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In some ways, summer has brought a return to normalcy. COVID numbers have stayed relatively low, and as a result, many of us have enjoyed dining out, going to movie theatres, and visiting the grocery store without a mask. A major shift in the right direction, the July federal jobs report was much better than expected. Indeed, it is rare to see shop or restaurant signs apologizing for under-staffing and long wait times like we did in 2021.

And yet, many San Antonio small businesses are still rebuilding from the effects of the pandemic. More recent problems, like high fuel prices, inflation, and persistent supply chain issues have slowed that recovery. With the hottest summer in history dragging on, electricity prices are higher than usual, and rising COVID infections and new variants present uncertainties.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your application in now. Need help scanning and uploading documents? Schedule an appointment with one of the seven community partners. Don’t wait until the last day to submit.

You are working hard to create jobs for this neighborhood, offer quality service, and live your dream. Let this grant help you out in return. You deserve it!

For more information, email or call 800-923-9551

Among all these challenges, the City of San Antonio and LiftFund are offering the COVID Impact Grants Program, funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Through this program, grants are available for small businesses that have continued to struggle throughout the past two and a half years and have not been able to return to pre-pandemic sales levels.

The application opened on August 1 and will close at 5 pm on August 22.

Grants will range from $15,000 - $35,000. In addition, businesses  that are located in certain areas will be eligible for up to an additional $10,000. Those are areas in which voter-approved City bond construction projects started between October 2019 and December 2021 and lasted eighteen months or more. 

One key eligibility factor is that businesses must be among one of 42 NAICS codes, or industries, that have been hardest hit in terms of job loss. Just a few examples of businesses on that list are restaurants, daycares and hair salons.

To focus on businesses that have continued to struggle through the pandemic, applicants must show 2020 gross sales that are lower than 2019 gross sales, and 2021 gross sales must be at least 20% lower than 2019 gross sales.

All of the eligility criteria, including the list of eligible NAICS codes, required documents, a program timeline, a link to the application, and contact information for community partners who are available to help in-person with the application can be found at

The other important thing to understand about this program is that it is NOT first come, first served. Applicants will be scored based on five factors: 

  1. Percent reduction of gross sales between 2019 and 2021

  2. Industry

  3. Demographics of the business owner

  4. Equity atlas score

  5. Past COVID funding received. (Don’t worry- if you got a PPP, EIDL or past COVID grant from the city, you’re not disqualified!)

Applicants with the highest score will get considered and funded first. Details about the scoring are also on the website.

Liliane Spenle is the Grant Programs & Operations Manager at LiftFund

The City is offering another round of grants for small businesses, aimed at those who have not yet been able to return to pre-pandemic sales levels.

Need help applying? Schedule in-person assistance with one of the seven community partners.

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