Texas Banks Partner with LiftFund to Provide Unity Grants for Small Businesses

Texas banks, which have been supporting customers, small businesses and communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, have announced a “Unity Grant” program to provide quick relief to small minority and women-owned businesses impacted by recent manmade or natural disasters.

Reflecting the work of Texas community banks, the Texas Bankers Association and its charitable arm, the Texas Bankers Foundation, have established a partnership with LiftFund, a Texas-based nonprofit organization that helps micro and small minority and women-owned businesses through access to capital, financial education and other business support services. Through the Texas Unity Grant Program for Minority and Women-Owned Small Businesses, minority and women-owned small businesses in retail, service and restaurant industries with 25 employees or less and $1 million or less in gross annual revenue may be eligible to receive grants up to $25,000. The immediate focus of the program is assisting small businesses forced to close or halt business operations due to recent property damage, fire and other types of vandalism and business disruption.

The Texas Bankers Foundation is seeding the initiative with a $26,000 donation and is encouraging banks across Texas to join the Fund and also make donations. United Texas Bank (Dallas), whose leaders inspired this partnership with their vision for assisting impacted small businesses in their communities, committed $25,000 to help launch the effort.

“Disasters and disruption can disproportionately impact minority and women-owned businesses, and our partnership with LiftFund is intended to make a real difference to help save these businesses,” said TBA President and CEO Chris Furlow. “These small businesses are vital in every community and our member banks want to help them during these difficult times.”

“LiftFund has been working with the banking community for over 26 years,” said Janie Barrera, president and CEO of LiftFund. “We are partners in helping grow the Texas economy by assisting small businesses. Now, with this Fund, we can help small business owners overcome the struggles after disasters. We are all in this together.”

Donors and applicants can access more information at www.texasunitygrant.com.

In April, the Foundation donated $26,000 to the Feeding Texas network of 21 food banks that serve all 254 Texas counties through the Texas Banks 4 Food Banks initiative. To date, TBA member banks have contributed more than $750,000 to the food bank network and to local pantries across the state.