Easing Covid-19 Burden On DeSoto Residents & Businesses

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DeSoto small business grant

City Council & City Management Offer Relief From Pandemic’s Financial Impact

The DeSoto City Council is taking action to assist businesses and residents hit especially hard by COVID-19. Two new programs being offered to DeSoto businesses and residents include a small business grant of up to $5,000 and relief for certain water and sewer customers.

“We can’t eliminate the COVID-19 virus, but we can leverage our contacts and resources to attack and offset some of the financial damage that it has caused our residents and businesses,” stated DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan. “By combining our efforts with our National, State, County, and local allies, and packaging the financial resources and incentives available to us, we increase our outreach and strengthen the impact that we
can for those we serve.”

The City is moving forward with a two-pronged approach to providing financial relief to DeSoto businesses and residents impacted by the COIVD-19 Pandemic.

The first prong involves the creation of a $365,000 Small Business Grant Program for impacted small businesses using $182,823 in federal (HUD) CDBG funding matched by $182,823 in funding from the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation.

The second prong of this financial relief effort involves the implementation of a plan to offer payment relief to City of DeSoto water and sewer utility customers impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.

“While the immediate threat from the COVID-19 Pandemic has been to the health and well-being of our residents, the financial damage caused to our businesses and residents is also very real,” noted DeSoto’s City Manager Brandon Wright. “We are excited to be able to offer some assistance to move our community forward.”

Here are the basic details of both programs:

COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT GRANT PROGRAM:

The City of DeSoto has received access to $182,823 in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBGCV) funds from the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) via the CARES Act earmarked to be used to prevent, prepare for, or to respond to job loss and impacts related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. The DeSoto Economic Development Corporation (DEDC) will provide matching funds of up to $182,823 to create DeSoto’s $365,000 COVID-19 Small Business Support Grant Program. On Friday, May 22,
2020, The City posted and circulated details of the grant program and how eligible small businesses could apply for short-term working capital assistance for the retention of jobs held by low- to moderate-income (LMI) employees.

Participating small businesses will be subject to oversight and reporting requirements to ensure that funds are not used to pay costs already covered by other grant sources. Applications are available on the City of DeSoto Website at www.desototexas.gov/SmallBusinessGrant or can be requested at 972-230-9694.

Electronic or hard copies of the completed application must be submitted no later than Friday, June 12, 2020, by 4:00 PM.

Town Hall Meetings will be held on June 1st at 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm at DeSoto City Hall to accept public input on the use of Community Development Block Grant CARES Act Funds. To facilitate program understanding and completion of applications, “GoToMeetings” are now being held online. The first meeting was held on the evening of May 29th from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, and two additional meetings will be held during the same hours on the evenings of June 5th, and June 10th, 2020. You can participate in these meetings via the following link https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/474210493 or call in at +1 (571) 317-3122 / Access Code: 474-210-493

UTILITY BILL RELIEF:

The second prong of this financial relief effort involves implementing a plan approved by the DeSoto City Council at their May 19th meeting to offer payment relief to City of DeSoto water and sewer utility customers impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.

The plan approved by the City Council has three components:
• Residential customers currently registered to receive the Senior Discount will receive a credit for one freemonth of water and sewer service.
• Business customers deemed “non-essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive credit for a free month of water and sewer service.
• Residential customers can apply to have their $40 deposit credited towards their bill if they do not receive the Senior Discount.

Seniors who are registered to receive the 65+ utility bill discount will see a credit on their statements due for payment in July. Seniors who have not yet registered to receive DeSoto’s Senior Discount can still do so. They must be 65 years of age or older and reside at the property where service is provided to receive a discount on their monthly water bill and to receive this free month credit. The form to request this discount is online at www.desototexas.gov/SeniorCitizenDiscount. After downloading and filling out the form, they will need to provide a copy of their driver’s license to verify their age and either fax the information to 972-230-5795 or bring it to the Utility Billing office located in City Hall at 211 E. Pleasant Run Road as soon as possible.

Storefront businesses in DeSoto that were deemed “non-essential” and temporarily closed under the Governor’s emergency declaration will also receive a free month of water and sewer service on their statements due for payment in July. Business owners who want to learn if they qualify for the nonessential business credit should contact the Utility Billing Department at 972-230-9627.

Residential customers may also apply to have up to $40 of their utility deposit applied to their account if they are not eligible for the Senior Discount. To receive this credit of up to $40, customers will need to apply no later than August 31st at  www.desototexas.gov/WaterDepRefund or customers will be able to call the Utility Billing
Office at 972-230-9627 for information and assistance. Please note that this credit will be reflected on the next billing statement after application.

DeSoto small business grant
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