We Prosper Together. Propser town leadership adopted this motto as the call to action during the COVID-19 crisis. The town of Prosper, Prosper Chamber of Commerce, Prosper Rotary Club and Atmos Energy rose to the occasion and joined forces to create a charitable giving campaign.We Prosper Together pledged funds and encourages contributions to four nonprofit organizations that serve Prosper residents financially impacted by the effects of COVID-19.

Many of our community’s small businesses are also suffering during this crisis. Never have they faced such adversity. Thankfully, the people of Prosper continue to support our restaurants. Many of them are maintaining a semblance of productivity; however, other businesses have not been so fortunate. Several small business owners failed to receive financial relief from the Paycheck Protection Program and other federal and state loans and grants. Recognizing this, the town of Prosper, the Prosper Chamber of Commerce and the Prosper Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) are collaborating to add a second component to the We Prosper Together campaign.

The We Prosper Together Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant may provide a grant of up to $10,000 to qualifying small businesses. Links to the printable application and complete eligibility guidelines are posted at ProsperTx.gov/WeProsperTogether and on the home page of ProsperEDC.com.

Eligibility requirements include:

Being in good standing with the town of Prosper

Maintaining a physical business address with the town of Prosper

Demonstrating financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Employing 25 or fewer employees, of which no more than 25 percent are part-time

The awarded funds may be used for:

Mortgage or rent payments

Utilities (electric, trash, gas, water)

Communications/re-entry marketing costs including telephone and internet fees

Unexpected personal protection equipment (PPE) costs

Gaps or shortfalls in employee wages not covered by stimulus funds

Applications for the grant must be hand-delivered to the Prosper Economic Development Corporation. PEDC staff will accept applications daily between the hours of 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. May 18-22.

The PEDC is located on the first floor of the FUSE Dynamic Space building, at 130 N. Preston Road, Suite 130, in Prosper. Applicants must seal the information inside an envelope and place it in the bin labeled We Prosper Together.

The Grant Review Committee consists of five members who will review the applications and determine awards based upon need, information received and criteria met. Special consideration will be given to those businesses that have experienced severe, negative economic impact as a result of COVID-19, have exhibited responsible business practices and did not receive assistance from the Small Business Administration or other grant programs. However, an exception may be made if a business did receive a loan or forgivable grant but has need for additional help.

COVID-19 has created an existential crisis for locally owned businesses. These businesses employ the bulk of our nation’s workforce. They reflect the personality of our communities and provide a sense of place for residents and visitors. Many do not have large cash reserves but are willing to help and give of their talents and resources during times of difficulty.

Establishing the We Prosper Together Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant is a small way in which the town of Prosper, the PEDC and Chamber of Commerce can express our thanks to Prosper’s small business community and help them get past surviving to thriving.

As we find our way back to normalcy, please remember to support locally owned, independent businesses. Purchase carry-out. Buy gift cards. Write a positive review on social media. Tip more than usual. Remember, we prosper together, not alone.

Mary Ann Moon, CEcD, FM, HLM, is executive director of the Prosper Economic Development Corporation. Submit feedback to maryann@prosperedc.com. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.