State grants available for travel, hospitality businesses – Fort Worth Business Press

The Texas Travel Industry Recovery (TTIR) Grant Program enters its final phase on Tuesday, Nov. 1, by offering a one-time reimbursement grant of up to $20,000 for Texas businesses in the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries negatively impacted by Covid-19.

This final phase, which focuses on what the grant titles “Food Services and Drinking Places,” includes only those businesses whose NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code begins with the three digits 722.

This category includes such entities as restaurants, food trucks, sports bars, bakeries, doughnut shops, and ice cream shops that qualify with the appropriate NAICS code.

The grant program was established by Texas Senate Bill 8 and was signed into law by Gov. Abbott to administer $180 million received from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

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The application period extends from Nov. 1 through Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Previous application periods focused on such impacted industries as:

  • Microbreweries, Wineries, and Distilleries
  • Travel Services, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, Trade Show Organizers
  • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
  • Hotels, Motels, Bed & Breakfasts

I have been honored to shepherd companies through this and other grant programs through the years, helping clients receive well over $650,000 in grants at the local, state, and federal levels.

One small bakery owner told me that this $20,000 could help save his business: “I survived the pandemic, but now I’m experiencing a slowdown that I never anticipated.”

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One of my recipients from a previous grant program told me, “I never even thought that I’d be eligible for that grant, and I never would have figured out how to apply for it!”

The criteria for this final phase of the program are that the applicant must:

  • have a NAICS code that begins with 722
  • have been in operation prior to January 20, 2020, and still be operating
  • operate within the state of Texas (the applicant may have other operations outside of Texas, but only the Texas businesses will qualify for the grant)
  • be either a privately-owned for-profit business or a nonprofit organization
  • be open to the public or provide services for in-person events
  • have suffered negative economic impact due to Covid-19
  • be otherwise eligible to receive grant funding and must not be barred from competing for federal awards

A preference will be given to applicants who did not previously receive any “federal assistance.” Additional preferences for grants will be provided for veteran-owned businesses, small businesses, and businesses in certain rural communities.

One of the benefits of multiple-location operations is that a company may receive a $20,000 grant for each location where it operates as long as each venue has had a separate Texas Taxpayer ID number since January 20, 2020.

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If an applicant operates multiple locations under a single Texas Taxpayer ID number, that applicant will be eligible for one $20,000 grant.

Applicants must provide details of their business and detail the negative impact that the pandemic had on their business. They will provide documents such as:

  • IRS 941 forms for Q4 2019, Q4 2020, Q4 2021, and Q2 2022
  • Proof of expenses incurred to comply with social distancing and other pandemic precautions
  • Rent payments made during any times that the public did not have access to the business due to the pandemic
  • Front page of IRS tax return that shows gross revenues for 2019, 2020, and 2021
  • Amounts of Federal Covid-19 relief through such programs as these below (participating in these programs does NOT make an applicant ineligible)
    • Payroll Protection Plan (PPP)
    • Shuttered Venues Grant
    • Restaurant Revitalization fund
    • SBA Debt Relief
  • A narrative explanation of the negative economic impact suffered due to the Covid-19 emergency
    • Lost revenues due to closing temporarily
    • Lost revenues due to loss of catering
    • Lost revenues due to decreased traffic
    • Increased expenses to develop and manage delivery or to-go operations
  • A narrative explanation of how the budget expenditures address the identified need or impact in response to Covid, and how the grant funds will address this economic harm

John Fletcher is the owner of Fletcher Consulting Public Relations, where he has successfully helped clients receive over $650,000 in government grants. His contact information is 817-205-2334 and his email address is john@thefletch.org.