When we think about local businesses that have been hurt during the COVID-19 pandemic, the first thing that comes to mind are restaurants and retail. But we cannot forget about non-profit organizations in the area. They are struggling also.
"COVID-19 has had a real domino effect," says Frances Wilson, the president and CEO of the Purple Door. "I know we are seeing a downturn in donations."
With those donations taking a nosedive and the loss of massive fundraisers because of COVID-19, the money needed to pay for things such as electricity or rent is shrinking.
"It is scary," Wilson added. "We are wondering what does six months from now look like, what does a year from now look like?"
The city of Corpus Christi is now stepping in to help.
What started out as an idea by city councilman Everett Roy, has now turned into a reality. The city has set aside $500,000 to divide among local non profits within the city limits.
"I came up with the idea and talked to the city manager," said Roy. "We needed to have some type of grant program that is truly for local non-profits."
The city has teamed up with the United Way of the Coastal Bend to distribute the funds to non-profits that apply and qualify.
Some of the qualifications are as followed:
- Must be classified by the IRS as a 501C3 or 501C6 non-profit.
- Must be operating within the Corpus Christi city limits.
- Must be providing health and human services, educational services or job training.
- Must have an annual revenue below $3 million.
This money will keep the buildings open and the lights on. Something that turned doubtful during this crisis.
"Without being able to hold the fundraisers they cannot keep in business," said Donna Hurley, the vice-president of community impact for the United Way of the Coastal Bend..
The money serves as a life raft for many non-profits that are trying to stay afloat during a very trying time.
The city and the United Way are letting them know, they are there for them.
"A non-profit organization is a small business," said Constance Sanchez, the CFO for the city. "They employ people, they have operating costs such as rent and utilities."
For non-profits interested in applying for the grant money, visit UWCB.org and click on the COVID-19 resources link.