MISSION, TX – Nov. 1, 2023 – The Mission Economic Development Corporation is re-launching a legacy program and distributing $200,000 in small business grants.
Beginning Wednesday, existing businesses in Mission can apply for the Ruby Red Ventures – Build Mission Fund grant to receive up to $15,000 for facility improvements, expansions and working capital, among other uses.
Mission EDC first launched Ruby Red Ventures in 2013 as a competition modeled after the hit TV show Shark Tank. Entrepreneurs typically spent months going through a rigorous program in which they worked alongside experts at the Small Business Development Center to prepare a business plan and pitch. Since then, the program has awarded about $600,000 to nearly 40 small businesses in Mission.
“This year, we’re doing things differently. While we still plan to roll out the competition next year, for this grant, however, small business owners just need to apply,” Mission EDC CEO Teclo J. Garcia said. “This community investment is going to directly impact Mission’s backbone: small businesses.”
Grants will be disbursed to Mission businesses based on merit, with consideration given to job creation, innovation, need, uniqueness, and overall community enhancement.
“Ruby Red Ventures was truly an idea that would help set the Mission EDC apart and allow us to focus on small businesses,” said former Mission EDC CEO Alex Meade, who now serves as the Executive Vice President of Economic Development & Public Finance at Texas Regional Bank. “Nobody was doing this at the time we launched, and the community responded in a tremendous way. Mission is made for entrepreneurs.”
Texas Regional Bank pledged a $10,000 donation to support this year’s Build Mission Fund program and committed to working with Mission EDC to help guide participants in next year’s competition.
Eligible businesses must be located within Mission city limits; have fewer than 30 employees; produce less than $1 million in annual revenue; be legally registered and in good standing with local tax entities; in operation for at least two years and possess tax returns for 2021 and 2022.
Applications must be submitted via an online portal that will open on Wednesday, Nov. 1, and close on Nov. 30. Applicants must also provide Mission EDC a detailed project plan with verified cost estimates and a timeline of proposed improvements.
“This is going to be a team effort. We are here to answer applicants’ questions and point them to the right resources via two information sessions this month,” Mission EDC Director of Economic Development Belen Guerrero said.
The sessions will be held at 6 p.m. at the Center for Education and Economic Development, 801 N. Bryan Road, on Wednesday, Nov. 8, and Tuesday, Nov. 15. For more information, visit https://missionedc.com/rubyredgrant/.
The Mission Economic Development Corporation fosters economic growth in the City of Mission, Texas by creating jobs, attracting investments, and retaining existing businesses.