Cultural Affairs Office

Forgivable SBA PPP Loans & Unemployment for 1099 / Contract Workers

A message from the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs (updated April 15)


On behalf of the City of Houston, we thank you for the extraordinary measures you have taken to keep our city safe. We are deeply moved by the spirit of sacrifice embraced by the cultural community to save lives. Your efforts are working and making a difference!

The financial toll on local hotel occupancy and sales tax is not yet known. We are in close communication and coordination with Houston Arts Alliance (our contracted local arts agency) and will provide HAA updated projections as soon as they are available. We are relying on HAA to coordinate the local cultural response and ask that you follow and share their communications.

There are immediate steps for you to take as you navigate these challenging times. To that end, we wanted to share with you a list of resources circulating among arts and education funders on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offered through the Small Business Administration (SBA). This was shared from our consultant, Bloomberg Associates.

Please note that the list includes a webinar from Independent Sector, a reputable non-profit advocacy group, on Thursday, April 2 from 2-3 EST for nonprofits who wish to apply for these relief funds.

Texas Workforce Commission has updated their systems to allow 1099, self-employed, and contract workers to apply for pandemic-related unemployment. If you’ve previously attempted to apply and weren’t able to, re-apply now! To find out more visit"

If you find this list helpful, feel free to share it with your non-profit colleagues and partners.

Please do let us know if we can be of assistance to you as you work through everything coming at you. We’re thinking of you, and hoping you, your family and your colleagues are healthy and safe.

Debbie, Necole & Monique

SBA PPP Loan Information for Non-profit Organizations

(1) SBA Application

The SBA posted a sample application for seeking a PPP loan, along with instructions for completing and submitting the application (link expired). The application may not be submitted to banks until this Friday, April 3. However, given that loans will be given on a first come, first served basis until the funds are spent, it is important that organizations move quickly to have the application and required documentation in place. The SBA has significantly simplified the process and estimates that the application, including gathering of information, will take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Organizations will apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lenders or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Organizations should consult with their current banking institution as to whether it is participating in the program, or use this list to identify an approved lender.

(2) Resources

Created By


Independent Sector

  • Toolkit that helps individuals, small nonprofits, and large nonprofits understand how to access the benefits available
  • Register here for webinar on Thursday, April 2 from 2-3pm EST

Jewish Federations of North America

NewSchools Venture Fund

Schusterman Family Foundation

(3) Suggested Next Steps for Non-profit Organizations

  1. Review the resources provided above.
  2. Check to see if the bank your organization currently works with is participating in the program, or identify a lending institution on this approved list.
  3. Refer to the sample calculation document to calculate your payroll costs, which will help you estimate your total loan request.
  4. Gather internal decision makers (C-suite, board members, finance team, etc.) to review governance process and reach consensus on the decision to apply for a loan.
  5. Complete the sample application for submission to lender on Friday, April 3.