June 16, 2024

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Small business owner uses Travis County COVID-19 grant to build mobile tutoring van

Small business owner uses Travis County COVID-19 grant to build mobile tutoring van

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TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Another spherical of revenue is coming for Travis County small firms.

Travis County commissioners are taking into consideration another $8 million in resources from federal reduction funds, some of which would go towards administrative expenses.

The to start with spherical of funding in Travis County was about $9.4 million and went to more than 220 tiny corporations by way of the county’s Prosper Plan.

“I experienced to think of a new method once the pandemic hit,” mentioned Wilda Harper, proprietor of Tots ‘N Tutors.

Harper has owned Tots ‘N Tutors for 6 several years now it’s an on-the-road tutoring enterprise.

“It was the concept of the van that built them open up to obtaining that individualized instruction,” reported Harper.

  • Wilda Harper's mobile tutoring van for her business, Tots 'N Tutors. (Courtesy: Wilda Harper)
  • Wilda Harper's mobile tutoring van for her business, Tots 'N Tutors. (Courtesy: Wilda Harper)
  • Wilda Harper's mobile tutoring van for her business, Tots 'N Tutors. (Courtesy: Wilda Harper)
  • Wilda Harper's mobile tutoring van for her business, Tots 'N Tutors. (Courtesy: Wilda Harper)

With the onset of the pandemic, quite a few of her clientele have been worried with her coming inside their homes to provide the tutoring solutions. She developed the mobile tutoring van to alleviate the spread, but observed it would value 1000’s to build the van.

“At to start with, I utilized for a more compact grant,” explained Harper. “I didn’t know I would will need that much, for the reason that my idea in my thoughts was much lesser than it really was.”

Travis County gave her approximately $37,500 as element of the Prosper System employing American Rescue System Act money. The money paid for her van, provides and the vinyl wrap, upping her organization video game.

“As I’m driving to these destinations, persons would say, ‘I observed your van,’” explained Harper.

Travis County commissioners focused organizations outside of the Austin metropolis boundaries.

“We said, ‘we are heading to prioritize tiny corporations, and specifically women of all ages and tiny minority-owned corporations,’” claimed Brigid Shea, Travis County commissioner.

Flipnastics in the northwest portion of Travis County was also among the the listing of recipients.

“They came in suitable at a time when we have been starting to get rid of hope as to what our potential appeared like,” reported Rachel Shaffer, owner of Flipnastics. “Without any aid from the landlords at that time, none of all those items ended up obtainable for business businesses at that time.”

Shaffer applied the roughly $40,000 they acquired for a few months lease.

The 2nd spherical of funding would focus on 143 businesses that were formerly denied funding. Ninety-4 of them ended up waitlisted, and about 49 were turned absent for the reason that of unemployment payments.

Of the 220 that did obtain funding, 66{067fe502a31e650c5185733df64156900ec267ebfd90cbebf0b3fe89b5b413d8} ended up owned by gals, and 51{067fe502a31e650c5185733df64156900ec267ebfd90cbebf0b3fe89b5b413d8} ended up minority owned.

“I imagine at minimum 97{067fe502a31e650c5185733df64156900ec267ebfd90cbebf0b3fe89b5b413d8} of the companies we gave the grant funds to are nevertheless in business enterprise,” stated Shea.

A possible third round of funding could be coming in the spring. That method could need an entirely new software and procurement course of action and would be open up to other companies outdoors of people who have previously used.

Commissioners are however putting alongside one another a list of qualifications for both of those the 2nd and third spherical of funding.

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