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4/20 Highlights for the Business Community

The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:

  • SURVEY: Last week we announced the objective of our weekly surveys. We want to hear how your company is doing, and in turn, gain guidance on what is happening in the Abilene economy during this ever-changing time. If you’re not the person that has the access to the information requested in the survey, please help us by forwarding the survey to the person in your organization who would have access.

  • MAKING A DIFFERENCE: By asking the same questions week-by-week, we will be looking for trends and inflection points. Your responses will not only help us keep a pulse on the regional economy but will also advance our understanding of the issues local businesses are facing. This weekly survey is also shared with local government so they can inform the state of the impact of COVID-19 to the business community in the Abilene area.

  • YOUR PRIVACY MATTERS: All responses are kept confidential. We do not share names of anyone that responds to our survey.

  • CLICK HERE to take this week's survey.

  • GOVERNOR ABBOTT PRESS CONFERENCE RECAP: ICYMI, Director of Government Affairs, Doug Williamson, recapped Governor Abbott's press conference from last week. Click here to read more.

  • SAVE SMALL BUSINESS FUND: To extend a helping hand to small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation – in partnership with Vistaprint and a coalition of supporting companies, foundations, and philanthropic donors – is working to provide financial relief through the Save Small Business Fund. The grant application goes live today at 2:00 pm CDT. To learn more about the fund and how to apply, click here.

  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR TAKES ACTION TO HELP AMERICAN WORKERS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: The U.S. Department of Labor highlighted recent actions to help American workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including resources on health and safety, wages and leave, and financial assistance.

  • PAYCHECK PROTECTION FUNDS DEPLETED: The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it had approved 1,661,397 loans, exhausting the program’s allotted $349 billion. It can’t accept or approve new applications unless Congress signs off on additional funding. If your loan application has been approved, your money is likely on the way: Lenders are required by the Treasury Department to disperse funds within 10 days of your application’s approval. If you’re without a loan approval, look into the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program. More funds are planned for the Paycheck Protection program, but not until Congress approves them. 

  • GET CAUGHT DOING GOOD! Abilene businesses have big hearts and we want to see them in action. If you are feeding first responders, providing critical services or just doing things to make the day better in the community, we want to see you in action and make sure the entire community does, too. Click here to share your photos.

  • ABBOTT'S STRIKE FORCE INCLUDES FIRST FINANCIAL CEO: Abbott issued several new executive orders last week. The first establishes the Governor’s Strike Force to Reopen Texas. “They will gather information and make recommendations about ways that businesses can reopen as well as the safe practices that those businesses should use,” Abbott said in his press conference. The team is made up of top state officials as well as medical experts and members of various sectors of the business community. It will include the CEO of Abilene-based First Financial Bankshares, Inc. Scott Dueser. 

  • 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

  • 4/23 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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