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4/22 - COVID-19 Highlights for the Business Community

Business Updates for COVID-19


  • SURVEY - LAST CHANCE! SURVEY CLOSES AT NOON!: 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. CLICK HERE to take this week's survey.

  • RE-OPEN TEXAS: We're collecting input from our members on the reopening process. Look for a survey this afternoon so we can gather the opinion of the business community to report back to the Governor's Reopening Taskforce.

  • GOVERNOR ABBOTT PRESS CONFERENCE: Miss Governor Abbott's Press Conference? View a recap here.

  • SENATE APPROVED $484 BILLION IN ADDITIONAL COVID RESPONSE FUNDING: Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer and others speak on CSPAN after reaching agreement on an interim emergency relief bill, which includes $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for testing. The Senate has approved the $484 billion in additional COVID response funding. This plan still needs approval in the U.S. House where a vote is expected on Thursday.

  • CMS ISSUES RECOMMENDATIONS TO RE-OPEN HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS IN AREAS WITH LOW INCIDENCE OF COVID-19: CMS is issuing guidance on providing essential non-COVID-19 care to patients without symptoms of COVID-19 in regions with low and stable incidence of COVID-19. This is part of Phase 1 in the Trump Administration’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. The recommendations update earlier guidance provided by CMS on limiting non-essential surgeries and medical procedures. Press Release & Recommendations


  • DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE UPDATE TO TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: The DOD Secretary approved an extension to the stop move order through June 30. The guidance can be found here and helpful information can be found here. An infographic on the updates can be found here.

  • WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Did your business benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program? We want to hear your story. Email us here.

  • 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.

  • UPDATE ON WORKFORCE: The latest update from Workforce Solutions of West Texas focuses primarily on unemployment insurance data and includes new statewide data regarding unemployment claims by industry. Read the report here.

  • GOVERNOR ABBOTT AND ATTORNEY GENERAL PAXTON PROVIDE UPDATED JOINT GUIDANCE TO HOUSES OF WORSHIP: Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued updated joint guidance regarding the effect of Governor Abbott's Executive Order GA-16 on religious services conducted by congregations and houses of worship. It recommends strategies for houses of worship to effectively slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) while serving their respective communities of faith. Read the guidance document here.  


Webinars for business


  • 4/22 CARES ACT, SBA LOANS AND USDA UPDATE FOR PRODUCERS: Given the extraordinary financial stresses affecting producers, many farmers are hoping that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) new loan program established in the CARES Act may help keep their businesses in operation. Texas Corn Producers has asked K·Coe Isom, the nation's leading food and ag accounting and advisory firm, to shed light on the various aspects of the CARES Act, SBA Loans and USDA updates as it pertains to producers. Register here

  • 4/22 GOVERNOR'S SMALL BUSINESS WEBINAR SERIES - NORTH TEXAS: The Governor’s Small Business Webinar Series - North Texas will provide small business owners and entrepreneurs with timely, relevant, actionable information on COVID-19 recovery resources. Topics will include how the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act affects small businesses, as well as workforce-related topics surrounding hiring, benefits, payroll and unemployment. Businesses will also get the chance to connect with local experts and support systems. 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.


  • 4/23 TOWN HALL WITH TWC EMPLOYER COMMISSIONER AARON DEMERSON: Texas Employer Commissioner Aaron Demerson will be joined by his legal staff and Adriana Cruz, Director of Governor's Office of Economic Development and Tourism Division to share information on resources for employers and address your questions. Register here.


  • 4/23 JOIN US FOR A VIRTUAL BUSINESS AFTER HOURS SPONSORED BY CUMULUS MEDIA: Join the Abilene Chamber for a virtual Business After Hours on Thursday, April 23 at 5:00 pm sponsored by Cumulus Media. Wear your favorite Baseball attire and join us for Spring Training! A $250 advertising gift certificate from Cumulus for the Grand Prize. Register here.


  • 4/24 MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH DURING DIFFICULT TIMES: Join the Texas Association of Business this Friday, April 24 at 1:30 where we will be joined by Greg Hansch with NAMI Texas and Alison Morh Boleware with the National Association of Social Workers for this special webinar discussion on dealing with the mental aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Register here.


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