HIDALGO –In a call to action Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez thanked residents of Hidalgo County for their efforts in fending off the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but he cautioned residents that the challenges are not over.

“We must learn from this experience in order to prepare for the future,” Judge Cortez said. He then announced that he will ask Commissioners Court to appropriate “as much money as possible” from the federal Corona Virus Relief Funds to be applied to grants for qualified small businesses and individuals in Hidalgo County. Under current federal guidelines, that amount of money could be as much as $38 million, Judge Cortez said.

He added that County Officials are still establishing the local guidelines for the grants, but said that meetings will be held beginning next week to establish eligibility.

Cortez’s announcement came as he acknowledged the sacrifices of the people of Hidalgo County during this year’s historic pandemic.

”I am so proud of you. Many of you in Hidalgo County rose to the occasion,” said Judge Cortez. “You the people of Hidalgo County understand what it takes to slow the spread of the virus. We trust in you.”

He reminded citizens that the threat is not over. “We need to remember that this is a shared threat,” Judge Cortez said.

Towards that end, Judge Cortez said the county needs to look at the first steps of recovery, which includes this economic grant program.

Please watch Judge Cortez’ Press Conference here:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aDIQeZPC02jzIihTInKqVzEg6QH8FSNu/view