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Waco's Boss conference helps small business find helpful resources

Boss Conference
Posted at 9:37 PM, Sep 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-28 12:03:24-04

WACO, Texas — The Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce and the City of Waco are making sure small businesses that survived the pandemic recoup the money that was lost during that challenging time.

A conference was held today to help business owners get back on their feet.

Dozens of small business owners gathered at Waco’s multi-purpose center for the 2022 Boss Conference to find out how they can apply for the ‘we all win’ business grant.

Road construction was a big hit to many minority businesses in East Waco over the past couple of years.

During the pandemic, over 60 to 70 percent of Black-owned businesses had to shut down.

The City of Waco is now trying to help. City leaders on Tuesday steered businesses like Carr Beauty Supply through the application process.

“I was waiting on the fish to get on my rod and I just waited and waited ... and I know God answered my prayer," said Kimble Carr. "Sometimes you have to wait in order to get our blessings, we can’t get it exactly when we want it.”

The grant program represents the largest investment in small businesses ever made in the city of Waco.

This pilot program will aid in the refinement of the grant process. Only businesses located in East Waco will be eligible during the pilot program.

During the month of November 2022, the pilot process will be revised and improved based on feedback from community partners and business owners.

The full roll-out of the ARPA Grant Program will occur based on the following schedule:

Upon the full roll-out, all areas located in an Enterprise Zone and/or CDBG-eligible area will be eligible to apply for ARPA Grant funding.

ARPA Full Rollout Program Application Period: January 4, 2023 – February 3, 2023 -- Application Review: February 20, 2023 – February 24, 2023 -- Award Notification: March 2, 2023 -- Funds Distributed: As early as March 24, 2023.