Royse City, TX Acted Swiftly With Its Disaster Relief Fund Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic
19 Apr 2021
News, Blog, Found Article
When the start of the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered businesses, Mayor Janet Nichol issued a disaster declaration on March 24, 2020. By April 6, 2020, the Royse City Community Development Corporation (CDC) Disaster Relief Fund Program (DRFP) was implemented and active to grant business owners cash flow to fund payroll in order to reduce unemployment.
"We wanted to get help to business owners as quickly as possible," said then-Mayor and current-Commissioner Janet Nichol. "Conversations between myself, the city manager, the CDC director, and the city attorney moved swiftly. The CDC director and board met and agreed on the process. The city council then met and they all agreed 100% to move forward. I was so excited to start rolling out checks, as we all were."
"I was so honored to be a part of this program; blessed by this community that we could make it happen," continued Nichol. "We have a strong relationship with our businesses, all throughout Royse City. We are thankful for all our entities that made this happen. I believe we are a blessed city because of acts of giving and kindness. The businesses were so grateful. I believe it gave them hope that together we could get through the coming months."
Heather Todish, Owner of Anchored Bliss Boutique, was one such businessperson. Her store which specializes in trendy clothing, shoes, accessories, and gifts relied on heavy foot traffic.
"I can't even articulate how helpful the Disaster Relief Fund Program was to us during the most challenging time - in our lifetime - of being a small business owner," said Todish. "We had to adapt from having a high foot-traffic storefront to completely shutting our doors. We had to adapt quickly by going fully online, doing live sales on social media, and offering local delivery. That took a lot of staff to make all of the components come together. With the help of the DRFP, we were able to keep our staff on board, plus hire some additional part-time employees. I wouldn't have been able to fund the payroll during the shutdown without the program."
"We couldn't live in a more wonderful, supportive community than Royse City, Texas and its surrounding areas," said Todish. "I've always believed we have the most wonderful customers, but they blew my mind through all of this. It humbles me so much and makes me teary-eyed when I reflect on the outpouring of love we as small businesses receive here. Our customers showed up for us and supported us through the entire pandemic. We receive sweet, encouraging handwritten notes left for us on the doors of customers we were delivering to. We would get uplifting comments and interactions on social media when we were on live videos. We have people praying for us, rooting for us, and sending us all the good vibes. Our online sales were abundant and social media shares were at an all-time high."