The Port of Corpus Christi has allocated a $200,000 grant to LiftFund, a nonprofit community lender, to provide COVID-19 relief loans to eligible small businesses in Nueces and San Patricio counties.


The funds will be used to administer the small business recovery program and provide relief small business loans at 0 percent interest.


"A major economic engine of our region, the Port of Corpus Christi is attuned to the financial challenges inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, particularly on Coastal Bend businesses. As we have for the last 94 years, the Port of Corpus Christi will continue its financial and policy support in the spirit of saving the livelihoods that drive our local, state and national economy," said Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi.


Eligible businesses must be located in Nueces or San Patricio County, have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million and be able to demonstrate a revenue loss of 15 percent or more. Loans will range in value up to $25,000 at 0 percent interest and may be used for working capital, workforce needs and other business-related expenses.


"Small businesses are in dire need of support, and we are proud to partner with the Port of Corpus Christi to help alleviate the economic pain," said Janie Barrera, Chief Executive Officer for LiftFund. "But the grant doesn’t end with this short-term aid; it’s intended to help seed a permanent revolving loan fund called the Dream Maker’s Fund and support small businesses in this area on an ongoing basis."


LiftFund will use $180,000 of this grant as a loan fund to make COVID-19 recovery loans and the remaining $20,000 to bring the interest down to 0 percent. As the loans are repaid, the loan funds will be subsequently re-lent to area businesses on a revolving basis.


The Dream Maker’s Fund started as a partnership with the City of Corpus Christi. Now with this support from the Port, the fund also will serve small businesses in Nueces and San Patricio counties.


Business owners interested in a relief loan must apply online at www.liftfund.com to begin the application process. Applicants are subject to credit review and financial assessment.


Other requirements include:


Businesses must be in good standing with creditors for at least six months prior to March 1, 2020 (COVID-19 outbreak);


Loans are limited to businesses that are located in one of the two designated locations (Nueces County or San Patricio County) and that will reopen;


Demonstrates a loss of at least 15 percent of revenue in the period beginning March 1, 2020, to the time of application;


Last 90 days of bank statements connected to business demonstrating expenses and revenue, business formation verification, plan of action document, any pending tax documentation items; and


Documentation of expenses the loan will be used toward.


Business information must be verified through one or more of the following:


Paid access via LiftFund application;


Paper documentation via bank; and


Business will demonstrate/show plan of action including assessment of financials to stabilize with funds as part of the assessment. This includes a plan of action and budget from the business demonstrating need and ability to proceed with funding.