Williamson County launches Wilco Forward program to help businesses during COVID-19 pandemic
WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas - As dark rain clouds moved over the Williamson County Courthouse, commissioners approved a business bailout fund.
The Wilco Forward program is designed to help sole proprietors and small businesses ride out the economic storm caused by COVID-19. During Tuesday’s online meeting of the Commissioner's Court, it was announced applications will start being accepted Wednesday night.
"We don’t know if we're going to get 100 applications a day, 1000 applications a day, and our auditors are dedicated to try to work through those daily,” said Commissioner Russ Boles.
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Wilco Forward was developed by an appointed strike team that includes County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer, Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey, and Boles.
“Our team worked with business and community leaders from across Williamson County to develop the Wilco Forward grant program,” said Heselmeyer. “We specifically made the application process as simple as possible to encourage businesses to apply.”
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The Court unanimously voted to allocate $25 million, from the more than $93 million CARES Act funds it received, to launch the grant program. Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and sole proprietors can receive up to $30,000. The amount issued per grant will depend on whether the business was fully or partially closed due to the pandemic, starting March 2020.
Both for-profit and non-profit businesses headquartered and located in Williamson County are eligible to apply and additional criteria and restrictions are available online. Applications will be submitted online to the Williamson County Auditor’s Office. The application link will be active starting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6.
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The money will be issued as applications are processed until the $25 million budgeted is exhausted. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020. Anyone with questions can email SmallBusinessApp@wilco.org.
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