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3/27 COVID-19 Highlights for the Business Community

The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:

  • PHASE 3 RELIEF PACKAGE: Today, we expect the House to pass and the President to sign into law the Phase 3 coronavirus relief package. With his signature, the race will be on to implementation. At the Chamber we will be focused on two critical next steps:

  • For America’s small businesses – including the self-employed and independent contractors – the most important thing to be on the lookout for are announcements regarding which lenders will be authorized to lend the new Small Business Paycheck Protection Loans.

  • For larger employers, we will be on the lookout for an announcement out of the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department regarding the new credit facilities that are likely to be set up to support lending to businesses.

  • UPDATES ON UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT INSURANCE (UI):

  • On top of state UI, the federal government is giving a $600/week bonus covered by the federal government - this will end July 31 under the new Pandemic UI program 

  • Those that are self-employed or independent contractors can now apply for UI benefits

  • 3.2 million have applied for UI benefits the largest in history 

  • Paid sick leave & FMLA will be covered with restrictions 

  • For questions, click here.

  • NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS TOWN HALL: Please join Inc. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a complimentary virtual event. The Senate passed a historic stimulus package on Wednesday night. The House of Representatives is expected to pass it today.

  • But at 880 pages and $2 trillion at stake, what does this bill mean for your small business? What do you need to know to help your business thrive, reassure your employees, and give you some of the certainty needed to lead?

  • Inc. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will answer those questions in a virtual National Small Business Town Hall today, Friday, March 27, at noon Eastern time. We’ll have Kimberly Weisul, Inc. editor-at-large, hosting a fireside chat with Neil Bradley, the executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They’ll discuss exactly what this bill could mean to you, including:

  • Where it provides opportunities;

  • Where it creates headaches; and

  • How you can use it to support your business. 

  • RSVP:  Click here to register.

  • Date: Friday, March 27

  • Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

  • Where: Virtually on Microsoft Teams Live Events, details will be sent in your confirmation email.


  • GOVERNOR ABBOTT PRESS CONFERENCE: Governor Abbott hosted a press conference yesterday afternoon for an update on Texas progress combating COVID-19 as well as make new announcements on new executive order. Governor Abbott stated:

  • Status of testing, last Friday stated that testing should increase by 15k/week, on course to exceed this; tested 2,400 last week and tested 21k today, expecting increase to continue

  • The more we test, the more will test positive, this is what we want to achieve

  • Now there are 1,424 positive tests, will be more added

  • Less than 10 percent of the people tested for COVID-19 test positive

  • Now 18 deaths related to COVID-19, 90 counties where COVID-19 has been identified

  • 100 patients in hospitals with COVID-19, less than 10 percent of the positive tests need hospitalization currently

  • Goal in testing is to test as many people as possible, to see numbers grow, and then see a leveling off in Texas; as we increase testing positive tests will increase, as we continue distancing the numbers of positive tests should level off

  • New executive order consistent with this guidance

  • People traveling from the New York tri-state area will be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14-days or for duration of stay in Texas, whichever is shorter

  • Also discussed increase of cases from Louisiana and New Orleans, executive order also applies to city of New Orleans and those flying into Texas from New Orleans

  • Watch the full press conference here.

  • ECONOMIC SNAPSHOT: New unemployment insurance claims for the week ending March 21 were 3.3 million. For reference, claims for the week ending March 14 were 282,000. So this week’s increase was 3.1 million.


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