SBDC Serving Communities Amidst Pandemic


SRSU-SBDC Executive Director Elizabeth Peña

By Laura Nelson

Stretching from far west Texas to the middle Rio Grande region, the Sul Ross State Univ. Small Business Development Center (SRSU SBDC) offers its services to small businesses navigating the Corona Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Passed into law in March to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, SBDC business advisors have assisted a number of businesses with their loan applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) as well as the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loan offered through the Small Business Administration and local lenders.

The SBDC is now helping those small businesses with the PPP loan forgiveness program. According to SBDC Executive Director Elizabeth Peña, "These loans have presented a challenge because the rules and procedures have changed from the beginning. Business owners have been through a difficult time, especially if their goods and services were not considered essential. We are committed to helping our small businesses get every PPP dollar forgiven and assist them in maximizing their resources during this uncertain time."

In June, the SBDC hosted a Zoom meeting that featured a one-of-a-kind virtual signing ceremony. President Pete Gallego of Sul Ross State Univ. and Rick Zamarripa, Executive Director of the Workforce Solutions Middle Rio Grande Board, signed the MOU on their cell phones, formalizing an agreement to provide training to small business owners, employees, and supervisors to assist with COVID-19 business recovery.

Small and medium-sized businesses in the middle Rio Grande region may take advantage of these trainings that cover a variety of relevant topics. Please call 830.758.5022 for more information.

If you would like confidential, no-cost business advising, please see our website at to contact the advisor near you in Carrizo Springs at the Middle Rio Grande Development Council, and on the SRSU campuses in Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Uvalde, and Alpine.