Financial Assistance with short-term, 0% interest, forgivable loans up to $10,000 to assist Brownsville businesses with up to fifteen employees, or up to five employees with low to moderate income.



The Brownsville (Re)Open For Business Forgivable Loan Program’s primary objectives are to support eligible retail, food, personal services, and non-profit businesses that employ low- and moderate-income persons to retain jobs for city residents and stabilize local businesses.

The program is a short-term 0% interest forgivable loan program up to $10,000 to assist businesses with up to fifteen (15) employees at the time of application, or up to five (5) employees with low to moderate income owner. $500,000 funds available and expect to assist up to 100 businesses and nonprofits.

Applications are not awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Applications will be scored according to the scoring criteria. Top scoring applications will be recommended for approval, until all funding is exhausted. If there are more eligible applications than funding, BCIC will use a lottery process to select applicants.



Loans available include: $5,000 for a microenterprise (five or few employees, including the owner) that is owned by a low to moderate income individual; OR $10,000 for a small business with 15 or fewer employees with at least one Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) job.

Funds will be disbursed at 100% for first disbursement. Business/non-profit businesses must retain one (1) FTE job held by an individual or individuals that are a member of a low to moderate income household for a minimum of three (3) months. A full-time employee is one who works at least 40 hours per week. Two part-time with a minimum of 20 hours a week equal one full-time equivalent or FTE basis.

Low to moderate income is defined as not exceed eighty percent (80%) of the Area Median Income adjusted for family size, established by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Please see the chart below for more details.


Business will provide a project report to BCIC within four (4) months of disbursement of grant funds to report:

  • Status of the job/s retained or created
  • Documentations (invoices, bank statements, etc.) on how the funds were disbursed; and
  • The stability of the business. • If the business or non-profit meet all the requirements at the 4-month mark, the loan is forgiven.

If the business fails any or all the requirements, the business will be required to payback the loan back to BCIC at equal payments for a minimum of 12 months.



Eligible recipients must have their businesses located within the City limits of Brownsville, Texas. Businesses and Non-Profits with up to 15 employees at the time of application submission. Businesses and Non-Profits must meet ONLY one of the following two criteria:



Business has five or few employees, including the owner. Business is owned by a low to moderate income individual and can demonstrate potential business closure or layoffs without the loan funds;


Defined as a Company with 15 or fewer employees that can demonstrate at least one (1) FTE job would be lost without the loan funds and must retain at least one FTE job for a low to moderate income person for a minimum of three (3) months during the program activity.


  • Business or Non-Profit been operating since March 1, 2019.
  • Business owner must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Business/Non-Profit must be located within Brownsville city limits and has a physical business address.
  • Annual gross revenue must be under $1.5 million.
  • Business/Non-Profit must demonstrate 25% or more loss of gross revenue due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Owner is 18 years or older.
  • Owner is not currently in bankruptcy and has not filed bankruptcy in the past 12 months.
  • Business or Non-profit is current with property taxes, city fees.
  • Not have a conflict of interest with Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) and/or the City of Brownsville (i.e. The following people cannot have ownership or financial interest in the assisted business, or be an employee of the assisted business: BCIC staff, City of Brownsville staff, or elected officials, appointed board members, and their immediate family)


  • Bars, Liquor And Tobacco Stores
  • Smoke Shops
  • Adult Entertainment
  • Sexually Oriented Businesses
  • Payday & Title Loan Businesses
  • Sports Teams
  • Pawn Shops
  • Firearm or Weapons Dealers
  • Passive Real Estate Investments
  • Franchises/Chains that Cannot Provide Proof of Independence.


  • Payroll; 
  • Operating Capital – Commercial Mortgage, Lease, Insurance, Utilities;
  • Purchase of Inventory, Supplies, Accounting & Inventory Software, Equipment;
  • Resources to get business established online such as marketing materials, advertising, and website development.

As Secondary Requests, we will consider Requests For Expenses to open new lines of business in response to the crisis, such as Manufacturing Medical Supplies needed to respond to the disease or providing Cleaning or In-home Health Services.


Eligible recipients must provide the following documentation for our (Re)Open for Business Forgivable Loan Program through StartUp Texas. We understand the information required is very lengthy! Please feel free to call our COVID-19 Business Hotline for assistance with any documentation you may need. Please follow the link below to access a list of all the documents needed for our (Re)Open for Business Forgivable Loan Program. 



Applications close October 23, 2020. You may begin an application at anytime and save your progress as you go. Please note that the all documentation must be included in your application in order to submit. We expect a large influx of applications in the short application window and recommend all applicants to submit their application as soon as possible. Please only begin your application if you know you will be able to obtain all the necessary documentation. 

In order to apply, you will need to create a Submittable account, please follow the link below to begin. If you have any questions or concerns please call our COVID-19 Hotline at 888-816-8043.



Cori Peña, Director of Community Development
Josh Mejia, Executive Director
Nathan Burkhart, Director of Marketing & Small Business Development