Keeping God's Country Working Grant and Programs


Add a little bit of body textOverview

In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Hondo City Council authorized the Keeping God’s Country Working Grant Program to assist businesses negatively affected by the pandemic. Keeping God’s Country Working Grant Program is a local economic development program authorized under Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code to help reduce the resulting economic strain on local businesses. On March 19, 2020, the Hondo City Council declared a local state of disaster. As a result, the pandemic caused closures and limitations on local businesses in Hondo. The Council tasked staff and Economic Development Corporation to research ways to assist businesses during the time of need. You may submit applications via email to gflores@hondo-tx.org or drop off hard copies at City Hall. For any questions please contact Genevieve Flores at 830-741-8319 or via email at gflores@hondo-tx.org.

The Task Force consists of:
 

Hondo City Mayor, James W. Danner, Sr, Hondo City Council Member John Mc Anelly; City Manager of the City of Hondo Kim Davis; Economic Development Corporation Board President Bobby Ainsley; Hondo Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Genevieve Flores; Hondo Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heather Curtsinger;  Hondo Independent School District Assistant Superintendent Rosemary Mares; Medina County Economic Development Director Stephanie Blanks; and City Attorney for the City of Hondo Frank Garza. Unlike the other members of the Task Force, Frank Garza reviews applications for legal compliance only.

Keeping God’s Country Working Grant Program

 On April 15, 2020 members of the Hondo Economic Development Corporation (Hondo EDC) approved an Agreement for Funding of the Keeping God’s Country Working Grant Program. On April 16, 2020 the Hondo City Council affirmed the committed funds to this program. The total contributions by the City of Hondo Economic Development Corporation amount to $300,000.00.

Eligibility & Qualifications

To keep businesses running through a time of social distancing, the Task Force developed this stimulus program to assist small Hondo businesses that are independently owned and operated with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 25 employees. Eligible industries may include retail (storefront), food and beverage; personal care (barber shop, nail salons, spas, etc.), automobile maintenance, education training, health/wellness, art galleries and small manufacturing businesses. National chains, financial institutions, RV parks, apartment complexes, home-based businesses, permanently closed businesses, and non-profit organizations are not eligible for the grant. Applicants employing between 1 – 4 employees are eligible for up $2,000.00. 5 – 10 employees are eligible for grants up to $5,000.00. Applicants employing between 11 – 25 employees are eligible for grants up $10,000.00. Click here to apply for grant.

Eligible expenses allowed under the grant program include:

•Rent/Mortgage •Employee support (salaries, insurance, paid leave, etc.) •Utilities (electricity, phone/internet, etc.) •Purchase of supplies to offer alternative business access (curbside pickup, delivery, shipping) •Purchase of COVID-19 supplies for business/customer protection/cleaning •Additional expenses as a result of increased cost from suppliers or alternate suppliers •Other business needs as approved by the Small Business Task Force.

Hondo Emergency Co-Marketing Grant

The Hondo Emergency Co-Marketing grant is being implemented to assist small businesses during a time of social distancing. Applications for this marketing program will be accepted through August 2020. The co-marketing fund is limited and is administered on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, funds are limited to a two-month maximum, but may be extended if deemed necessary by the City Manager or their designee.

Eligibility & Qualifications

Tourism-related businesses are encouraged to promote their business to existing customers and attract new customers outside of Hondo. Click here to apply for grant. 

Eligible expenses allowed under the grant program include:

If approved, a qualifying small business located within the Hondo city limits, can be reimbursed for 100% of online marketing costs, up to $50 per month, for a maximum of two months. Maximum amount of funds committed to this program is $5,000.00.

Hotel Occupancy Tax Emergency Payment Deferral + Forgiveness Program

The Hondo City Council took measures at the April 16, 2020 City Council meeting to defer hotel occupancy tax payments for April 20, 2020 and May 20, 2020 for 60 days with an effort to support all hotels in good-standing with the City of Hondo Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund. The City Council required all hotels applying for deferral to submit a written employee retention plan to receive the 60-day deferral. The Hotel Occupancy Tax Emergency Deferral + Forgiveness Program provides a 60-day deferral of hotel occupancy tax payments for April 20, 2020 and May 20, 2020, with an additional offering of forgiving up to $1,000.00 per month for a total of no more than three (3) months of forgiven occupancy tax payments. This program has an aggregate of $9,000.00 available for hotel occupancy tax forgiveness.

Eligibility & Qualifications

Only hotels that 1) pay hotel occupancy tax to the City of Hondo and 2) are in good-standing on HOT payments qualify for the deferral + forgiveness program. Click here to apply for grant.