Contact: Vincent Estrada
July 20, 2020 San Antonio, TX – The Westside Development Corporation (WDC), an economic development nonprofit for the westside of San Antonio, has helped more than 500 local small businesses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are just getting started.
“Our small and micro businesses are the backbone of the westside economy. Many of our residents are employed by these businesses and rely on them for their livelihood. We’re committed to doing everything we can and connect them to every available resource to give them the best chance of weathering this tough situation” said Ramiro Gonzales, Interim President and CEO of the Westside Development Corporation since February. “They need a partner in all this and we are happy to be that partner for them.”
WDC was one of the first organizations to pivot their offerings to respond to the immediate disaster needs of small businesses. Their usual small business loan program was converted into smaller COVID relief forgivable loans so as to serve more businesses without requiring repayment. Additional assistance provided by WDC has included outreach to the 400 businesses in their database to assess their needs and connect them with federal and local programs such as the Payroll Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, and providing application assistance with the recently completed Bexar County Small Business Relief Grant, and the recently launched City of San Antonio Small Business Relief Grant. This is all in addition to the day-to-day consulting and technical assistance services that are offered in helping businesses solve everyday problems like real estate issues, back office support, and skills development.
WDC also recently launched the bilingual Westside Small Business Helpline to give businesses a simple one-stop-shop to connect with resources being provided by not just WDC, but through partner organizations throughout the City. Within the first 30 days, WDC fielded more than 300 calls. “We’re making every possible effort to reach deeper into our community to find those businesses who don’t even know where to start asking for help” Gonzales said. To get the word out about the helpline and other resources, WDC recently completed a blockwalking effort that reached over 150 businesses and covered over 54 miles on foot along its major corridors.
WDC is now working with the City of San Antonio to shepherd businesses through the city grant program and providing assistance with applications and required documentation. WDC has a goal to serve at least 1,250 small businesses with COVID-related assistance by year’s end.
For more information on the Westside Development Corporation, please visit their website at www.westsidedevcorp.com. If you are a small business owner and have questions or need personalized assistance, please contact the Small Business Helpline during normal business hours at 210-598-8482.
About the Westside Development Corporation
The Westside Development Corporation is a City of San Antonio delegate agency, nonprofit organization, and local government corporation responsible for attracting new business and assisting existing business in the Westside of San Antonio. The organization has been responsible for fostering economic development, promoting the development and redevelopment of real estate, creating viable urban communities, and preserving the character, culture, and history of San Antonio’s Westside. For more information about the WDC please visit WestsideDevCorp.com, “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/