Dollars for Good: North Texas Businesses Pitch In to Help Those Impacted by COVID-19

Here are a few of the North Texas businesses that have donated millions to help people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Comerica Bank ($4M), United Way of Metropolitan Dallas ($1.2), Vistra Energy ($2M), and more.

All across North Texas, businesses and organizations are providing resources and funding to help small businesses and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Here are some of their stories (and let us know if you know someone that should be on the list).

Comerica invests $4M to support businesses

Dallas-based Comerica Bank and Comerica Charitable Foundation plan to invest $4 million in community programming support and businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“The impact of COVID-19 on the nonprofit organizations that care for and provide critical services to our communities is extraordinary. Serving and supporting our communities during this unique time in history is of critical importance,” Curt Farmer, chairman and CEO of Comerica Inc. and Comerica Bank, said in a statement.

Comerica said the money will primarily be deployed to Community Development Financial Institutions to support strategic programs designed to support the needs of small and micro businesses impacted by COVID-19.

According to a statement, community service organizations providing services to youth, seniors, and other vulnerable populations will also receive funds as part of this effort, particularly those organizations addressing food insecurities and access to healthcare. The banking giant said it’s expediting $500,000 of the planned funding to several local United Way organizations in the bank’s markets.

United Way launches COVID-19 response fund

Last week, we told you about United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and six of its top corporate partners launching a fund to address both urgent and long-term needs in North Texas created by the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to its corporate partners, it has $1.2 million to kick off the effort.

Called the United Way Metropolitan Dallas Coronavirus Response and Recover Fund, the effort has received initial seed funding commitments of $250,000 each from its partners Texas Instruments Foundation, Bank of America, McKesson Foundation, and Perot Foundation. Wells Fargo and Hoblitzelle Foundation donated $100,000, and United Way noted that additional contributions from individuals and philanthropic and corporate partners are expected.

Funds raised will fuel immediate and long-term relief to the region’s most vulnerable neighbors, according to United Way.

Vistra Energy donates $2M to nonprofits, social service agencies

Irving-based Vistra Energy is donating $2 million to nonprofits and social service agencies to provide direct relief for people with critical needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic in communities the company serves.

“All of us at Vistra are heartbroken to hear how lives have been upended by this pandemic disaster,” Curt Morgan, president and CEO of Vistra, said in a statement. “Many of our neighbors were already dealing with difficult financial circumstances, now made much worse by COVID-19. We want to make sure as many people as possible have access to the things they need most.”

Here’s how Vistra is helping:

TXU Energy Aid: Vistra’s signature program is also one of the largest bill-payment assistance programs in the United States, according to a statement. It’s funded by donations from employees, customers, and corporate contributions, and distributed through Texas social service agencies.

Ambit Cares: The philanthropic program works to change the lives of those in need by fighting hunger, and is funded by employees, customers, and corporate contributions, and is a Supporting Partner of Feeding America, an organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through more than 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs.

United Way: Vistra has a longstanding partnership with United Way, particularly with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, through the company’s annual giving campaign, with donations from employees and a corporate matching program, as well as numerous volunteer events every year. The COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund supports community-based organizations assisting those who have been hit hardest.

Numerous partner agencies, food banks, and food pantries: Vistra supports organizations in the communities around its Luminant power plants and across the states where Vistra does business through its retail brands including Dynegy, Homefield Energy, USG&E, and Public Power.

UNT president creates fund to assist students

University of North Texas president Neal Smatresk has taken to Twitter to promote the fund he’s created and asking people to donate to support UNT students who need financial help during the COVID-19 crisis with health, living, and educational expenses.

“Thank you for helping us continue to service, empower, and inspire our students during these challenging times,” Smatresk wrote. If you’d like to get more information or help, go here.

RevTech is taking applications for COVID-19 grants up to $5,000

Dallas-based seed fund and startup accelerator RevTech Ventures announced it is accepting proposals for local grants of up to $5,000 for entrepreneurial solutions to address the needs of vulnerable populations affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The proposals should mirror RevTech’s investment strategy, according to RevTech, and would like to see a 10x return on grants, but the return is in terms of impact rather than financial gains. For example, each $5,000 grant should result in $50,000 worth of measurable support in the Dallas area. To apply, go here.

TWU offers $10K grants to women-owned Texas businesses

Texas Woman’s University in Denton said it will assist up to 100 small businesses owned by women via $1 million in grants.

TWU’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs is offering 100 AssistHER grants worth $10,000 each to small businesses in Texas that are owned by women and show a need as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds can be used for some operating expenses, technology upgrades, or to adapt to a new business model. Prohibited uses are for sales tax, payroll, advertising, penalties, among other things. To qualify, businesses must be at least 51 percent woman-owned and be owned and operated within Texas. You can find more information here.

TXU donates $450K to help during COVID-19 crisis

Irving-based electricity provider TXU Energy announced it has donated $450,000 to assist people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

$200,000 will go to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund (mentioned above), which helps community partners tackle immediate needs in response to the virus, as well as long-term education, income, and health concerns across the greater Dallas area.

The remaining $250,000 will go to 34 TXU Energy Aid partners, some of which have experienced increased demand as a result of COVID-19. Those partners include the Gulf Coast Community Services Association, the North Texas Food Bank, and the Tarrant Area Food Bank.

TXU officials previously said the company would assist customers who “may incur economic hardship related to the coronavirus” with paying bills, waiving late fees, or extending payment due dates.

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