospitality/tourism, and service, indicate a decrease in revenue by at least 60% since March 1.
A similar survey sent out by the Chamber of Commerce drew grim results. Forty-nine percent of business owners in the Chamber’s survey said they wouldn’t be able to sustain their business longer than a few months if current trends continue.
Other than hoping residents answer the call to patronage, the city has published a series of funding initiatives to help bolster local businesses. Among them:
- The Creative Industry Relief Fund, a collab between United Way, Hear Fort Worth, and Film Fort Worth, offers one-time, $300 grants to qualifying musicians, visual artists, and filmmakers
- The AssistHer Emergency Relief Grant by Texas Woman’s University is distributing $1 million spread between 100 grant awards to Texas-based, woman-owned businesses
- Facebookis offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits through their Small Business Grants program
- Micro-grants from the James Beard Foundationare being given to independent food and drink businesses
- JPMorganhas pledged $50 million in global philanthropic commitment: $2 million to existing nonprofit partners and $8 million to assist small businesses
- Online hub Kabbageallows small businesses to sell gift cards to consumers
- Crowdfunding platform MainVesthas created what’s called the Main Street Initiative: a $2,000, zero-interest, 120-day loan for restaurants and other brick-and-mortars affected by COVID-19 shutdowns
- Opportunity Fund, specializing in lending to woman-owned small businesses, immigrants, and people of color, is collaborating with investors and nonprofits to create a fund for grants and low-interest rate loans.
Fort Worth encourages the public to check the COVID-19 Information for Business page daily for additional resources.