The Giddings Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is giving a helping hand to local businesses and organizations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
After recently being directed by the Giddings City Council to provide an economic relief package for local healthcare providers and small businesses, the EDC board held an emergency meeting Wednesday night to determine the assistance that can be provided.
Giddings EDC Executive Director Tonya Britton said $30,000 in assistance will be available for the local healthcare industry through expansion of business services, new hires, and equipment purchases. Britton said part of the assistance will be distributed to Tejas Health Care for medical supplies and a tent to perform medical testing for COVID-19.
Britton said $50,000 will be made available to Internet service provider (ISP) ZochNet, who will use the funding to continue installing fiber-optic Internet in commercial areas and extend it to residential areas, particularly to assist those working from home or remotely. Half of the funding is dedicated to new hires for ZochNet, who expects to hire five to ten new employees over the next few months, while the other half will be dedicated to equipment.
Meanwhile, the EDC is planning to make $120,000 available for small businesses, in the amount of $3,000, $5,000, and $10,000 grants. Britton said, while not every business will be able to receive local funding, this will be immediate—and for some businesses, the only—assistance available.
According to Britton, the combined $80,000 for healthcare and Internet assistance will be available immediately, while the $120,000 for small businesses is contingent upon city council and legal counsel approval. If approved, the EDC will hold another emergency meeting to set policies and procedures for distributing funds.