Texans have two hometowns, the one where they grew up and San Antonio.
This paraphrased observation by folklorist J. Frank Dobie came to me when my family and I moved here 12 years ago. I am thankful each day for our hometown, its more than three centuries of history, culture, arts and fun — and especially its people. With its myriad layers and accents, San Antonio is unlike many other places: it’s simultaneously caring, forgiving, native, immigrant, humble, self-improving and hopeful.
And right now, it is hurting.
The intersection of COVID-19, a staggering economy and a simmering summer of outcry for justice underscore the raw challenges we face as the nation’s seventh largest city. Economic and health disparities. Intergenerational poverty. Educational and financial injustice. Each are exacerbated today by knowing that neighbors, relatives and strangers are ill, have died or lack work. We miss favorite businesses and cultural experiences that are temporarily — or worse, permanently — closed, crushing years of sweat and dreams. Evictions, homelessness, food insecurity and joblessness strike at our community, especially those who are most vulnerable.
Wanting to learn more about the lives and places in our community is why I joined the SA Current Press Club. The Current — like other media I am proud to support in San Antonio — offers local journalism focused on what is real and affecting our day-to-day lives. The voices of our community bring authenticity and relevance that national media fail to provide.
Reading about the here and the now helps me do my day job at LiftFund, formerly Accion Texas, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit microlenders. Since 1994, LiftFund has provided access to millions of dollars in capital and business education to thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Our clients resemble those most likely impacted by COVID-19 and the economic downturn: low-to-moderate income, people of color, women and veterans.
Since March, my colleagues have worked tirelessly to serve thousands of small business owners through grants and loans provided by the city and county, as well as Paycheck Protection Program loans provided by the Small Business Administration. My co-workers’ efforts helping businesses survive complement the inspirational work of healthcare providers, first responders and nonprofits that are on the frontlines right now.
We are each in more than a moment that calls for understanding our hometown and our neighbors. I am grateful local journalism such as the Current strives for that.
#supportsmallbusiness #buylocal #wearamask #loveoneanother
Dan Yoxall is vice president of community relations and development at LiftFund, Inc.Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.