DICKINSON, TX November 17, 2020. When the current COVID-19 pandemic began showing its
presence first quarter of 2020, few could have anticipated the width and depth of the impact this
natural disaster could have shown to local businesses. The Dickinson Economic Development
Corporation and Dickinson’s City Council took an initial step in assessing and assisting brick-and-mortar firms to survive and even expand their services in the face of such economic uncertainty.
Named the Dickinson Emergency Business Retention and Expansion Grant Program, DEDC and City Council amended its budget to put $394,488.00 into the hands of 54 Dickinson small businesses and one non-profit corporation who applied for and needed the assistance. Funds otherwise budgeted were carefully redirected to this emergency relief project in order to assist firms stretched thin to pay bills and remain open, or at least to re-open when their business became more safe to do so.
To qualify for help, companies or self-employed business owners completed an application
form outlining annual sales, impact of Covid-19 on their business, anticipated use of any funds
received, and a detailed recovery plan including historical operating data. The applicant had to be an operating business, non-profit, or veteran’s organization that maintained a physical commercial operation address within Dickinson’s city limits prior to March 15, 2020, had to be significantly affected by the pandemic, and explain how. They also signed a Performance Agreement, including repayment terms if such agreement is not met, that provides DEDC with access to its business records and recovery documentation proof for at least one year. No delinquent taxes or liens could be owing or filed against the business or owner(s)/operator(s), and applicants had to be in “good standing” with the City and DEDC. Dickinson’s City Council and Mayor approved the project and the incentives awarded.
“This emergency grant program is another prime example of what economic development is all
about in Texas, and especially in the City of Dickinson”, said the corporation’s CEO/Executive
Director Scott Jones. DEDC Board of Directors President Robert Donley remarked that “Dickinson stands behind its small business operators 100% of the way. It always has and it always will.”