Gov. Abbott announces $50 million loans to small businesses, plans reopening business amid COVID-19

Neha Madhira

Editor’s note: This story is part of The Daily Texan’s coverage of how coronavirus concerns are affecting UT-Austin. Read the rest of our coverage here.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a partnership to provide Texas small businesses with $50 million in loans to recover amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Later this week, I will outline both safe and healthy strategies where we can begin the process of going about reopening businesses in Texas and revitalizing our economy,” Abbott said. “Today, however, we are announcing a vital step to provide much-needed relief — relief to Texas workers and relief to small businesses in Texas.”

Investment management firm Goldman Sachs is providing the $50 million in loans to small businesses through the United States Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Half of the money is provided through a collaboration between Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund, a nonprofit organization that helps finance new small businesses, according to the organization’s website. 

“For those who don’t know, Texas has partnered with the LiftFund to help small businesses rebuild after Hurricane Harvey,” Abbott said. “Now, we are collaborating with them once again to help small businesses rebuild from COVID-19.”

Abbott said small businesses are vital to the Texas economy, and although they are leading job creators in our state, they have been “sidelined by COVID-19.”

“Their ongoing existence has been threatened,” Abbott said. “What they need most at this time is an economic lifeline, an infusion of capital as they prepare to return to businesses as usual.”

Abbott said these Paycheck Protection Program loans will ensure Texans stay on payroll and not get laid off.

The intersection of the public and private sectors is always important,” said John Waldron, president and COO of Goldman Sachs. “That intersection is even more important now as we deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to (Gov. Abbott and the LiftFund’s) collective leadership, Texas is well-positioned to develop a partnership such as this.”

Waldron said this partnership is a part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, which the firm launched in 2009 and brought to Texas in 2011. 

“10,000 Small Businesses is a nationwide program to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing access to education, capital and business support services,” Waldron said. “This program has always been guided by a single mission: to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed.”

Abbott said he thanks those doing everything they can to protect the health and safety of all Texans, but he also wants to make sure employees keep receiving paychecks. 

“What I know is we are going through a tremendous challenge right now, but what I also know is Texans always respond to challenges like this in ways that are even better.” Abbott said. “This is a quintessential team effort where everybody’s coming together to respond.”