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4/24 - COVID-19 Highlights for the Business Community

Abilene – Resilient. Determined. Community.


Let’s not let the stories of our local businesses fade away. Before ordering from the big guys, think local first.

Stay home, stay safe, we'll get through this together.


Thanks to Black Plumbing - IN-Focus Digital - Briercroft Fire and Water Restoration - Star Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram - Taylor Electric Cooperative, Inc. - Andrews Furniture and Coleman County State Bank for making this video possible.


Business Updates for COVID-19


  • $310 BILLION HEADED TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS: Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed and President Trump signed into law an additional $310 billion to the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We anticipate these new funds will be exhausted quickly. Contact your local lender today to take advantage of the program. You can find a list of local lenders here and guides here to help small businesses, independent contractors, and gig economy workers prepare to file for relief.

  • OVER $13 BILLION IN COVID-19 RELIEF AVAILABLE FOR K-12: Funding allocated by the CARES Act is now available to state and local education agencies to support continued learning for K-12 students whose educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus. State education agencies must allocate 90% of their Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund (ESSER) to LEAs, in proportion to the amount of FY 2019 funds the LEA received under Title I, Part A of ESEA. Local leaders have flexibility in using the funds, in compliance with applicable federal education laws. 

  • $6 BILLION IN ADDITIONAL GRANTS TO SUPPORT CONTINUED EDUCATION: The U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced an additional $6.2 billion in funding is available to higher education institutions through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, authorized by the CARES Act. Devos stated “the additional funds made available today can be used to expand remote learning programs, build IT capacity, and train faculty and staff to operate in a remote learning environment so that at any moment institutions can pivot quickly. I hope that institutions that already have robust remote learning capacity will consider using this funding to support additional emergency cash grants for students.” 

  • TWC DIRECTION FOR TEXANS IN NEED OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS EXTENSIONS: The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) advises that no action is needed by those claimants who may have recently exhausted, or will soon exhaust, their Unemployment Insurance (UI). TWC will determine qualification for additional benefits under any of the pandemic unemployment programs and notify claimants by mail or electronic correspondence. In order to be eligible for up to thirteen weeks of extended benefits, also known as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), applicants must meet certain criteria.

  • TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION RELEASES UNEMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE FOR SELF-EMPLOYED, CONTRACT AND GIG WORKERS: The Texas Workforce Commission released new guidance that advises self-employed, contract and gig workers who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance using Unemployment Benefits Services. The claim will be denied for regular unemployment insurance eligibility, but TWC will automatically enroll these applicants in PUA. Non-traditional applicants who are eligible will qualify for a base weekly benefit amount of $207, plus the additional $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment per week. Self-employed, contract and gig workers must submit their 2019 IRS 1040 Schedule C, F or SE prior to December 26, 2020 by fax, email or mail. More detailed information concerning the application process can be found here.


Webinars for business


  • 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.

  • 4/28  LEADING THROUGH A CRISIS: Join us Tuesday, April 28 at 10:00 am as Doug McIntyre, Hardin-Simmons University, leads us in a discussion of ways to lead through a crisis. Register here.

  • 5/5 COMMUNICATING AND BUILDING A BRAND THROUGH A CRISIS: Whether you are an individual, executive, company, small business or firm – knowing how to communicate and build brand through this crisis is essential to thriving after this is over. Mila Grigg, CEO, MODA Image and Brand Consulting, is joining us for a live webinar. Her experience around personal brand branding, company brand building, marketing, communicating, sharing on social media and building executive and company brands will give you a plan to communicate through and beyond this crisis and how to share value on social media. There are things you can do RIGHT now that will allow you to share your story, grow your message and thrive. Register here.

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