Denton County Operational Plan for Economic Normalization (OPEN)

OPEN Phase 2 Graphic

Business Grant Program, Phase 2 $20 million available for grants

Denton County will launch Phase II of the OPEN (Operational Plan for Economic Normalization) Grant with $20 million available through grants for businesses physically operating within Denton County. The goal of this program is to help the businesses that have been negatively financially impacted by COVID-19.

If you still have questions after reading the information below, please email questions to OPENgrants@dentoncounty.gov or call 940-349-4280 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Applications Have Closed

Denton County Commissioners Court launched a small business grant program at noon on Monday, June 22, 2020, through noon on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, to provide up to $50,000 grants to qualifying Denton County businesses who have experienced a negative financial impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Phase II of Denton County OPEN, for-profit businesses located in Denton County with 100 or fewer full time employees (excluding ineligible entities listed below) are eligible to apply.

The amount a business can receive will be based on the documented negative financial impact of COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and June 20, 2020.

The eligible amount of the grant is the higher of:

The $20 million identified for the Denton County OPEN grant is a portion of the stimulus money Denton County received from the US Department of Treasury under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Denton County is re-investing these funds into the Denton County OPEN program to benefit Denton County businesses impacted by COVID-19.

General Information

Grants awarded will be up to $50,000.

Individual grants will be awarded based on calculating the negative financial impact due to COVID-19. This may include not only lost revenue due to COVID-19, but also expenses related to implementing new equipment and protocols in your business to meet the CDC guidelines for safety.

Application Process

  • Good Faith Certification as to truth and accuracy of information provided
  • Submit requested information and documentation
  • Certify the grant request is necessary due to conditions caused by COVID-19
  • Agreement to audit the use of grant funds received
  • Agreement to claw-back provisions if funds are used for ineligible purposes
  • Unsworn Declaration of Owner

Types of Businesses

  • Corporation
  • Individual
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Single-member limited liability company (LLC)
  • LLC treated as a partnership
  • LLC – C corporation
  • LLC – S corporation
  • Partnership

Eligible Uses of Grant Proceeds

  • Payroll costs for employees or owners draw (sole proprietors/partners)
  • Contract labor
  • Supplier payments
  • Rent, lease or interest on mortgage payment (for real property used for business purposes, like storefront or warehouse, excluding personal residence.)
  • Rent, lease or purchase payment for business property (e.g., delivery vehicle; food truck; kitchen equipment; technology, payment, and communications systems and equipment)
  • New or expanded technology applications and Wi-Fi services
  • Utility payments for business properties, excluding personal residence.
  • Cost of critical business operations (raw materials, marketing expenses, etc. payments)
  • PPE and sanitation supplies and equipment
  • Interest on other business debt obligations incurred before March 1, 2020, excluding personal residence.

Documents Required

  • Documentation of business (Choose one of the following)
    • Secretary of State Texas File number; State of Texas License number; DBA, 2018 or 2019 tax return (including all schedules); 
    • Employer Identification Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, (Example: Occupational license, Sales Tax Certificate)
  • Drivers’ license or state-issued ID
  • Most recent filed business tax return, if applicable
  • Most recent payroll report and number of employees – 1st QTR 941 for 2020, if applicable
  • Bank and income statements from January 1, 2020, to May 31, 2020. (If opened between January and May 2020, provide all requested statements for the life of the business. If a new business was never opened due to COVID-19, please include all losses including, but not limited to, rent, utilities, payroll, etc.)
  • For Sole Proprietor, applicants provide 2018 or 2019 Schedule C
  • Form W-9
  • Each business will be required, as part of the application process, to attest that they are not an “Ineligible Business” as listed below.
  • Submit documentation for proof of fund uses by February 15,  2021, including Form W-3, Form 941, utility statements, canceled checks/receipts or bank statements

Ineligible Businesses

  • Non-Profits
  • Sexually/Adult-Oriented Businesses
  • Lobbying organizations and political organizations subject to Internal Revenue Code 527
  • Gambling Concerns, including casinos, racing operations or other activities whose purpose involves gambling
  • Concerns engaged in illegal activities under federal, state or local laws
  • A business that is otherwise prohibited by federal or Texas law
  • A business that is ineligible or precluded to receive federal or State of Texas funding due to federal laws (including but not limited to the CARES Act) or Texas laws
  • Multi-level marketing concerns
  • Governmental/taxing agencies/departments