Innovation

The DEC Network Creates Fund to Aid Local Small Businesses

The $5 million Revive Dallas Small Business Fund will provide entrepreneurs with support in response to COVID-19.

The DEC Network, in collaboration with the private business community, LiftFund, and Communities Foundation of Texas, has launched the Revive Dallas Small Business Fund to address the urgent and long-term recovery of Dallas small businesses and entrepreneurs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Committed monetary aid has already surpassed $1 million from donors like Comerica Bank, Texas Capital Bank, John Olajide (founder and CEO of Axxess), Andres Ruzo (CEO of LinkAmerica), and private foundations.

Trey Bowles, The DEC Network

The Dallas Regional Chamber, Dallas Citizens Council, the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Eric Johnson have supported the DEC Network’s fund.

“When the pandemic struck, the DEC Network sat down and decided that our mission to help entrepreneurs start building their small businesses has never been more important than it is today,” said Trey Bowles, the group’s co-founder and executive chairman.

The fund has placed a priority on allocating resources for minority and women-owned small businesses who might have missed out on receiving relief through the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Relief Fund or Paycheck Protection Program.

“A lot of the statistics that we saw showed that 90 percent of minority and women-owned small businesses were not getting PPP funding,” said Bowles. “We, as a community, have to respond to what our population looks like, and in order to meet our needs, we have to understand that there’s small businesses and entrepreneurs not receiving funding and we want to make sure they do receive funding.”

Mayor Johnson has supported the fund, along with backing the creation of a $5 million Small Business Community Fund orchestrated by the city.

“Small businesses are the heart of the Dallas economy, and I am grateful that the Revive Dallas Small Business Relief Fund will be available to help many of them get through the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement. “This loan program will be a boon to our city and serves as an outstanding example of how our community comes together in times of crisis to help those in need.”

Loans will be granted to more than 250 applicants up to $25,000 per candidate and will be paired with a unique set of non-monetary resources and mentorship. The aid is a zero percent loan fund that is forgivable once a few key milestones are met. The business must be based in the city of Dallas.

The pre-qualification process is open now, and starting on Sunday, June 7, the formal application process will be open for one week. Once the application process is closed, qualified applicants will go through a lottery process to find out who will receive funds.

“This fund is unique, important, and compelling,” Bowles told D CEO. “It’s a really cool concept to see these amazing leadership organizations come together to help the community. These entrepreneurs are important; these small businesses are essential.”

To apply to the fund, to view criteria, or if you have any questions, visit www.revivedallasfund.com.

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