WACO, TX (FOX 44)- The City of Waco is proposing to use up to $3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to make its largest investment into small businesses.

It’s a part of their small business support program ‘We All Win Waco’ starting off in the East Waco community.

Shelia Robinson, owner of Pat’s Dine-In was excited to hear about the city’s plan to provide up to $80,000 for select businesses.

Growing up in the area, she’s ready to see East Waco have a brighter look.

“The side that I’m on is the low property side of Waco,” said Robinson. “I mean, even if we don’t make the money or whatever we’re supposed to, we try to stay open.”

Robinson plans on applying for the We All Win Waco program to help her business grow.

She wants to use the funds to get a food truck.

“I’m trying to make this business grow, so if I get funds, I can get the things that I really, really need to get me going,” said Robinson. “You know, right now, we’re just stuck in one position because it’s always slow and it is always fast. Always up and down.”

The program is for businesses who have less than 25 employees.

Owners must prove they are at a low to moderate income level or at least half of their workers income fall within in the same bracket.

Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce vice president of economic development, Rachel Pate says this program is needed to support black businesses coming out of COVID-19 and current supply chain problems in order to stay profitable.

“Being able to just keep up with the changing times, to be more modern, to make improvements, it benefits everyone,” said Pate. “I think it puts us on a peg where we look around and you can’t distinguish the old businesses from the new businesses.”

Funds will also be given to do façade improvements revitalizing Elm Avenue.

Robinson is ready to apply and do her part in the community.

“I want to keep East Waco alive by having something nice they can come to, you know, even if they give us more funding, we can do things for the kids also,” said Robinson.

East Waco businesses are able to apply for this program until September 19.

The city plans to roll this program out to other Waco neighborhoods in the near future.

Click here to find more information about We All Win Waco and to apply.

Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce is also planning to hold a campaign to inform business owners in the area.

Click here to access their website or call 254-235-3204.