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4/13 - COVID-19 Highlights for the Business Community

The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:


  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR PUBLISHES GUIDANCE ON PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE: The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of Americans applying for unemployment insurance. In response, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued guidance to help states implement expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act.

  • Guidance on implementing the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which makes benefits available for self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig workers, and others who do not regularly qualify for unemployment assistance.

  • Guidance on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, under which states will administer an additional $600 weekly payment to eligible individuals.

  • WEEKLY Q&A WITH ABILENE'S HEALTH SERVICES DIRECTOR: The City of Abilene announced on Friday they will be conducting a weekly Q&A video with Abilene's Health Services Director. You can view the first video here and submit questions for the next one.

  • JOIN US FOR A CONVERSATION WITH SENATOR CRUZ: Join us for a conversation with Senator Ted Cruz Tuesday, April 14 at 11:00 am surrounding the impact of COVID-19 on Chamber member businesses, updates on the CARES act, the latest from DC, and more. Space is limited. Must RSVP here.


  • RELIEF FOR 501(C)(6) ORGANIZATIONS: Support your local Chamber of Commerce and industry trade associations by respectfully asking Congress to include 501(c)6 organizations and other 501(c) non-profits as eligible participants in COVID-19 relief efforts.Click here.

  • SHARE YOUR GOOD BUSINESS NEWS WITH US: Big Country area businesses are offering help to the community in many ways as we weather the COVID-19 situation together. Share how your business is helping.


  • LT. GOV. PATRICK APPOINTS BUSINESS TASK FORCE TO RE-START THE ECONOMY: BRINT RYAN WILL CHAIR: Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is establishing a Task Force from his Business Advisory Council to begin to work on a set of recommendations for re-starting the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic stay at home order is canceled. Brint Ryan, founder, and CEO of Ryan International and TXBIZ's 2021 incoming chairman has been tapped as the chair of the Lt. Gov's Task Force. Click Here to read more.


  • LISTEN TO DR. RAY PERRYMAN TALK ABOUT WHAT'S NEXT FOR TEXAS' ECONOMY: Dr. Ray Perryman President and CEO of The Perryman Group, economic research, and analysis firm based in Waco, Texas talked today with TXBIZ members. Perryman discussed the recent estimates of massive job losses associated with COVID-19 and the frequent comparison to the Great Depression. Click Here to hear the full conference call with Dr. Perryman.


  • RURAL COVID-19 RELIEF TOOLS: Last week's federal stimulus includes resources aimed at supporting rural communities. More here.


  • MENTAL HEALTH TIPS DURING COVID-19: In the context of COVID-19, we feel the need to fight, yet we are faced with an invisible enemy. We feel the desire to flee, yet we are sheltering in place and have nowhere to run to.Familiar routines are disrupted, and many of our familiar interactions are put on hold. For many of us, this means being thrust into a very new situation, despite the familiar surroundings of our homes. How do we handle being left with just ourselves and those under the same roof? Thanks to our friends at Betty Hardwick Center for putting together mental health tips during COVID-19. You can read the full article here.

  • ABILENE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU: The Community Foundation of Abilene has created a special fund to support local non-profits, including beloved venues that are losing funds generated through admission tickets and canceled events. Check out the full list here. Many need financial support to dedicate toward continued operations. You’ll find Abilene treasures such as the WWII archives at the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum, Abilene Zoological Society, Center for Contemporary Arts, Paramount Theatre, as well as several performing groups that enrich our lives. Stay engaged with your favorite attractions through virtual events. Find things to do, local dining and more here.


Webinars for business


  • 4/10 NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS TOWN HALL: Today Friday, April 10 at noon ET, Inc. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will team up for a third virtual National Small Business Town Hall to help small business owners and sole proprietors alike navigate the programs that are available to them.  Inc. Editor-At-Large Kimberly Weisul will moderate a discussion with the U.S. Chamber’s Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley to lay out the new guidance for sole proprietors, address the steps all impacted businesses should take to tap into available resources, and discuss the potential for more aid in the future. Register here.


  • 4/13 CARES ACT WEBINAR FOR NON-PROFITS: Learn how your nonprofit organization can possibly obtain Coronavirus Relief through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and/or the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan program. Register here.


  • 4/14 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES WITH THOMAS HOENIG: Mr. Hoenig is a distinguished senior fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and former vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Register here.


  • 4/23 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES WITH DONALD KOHN: Mr. Kohn is the Robert V. Roosa Chair in International Economics and senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. Register here.

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