All Posts By

Anette Landeros

Free Rapid COVID Testing for Small Businesses

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Beginning February 4, small businesses in Fort Worth can apply for free BinaxNow rapid COVID-19 tests through the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FWHCC). Apply online!

In an effort to support the continued operation of small businesses throughout the State of Texas, the FWHCC will be participating in a program established by Governor Abbott to provide BinaxNow rapid COVID-19 tests to small businesses in their communities. Small businesses will be required to be trained on proper testing protocols, to include test administration and reporting of results as required by law.

“Our community has been devastated by the loss of loved ones and community leaders,” said FWHCC President/CEO Anette Landeros. “Our Chamber feels a sense of duty to help in any way possible, which now includes coordinating the dissemination of free COVID test kits so that small businesses can test employees and help keep their workers safe. Faster confirmation of a positive COVID case will hopefully help us slow the spread.”

The FWHCC will make the BinaxNow test kits available to any existing or new chamber member business with fewer than 500 employees. TDEM will provide BinaxNow test kits, facemasks, training, and support. Participating businesses will identify staff members to be trained to administer the tests and report the results as well as determine the manner that the voluntary testing will be conducted for their employees. All testing of employees must be voluntary and not a condition of employment. Businesses will also be responsible for establishing appropriate policies for addressing positive COVID-19 test results of their employees, including the notification of local health departments.

Businesses can register for free BinaxNow test kits beginning on February 4th by visiting or calling 817-625-5411. Read the full press release.

Preserve the Fort

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Preserve the Fort initiative offers $10 million in grants to Fort Worth small businesses

The City of Fort Worth recently received approximately $158 million in funding from the CARES Act, and is partnering with the United Way of Tarrant County to distribute $10 million of those funds to Fort Worth small businesses through the Preserve the Fort small business grant program.

Of the $10 million allocated for Preserve the Fort grants, $2.5 million will be dedicated to supporting minority-owned businesses, and another $2.5 million is reserved for businesses located in the city’s Neighborhood Empowerment Zones and Designated Investment Zones – areas of Fort Worth that are predominantly low-to-moderate income, which the city has already identified for revitalization efforts.

Grant applications will be processed with the help of partners at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.

Applications for Preserve the Fort grants open Tuesday, May 26, and will close at 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 15. Business owners can apply at

“These grants are critical to helping support and preserve the city’s small business community, which has helped define so much of Fort Worth’s character,” said Robert Sturns, the city’s Economic Development Director. “As businesses across the state start to reopen, these grants can help offset some of the costs from the recent shutdown and provide a way forward for those small businesses who have been hit hardest.”

“We applaud the City of Fort Worth for developing the Preserve the Fort Grant Program and using CARES Act funding to help our small business community,” said Leah King, President and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County. “The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating to so many small business owners who had to close because of the shelter-in-place restrictions. It is our sincere hope that these funds allow them to get back on their feet and position them for long-term success.”


Grant funds are open to businesses who fit the following criteria:

  • Small business (250 employees or less).
  • Located within the City of Fort Worth, with a Fort Worth mailing
  • Registered to do business in the State of
  • Business must have been in operation since 1, 2019.
  • Self-employed individuals, independent contractors, sole proprietors, and nonprofits serving the business community are also

If a business has already received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they are still eligible to receive these funds. However, priority will be given to businesses that have not received funding through these programs.

For more information about eligibility requirements and other questions, a list of frequently asked questions is available on the Preserve the Fort webpage in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Funding information

Depending on the number of full-time staff a business employed as of March 17, 2020, the funding levels are:

  • Micro-enterprises with less than 5 employees are eligible for a grant of $5,000.
  • Level I businesses (with 6-25 employees) are eligible for a grant of $7,500.
  • Level II businesses (with 26-50 employees) are eligible for a grant of $10,000.
  • Level III businesses (with 51-250 employees) are eligible for a grant of $50,000.

Preserve the Fort grant funds can be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption due to COVID-19 as a result of required closures, voluntary closures to promote social distancing, or decreased customer demand. A complete list of examples is available on the Preserve the Fort webpage.

Businesses who receive grant funding are required to document how the funds are used.

Before applying

Business owners can complete the Preserve the Fort funding application more quickly by getting the following business documents in order:

  • A completed W-9
  • Documentation of Going Concern and Business This will require one of the following documents: Secretary of State Texas File Number, Employee Identification Number, DBA, 2018 or 2019 tax return (schedules not required), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or Certificate of Filing.
  • Proof of This will require one of the following documents: W-3 form, 941 form, or other document showing payroll expenses, employer insurance expenses, or employer retirement expenses for the first quarter of 2020 (prior to the COVID-19 emergency declaration on March 17, 2020) as well as the most current version of this document.
  • Profit & Loss (P&L) statement for 2019, as well as a P&L statement as of March
  • For sole proprietors, applicants are required to provide a 2018 or 2019 Schedule

Once business owners compile this information, they can visit fort to begin their application.

Questions and application help

Because this may be the first time that many business owners are applying for financial aid, there are a variety of resources available to help make this application process as simple as possible.

In addition to FAQs and other documents available on the Preserve the Fort website in three languages, Tarrant Small Business Development Center is staffing a call center to help business owners prepare their application documentation or fill out their applications between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the call center for assistance at 817-515-2603.

For more information about the Preserve the Fort grant program, contact the City of Fort Worth Communications & Public Engagement Office at 817-392-8889 or by emailing

Small Business Grant Program

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You’ve invested in our community, and with the support of Facebook, we want to invest in you. The funds received from the Support the Fort: Small Business Grant Program may be allocated for the following expenses: mortgage/rent, inventory, working capital, payroll, marketing, or IT innovation.

The grant will be in amounts up to $5,000. The Fort Worth Chamber Foundation will disburse the funds among eligible small businesses once the selection process is complete. APPLY NOW!

Future of the Texas Workforce Post-COVID

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The Best Place for Working Parents™ is working with the Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) at Southern Methodist University (SMU) to conduct a survey to gather insights on the future of our workforce post-COVID. While your contact information will remain confidential, your response will help us publish a leadership report on COVID-19’s impact on our business community, innovations that have helped stem the tide of economic impact, and critical factors for our workforce and business community’s success in the post-COVID environment. Your input is greatly valued.

*To be included in this report, all responses must be received by Friday, May 15, 2020.

Lyft Discount

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In response to COVID-19, Lyft is offering free ride credits to USHCC members using the $25 valued code CVUSHCC25 until May 31, 2020 for essential work related travel and essential services, as deemed by your locality (i.e. grocery store, pharmacy, critical healthcare services).  Essential rides may include the following, subject to local guidance:

·  Rides to “essential services” as deemed by your locality (such grocery store, food bank, pharmacy, hardware store)

·  Rides for families/caregivers/social workers to deliver needed supplies or services for homebound and/or self-isolating people (such as older adults)

·  Rides for senior citizens and other individuals to health appointments

·  Rides for senior citizens to go shopping during seniors-only shopping hours at a grocery store

This offer is intended for USHCC members.  Please do not post this on social media channels. 

Limited quantity available. Max 1 redemption per user. Valid for rides through May 31, 2020, 11:59PM (local time zone). Cannot be combined with other ride credits or offers. Subject to Lyft’s Terms of Service. All riders are asked to stay home if they are sick, and should work with a medical professional to discuss transportation options if they need to see a doctor. Per the CDC, anyone who suspects they may have or is diagnosed with COVID-19 should not use ridesharing.