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4/2 - COVID-19 Highlights for the Business Community

Business Updates for COVID-19

The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:


  • Guide to SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans (NEW)

  • Guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit (NEW)

  • Coronavirus Emergency Loans Guide & Checklist (updated)

  • EMPLOYMENT DATA: The job market will be the focus of economic data the rest of the week. The first data point comes from ADP, the payroll company. ADP says payrolls declined by 27,000 jobs in March. This is an abrupt turnaround from February when businesses added 183,000 jobs according to ADP. The ISM survey of manufacturing activity fell into contraction territory as well. Unfortunately, news like this is likely to be the norm in the days to come. Unemployment insurance claims come tomorrow. Last week there were 3.3 million such claims. Brace for a similar number tomorrow.

  • US TREASURY AND SBA BEGIN UNPRECEDENTED PUBLIC-PRIVATE MOBILIZATION EFFORT TO DISTRIBUTE FUNDS: In a press release, the US Treasury outlines the next step in rolling out the programs established by the CARES Act. The $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program will provide relief to small businesses by providing small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and overhead. The program is expected to begin on April 3rd. More information can be found here.

  • A top-line overview of the program can be found here.

  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found here.

  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here.

  • The application for borrowers can be found here.

  • GOVERNOR ABBOTT AND TDHCA TAKE INITIAL ACTION TO SECURE FINANCIAL HOUSING ASSISTANCE: In a press release Governor Abbott announced the initial action he and TDHCA have taken in order to provide tenant-based rental assistance for residents financially impacted by COVID-19. The Governor waived statutes relating to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOME Internship Partnership program. This provides for Texas to have greater flexibility in using program funds to help Texans make rent payments. In a letter to HUD, TDHCA requests federal waivers to allow Texas to reprogram the program funds for the purpose of aiding Texans in paying their rent. The full press release from Governor Abbott's office can be found here.

  • GOVERNOR ABBOTT RELEASES VIDEO MESSAGE TO TEXANS AS LATEST EXECUTIVE ORDER GOES INTO EFFECT: Governor Greg Abbott today released a video with a statewide to message to all Texans as his Executive Order goes into effect requiring all Texans to stay home unless they are participating in an essential service or activity. A list of essential services and activities as defined under the Executive Order can be found here. The Executive Order goes into effect at 12:01 AM, April 2nd.

  • GOVERNOR ABBOTT ANNOUNCES FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE TO HELP TEXANS AFFECTED BY COVID-19: In a statement, Governor Abbott announced Texas' plan for recently passed $2 trillion federal stimulus package. Workers are the main beneficiaries of the stimulus dollars. Self-employed Texas whose businesses have failed under the economic stress of COVID-19 may be eligible. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Fund allows for states to extend federally-funded unemployment benefits by an additional 13 weeks; which in total will mean unemployment benefits will cover 39 weeks. The fund boosts weekly benefits of those laid off, terminated or furloughed due to COVID-19 by $600 per week. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance may be available for displaced workers who are not normally eligible for regular benefits, like those whose work hours that have been reduced due to the pandemic. The full press release can be found here.


  • ABILENE ACTIVATED: Free online webinar Thursday, April 2 at 2:30 pm presented by Tech Bloc.This seminar is geared toward small businesses and highlights local resources for businesses during COVID-19, business training/keeping up with your skills during this time, ways to pivot your business and diversify your revenue streams, and is for the business owner and your employees. 

  • OVERNIGHT VIRTUAL BUSINESS: How to Successfully Operate Your Business with Technology During COVID-19 Tuesday, April 7 at 2:30 pm. Presented by Tolar Systems. For many companies, COVID-19 has forced a change in status quo. During this webinar you will learn how to use technology to improve team communication, access remote files, and strengthen customer relationships. Since the ability to interact in person has been limited you must create strategies to overcome that with intentional virtual communication and collaboration. 

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