Minority Business Stabilization Fund
The Minority Business Stabilization Fund is a one-time grant assistance program funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Through this Fund, the City provides direct aid to minority-owned businesses in San Marcos. For questions about the program, please email Economic & Business Development Manager Christian Smith.
To be eligible for consideration, a business must meet the following guidelines:
- Business must be located within the corporate limits of San Marcos.
- Continual operation of business in San Marcos for at least 12 months before grant request.
- Employ 1-25 full-time employees across all locations.
- Business is independently owned and operated.
- Business is at least 51% unconditionally owned by a socially disadvantaged individual and the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more disadvantaged individuals.
- Only one grant award will be disbursed per business.
- Applicant is not an elected official or employee of the city, or married to an elected official or employee of the city.
- If the business is a franchise, eligibility is limited to a single location of the franchise.
- Business is a for-profit entity.
Funds awarded under this program may be used for the following expenses:
- Physical improvements to business space to reopen safely as a result of covid
- Equipment to comply with public health and safety guidelines (e.g. touchless payment methods, automatic door open sensors, etc.)
- Costs associated with expanding the business to e-commerce sales
- Rent, payroll, and other operating expenses
Funds awarded under this program may not be used for the following expenses:
- Funds cannot be used to pay debt
- Funds cannot be used to pay taxes owed
- Funds cannot be used to settle a lawsuit
Award Breakdown by Business Size
Applicants will be asked three yes/no questions related to the state of their business. A "Yes" response will award the applicant the set award amount for that question within the total award cap for the business' size. A "no" response will award no funds for that question. The remaining funds will be allocated based upon the completion of the application and the detail of the responses provided.
- Each “Yes” response will award $250.
- Completion of the application and detailed responses will award $250.
- Total possible grant award: $1,000
1-5 full-time employees:
- Each “Yes” response will award $1,250.
- Completion of the application and detailed responses will award $1,250.
- Total possible grant award: $5,000
6 – 15 full-time employees:
- Each “Yes” response will award $1,875.
- Completion of the application and detailed responses will award $1,875.
- Total possible grant award: $7,500
16 – 25 full-time employees:
- Each “Yes” response will award $2,500.
- Completion of the application and detailed responses will award $2,500.
- Total possible grant award: $10,000
Applications for Minority Business Stabilization Funds will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis. All eligible applications will be considered while funding is available. The City of San Marcos does not intend to renew the Minority Business Stabilization Fund after funding is exhausted.
Steps to Apply
- Applicant submits a completed application.
- The Minority Business Stabilization Fund Review Committee will review applications and will schedule a meeting with the applicant for accuracy and completion if necessary.
- Applicants will be reviewed in the order in which they are received so long as funding is available.
- Upon confirmation that the application is complete and eligible, the Review Committee will initiate the payment process.
This program follows the definition of socially disadvantaged individuals according to the U.S. Small Business Act. These are individuals who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as member of groups and without regard to their individual qualifies and the social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control.
According to the U.S. Small Business Act, the following groups are deemed to be socially disadvantaged:
- Black Americans
- Hispanic Americans
- Native Americans
- Asian Pacific Americans Subcontinent Asian Americans
Individuals not members of one of the listed designated groups may establish social disadvantage based on personal experiences of substantial and chronic social disadvantage in American society that is the result of a distinguishing feature (i.e., race, ethnic origin, gender, physical disability) that has contributed to the social disadvantage. The social disadvantage must have a negative impact on the applicant’s advancement in the business world exclusively because of the disadvantage.