By Bobby Seiferman, Executive Director
“Why, we’re the people—we go on. We take a beatin’ all the time.”
As an economic developer, I continue to survey the business landscape of Cuero and DeWitt County and all of the ever changing indicators that go with it. As we continue to navigate these deep, cold, and uncharted waters, at least uncharted in the sense that our nation and our communities have not seen a current pandemic as devastating since the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.
A native of nearby Matagorda County, it was only natural that I would be an enthusiastic student of history.
From storms to late 19th century yellow fever epidemics, I would delight in discussing these details with my late aunt. She was quick to remind me that had it not been for the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 that neither she or myself would be here.
Back in 1918, seems my grandfather, age 19 at the time, was a student in business college when he came down with the Spanish Flu. He was very sick and by all accounts nearly died as did several of his classmates. He recovered but missed three weeks of school. He returned to class only to find a strange girl sitting in his desk. Characteristically of my grandfather, he demanded the young lady vacate said desk. She flat out refused to vacate said desk. To make a long story short, that strange girl became my grandma. So there you have it: the Spanish Flu and the fickle finger of fate. Strange bedfellows indeed. No pun intended.
My point here is not to make light of our current national predicament or our own personal and economic struggles. Quite the contrary. Rather our plight is to be tackled headlong with an unrelenting resolve as we continue to utilize various stages of the CARES Act.
Likewise, the Cuero Development Corporation Board of Directors, proactive from the very beginning of the pandemic, continues to offer assistance to the Cuero business community through two COVID-19 relief programs. The Small Business Assistance grant reimburses a business for utilities usage over a six month period up to $6,000. The Rental Assistance grant provides up to 50 % of a business rental over a six month period up to $6,000. The application deadline has been extended to Aug. 31.
Both grant applications, along with applications for Enterprise, Community Services, Business Expansion and Retention, and Main Street Historical District facade grants may be found on the Cuero Development Corporation website. Applications and instructions are also available in Spanish.
As we move forward, City of Cuero leadership, the Cuero Community Foundation, the Cuero Chamber of Commerce, and the Cuero Main Street program also project a spotlight on the uniqueness that is Cuero. Whether local retail establishments, hotels and eateries, service industries, award winning museums and other educational opportunities, all are considered essential components of the community.
A strong volunteer base also is already working with the Main Street event Christmas in Downtown. The CDC December Special Events Committee is currently looking to expand its volunteer base for Christmas in the Park planning. Our thanks go out to those that comprise the true backbone of a community. Christmas in the Park was recently recognized again as a Best of the Best winner for Festivals and Holiday Events by the Victoria Advocate.
Cuero will remain a special place to start or expand a business and raise a family. When you shop or visit Cuero you help excel an economy reeling from pandemic restrictions, conserve tax dollars, create jobs and provide the sales tax funding that goes back into economic reinvestment through venues like COVID-19 relief grants.
This year will leave an indelible mark on all of us. But as one business owner relayed to me just yesterday, “We are all in this together.” Quite right. Yes, and we are all Americans.