The City of Edinburg and its economic development corporation are starting the new year with a new addition to an existing program designed to assist locally owned businesses through COVID-19-related hardships.
The city’s Stimulus Program Aimed at Recovery from COVID is adding assistance to business owners who are based out of their homes. The SPARC program will provide up to $2,000 in grants for use to purchase furniture, supplies and other types of equipment. The assistance to home-based businesses is a unique one among many similar programs offered by other Rio Grande Valley cities.
Edinburg’s SPARC program will now go through its fourth round of recovery assistance, with the funds derived from federal sources as part of the CARES Acts. The multi-trillion bills were passed by Congress in response to the economic fallout associated with COVID-19.
Funds Also Beautify Edinburg Businesses
A second new element to Edinburg’s SPARC program is a façade improvement program that will provide up to $10,000 for local businesses to improve and beautify their storefronts with paint, window repairs, signage and outdoor patios. Many other Valley cities, including Weslaco and McAllen, have similar façade assistance programs for their local businesses.
The city began accepting applications for SPARC 4.0 on Jan. 10 and funds will be dispensed until they run out. Businesses receiving grants from the program must have their projects completed by Oct. 1 of this year.
“The city of Edinburg has invested over $2 million in grants to locally owned businesses and $1.8 million in gift cards to Edinburg residents,” said Blanca Davila, the director of the city’s economic development corporation, of the SPARC program.
The gift card program was part of the third round of SPARC and distributed $100 gift cards to 8,000 Edinburg households to spend and reinvest in local businesses that are part of the assistance program.