Business Updates for COVID-19
RE-OPEN TEXAS SURVEY: Last Friday, Governor Greg Abbott announced the creation of the Strike Force to Open Texas, comprised of nationally recognized medical experts along with business and community leaders throughout Texas. The Strike Force will advise the Governor on how to safely and strategically reopen Texas and restart the state’s economy. To assist the Strike Force, the Governor’s Office is requesting information on the return-to-work plans and concerns of Texas businesses. Please take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire below before 5:00 pm today, Thursday, April 23, 2020, so that we can send your input to the Governor’s Office. Survey link.
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 Today. We'll keep members in the loop as soon as we know more about the additional aid.
STATE OF TEXAS PROVIDES GUIDANCE FOR REOPENING RETAIL BUSINESSES: This guidance is based on the best information currently available and will be updated when appropriate. Please visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus and cdc.gov/coronavirus for updates. This guidance is intended for employers, employees, and customers of retail businesses reopening under the Governor’s Executive Order issued on April 17, 2020. This guidance does not apply to businesses considered essential. Click here to read the full guidelines.
ABBOTT HINTS AT LOCALIZED APPROACH TO REOPENING TEXAS BUSINESSES AMID CORONAVIRUS: In an interview Wednesday morning with talk show host Chad Hasty on KFYO radio in Lubbock, Abbott said that as part of his revised guidance to begin reopening businesses in Texas, counties with lower numbers of confirmed cases may be able to fully reopen sooner than counties where the virus is still growing. Click here to read more.
ROCK-BOTTOM OIL PRICES SPELL TROUBLE FOR TEXAS ECONOMY: The State of Texas has likely lost at least $1 billion in revenue since January thanks to dropping oil prices, as oil futures trading for the month of May fell below $1. The price of oil per barrel for May futures started hovering Monday around $20, then by mid-day, it was around $10 until it plummeted to almost -$40 by the afternoon. Click here to read more.
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.
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.
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.