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Local CARES act recipients urge others who qualify to apply as the deadline approaches

Posted at 12:31 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 13:31:50-05

Business-owners, non-profits, and everyday people are still trying to bounce back from financial hardships caused by coronavirus lockdowns. The deadline to apply for CARES Act funding here in Texas is December 26th, with a few weeks left for people to apply, a local business owner and non-profit representative urge people to apply if they haven't already.

Let Us Do the Cooking and the Ft. Hood Area Habitat for Humanity have both faced unimaginable challenges due to COVID-19. But thanks to the funding from the CARES Act, they’ve been able to stay afloat and serve their community.

“Have I been scared? Absolutely. Am I still standing? Yes, because we’re not out of the woods yet. If I’m being realistic, we’re sitting here in December with less than half of what we normally do,” said Meredith Viguers.

Right now, she's catering one of the few events of this year. Meredith Viguers, owner of Lets Us Do The Cooking recieved her funding through the city of Nolanville. She's finishing the year with 80% less business than last year, but is glad she’s still here with the people she started with.

“Getting that money really helped us pay rent and make sure that payroll stayed current then we can keep our entire staff of salaried employees and not have to furlough anyone,” said Viguers.

“We were able to keep not only keep our entire workforce but we actually grew our employment,” said Ken Cates CEO of Ft Hood Area Habitat for Humanity.

Thanks to the different types of CARES Act funding Cates is able to continuing serving our community with a few extra helping hands.

“Ramps repairs, our handicap ramps, critical home repairs, veteran home repairs and we’ve been able to serve over 60 families during this time. We went for 11 employees to 14,” said Cates.

If you are eligible to apply both Cates and Virgas encourage you to do so.

Virgras said, “It seems like a daunting task but it’s really a much simpler process than I think most small business owners realize. A lot of that just has to do with the uncertainty about the financials. So if your numbers are good, if your books are current, it’s a really simple process.”

There were 18 Businesses in the City of Killeen that have benefited from the first round of CARES Act funding, receiving over $200,000. There is a second round of funding that will be distributes as soon as the funds come in totaling $726,841.

If you aren't a business owner, there is still help out there for you too. The City of Killeen has recently announced a Utility Assistance Program.

If you live in Belton or Temple, a representative with United Way of Central Texas says there is still funding available to help Belton residents that need assistance with utilities and for Temple residents who need help with their utilities, mortgage or rent.