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4/14 - COVID-19 Highlights for the Business Community

The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:


  • THE LATEST BUSINESS COMMUNITY SURVEY: A lot can change in a week. What has changed in your business? Share with us in the latest survey. Click here.


  • CITY OF ABILENE EXTENDS DISASTER DECLARATION: The Abilene City Council voted Monday, April 13 to extend the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration and the Limited Shelter in Place through April 30, 2020 at 11:59 am. View the updated resolution here.

  • FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD TAKES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS TO PROVIDE UP TO $2.3 TRILLION IN LOANS TO SUPPORT THE ECONOMY: The Federal Reserve took additional action to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. The funding will assist: households, employers and bolster the ability of state and local governments to deliver critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This action is guided by its mandate from Congress to promote maximums employment and stable prices. Actions taken by the Federal Reserve Board:

  • Established the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility. The PPPLF will extend credit to eligible financial institutions that originate PPP loans; taking the loans as collateral at face value.

  • The Primary and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities and the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility will now support up to $850 billion in credit backed by $85 billion in credit protection provided by the Treasury. TALF-eligible collateral will now include the triple-A rated tranches of both outstanding commercial mortgage-backed securities and newly issued collateralized loan obligations.

  • Established a Municipal Liquidity Facility that will offer up to $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities.The facility will purchase up to $500 billion of short term notes directly from US states, US counties with a population of at least two million, and U.S. cities with a population of at least one million. Eligible state-level issuers may use the proceeds to support additional counties and cities.

  • The purchase of up to $600 billion in loans through the Main Street Lending Program. The Department of the Treasury, using funding from the CARES Act, will provide $75 billion in equity to the facility.


  • USDA UNVEILS TOOL TO HELP RURAL COMMUNITIES ADDRESS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: The Secretary of Agriculture announced the unveiling of their COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide; a resource for rural leaders to find federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic. The guide can be found here.


  • GOVERNOR ABBOTT ANNOUNCES INSTITUTIONS PARTNERING TO PROVIDE $50 MILLION IN LOANS TO SMALL BUSINESSES: Governor Greg Abbott today announced that Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund, along with other community development financial institutions (CDFIs), are partnering to provide $50 million in loans to small businesses in Texas that have been affected by COVID-19 as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. These loans, made through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), will primarily be used for payroll so that employees can continue to receive paychecks and small businesses can retain their employees and will be partially or wholly forgiven.

Previously shared updates


  • PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOCAL LENDERS: We're blessed in that Abilene's financial landscape is populated by strong, local institutions that qualify as SBA lenders. They are institutions we know and trust and are members of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. View the list here.


  • COMFORT FOOD CARE PACKAGES: FEED YOUTH AND FAMILIES IN NEED AND STAY OPEN: Governor Greg Abbott today announced the Comfort Food Care Package (CFCP) program to provide meals for at-risk youth and families in communities across Texas as the state responds to COVID-19. As part of the program, participating restaurants offer CFCPs for patrons to purchase on behalf of families and youth in need. Read more and sign up here.

  • COVID-19 COMPLIANT BUSINESS PARTNER: To further encourage the business community to comply with new "Limited Shelter in Place" order, the Chamber is launching “COVID-19 Work Safe ABI” program.Businesses who adopt these principles are encouraged to publicly declare their pledge to do so. Take the pledge.

  • ABILENE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU: Stay engaged with your favorite attractions through virtual events. Find things to do, local dining and more here

CHAMBER MEMBER EXCLUSIVE:


  • 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.


  • 4/16 WHAT IS HOSPITALITY'S NEW NORMAL? Join special panel discussion with renowned health and hospitality experts where they will provide their perspectives on how hospitality leaders are managing through the COVID-19 crisis—including a high-level overview of efforts to secure relief for the industry; what's in store for the future of travel; and how and when the industry can best position itself for recovery. 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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