FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas - Fort Bend County is launching a new program to help small businesses survive the economic crisis.
The County is partnering with Carter Brothers consulting to help small businesses, particularly minority and disadvantaged businesses that didn't receive PPP loans, with coaching to help turn things around.
"As realtors, many of us have pivoted well into these new pandemic safe showings," realtor Bincy Jacob said while showing us a virtual tour of a home.
Jacob is a realtor with Keller Williams Memorial and has already begun receiving coaching through Fort Bend's new business recovery program.
"I feel like such a weight was lifted off, going into knowing there's someone there who's saying, 'Is this the right step for you? Are you taking on too much? Are you not pushing yourself enough?'" said Jacob.
Carter Brothers LLP has already begun coaching small business owners like Jacob.
"We'll talk to the businesses one-on-one, figure out what their pain points are, and actually help them come up with a plan," said Dr. Sterling Carter.
They've recruited 200 businesses already and want to help 200 more.
"We also provide an online program that they have six months' access to. It's a consulting program that has 300 different videos and modules for them go to through," said Carter.
"With a special focus on businesses, those who are especially minority-owned, women-owned and also disadvantaged businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic," said Fort Bend County Judge KP George at a press announcement about the program.
The County is also encouraging more small businesses to apply for their CARES Act grants of up to $25,000. County Auditor Ed Sturtivant says the County will distribute $29 million to the first 2000 approved businesses next week.
The end goal is not only to help businesses to survive, but to thrive in the future.
"I've only had a few weeks of consulting so far, and now I'm imagining a world where how can I not have her in the future to help me even after all this is over?" said Jacob.