A message from Chamber President and CEO on Governor Abbott's reopening of Texas Businesses: Dear Chamber member and members of the Abilene business community:
Yesterday, we all watched, listened to or read about Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen the Texas economy. While as the chief advocate for your business we had hoped for further loosening, our experiences in talking face-to-face, by telephone and text messaging with our healthcare leaders helped to substantiate the “let’s take it slow” approach determined by the Governor. Although not completely satisfied, we are understanding. But it’s time to get back to work.
Click here to read more.
The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:
SURVEY: 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. By asking the same questions week-by-week, we will be looking for trends and inflection points. CLICK HERE to take this week's survey.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT PRESS CONFERENCE UPDATE: Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference yesterday where he released phase one of the plan to re-open Texas. Find a recap of the press conference here and click here to view the Governor's Open Texas Report.
Minimum Recommended Health Protocols (PDFs)
MAYOR WILLIAMS REACTS TO GOVERNOR ABBOTT'S PRESS CONFERENCE: Mayor Williams went live on his personal Facebook page yesterday evening after the Governor's press conference to share what that means for Abilene. You can listen to the full reaction here.
PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAM OPEN: The President has signed a $480 billion package to augment the CARES Act passed in late March. The program reopened yesterday at 9:30 am. Here's what's in it:
$320 billion to replenish the Payment Protection Loan Program
$60 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans
$75 million for hospitals to assist with the cost of COVID-19 patients and lost revenue because of the suspension of elected procedures
$25 billion to ramp up COVID-19 testing
Click here to find a list of local lenders.
COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM HENDRICK HEALTH SYSTEM: Brad Holland, CEO of Hendrick Health System, recently gave a community update surrounding COVID-19. View the update here.
TEXAS RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION SAFETY GUIDING DOCUMENTS: Texas Restaurant Association’s Texas Restaurant Promise and safety guiding documents. The National Restaurant Association has made its ServSafe Food Handler Program available to all restaurants free of charge through April 30, linked below.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has also provided guidance for employers, employees, and customers of reopened retail.
MORE TEXAS BUSINESSES RECEIVED COVID-19 RELIEF THAN ANYWHERE ELSE: More small businesses in Texas were approved for money from the federal government's initial coronavirus emergency lending program than in any other state -- including harder-hit New York, California and Florida. Nearly 135,000 loans were approved for businesses in Texas in the first wave, totaling almost $28.5 billion, according to data released by the Small Business Administration. Click here to read more.
FRUSTRATED GOP LAWMAKERS WANT TO CURB EMERGENCY POWER OF TEXAS CITIES, COUNTIES: Local governments have gone too far in issuing emergency orders during the coronavirus pandemic and can expect to have those powers whittled down when the Texas Legislature meets again, key state lawmakers say. State laws give local leaders broad power during emergencies, but state Sen. Paul Bettencourt of Houston, a leading Republican in the Texas Senate, said too many local officials have taken it too far. Click here to read more.
WHAT SHAPE WILL THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY TAKE? Despite all the dour data, the economy will bounce back once the lockdowns are eased. The question will then become, what shape will the recovery take? Many analysts talk about how it will look like a letter. For instance, will it look like a “V,” a “U,” a “W,” an “L,” or a “reverse-J?” Click here to read more.
CHILDCARE IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE PANDEMIC RESPONSE AND THE PATH FORWARD: COVID-19 is decimating the childcare industry—a $47.2 billion industry primarily comprised of small businesses who collectively employ 1.5 million workers.The pandemic has made clear the essential nature of childcare in both the response and recovery phases. The country needs childcare programs operable now to support frontline and essential workers and will need this critical workforce support for every other industry when we begin to return to work. Click here to read more.
UPDATE YOUR BUSINESS HOURS: We've been keeping track of business hours on businessresourceabilene.com. Help us share with the public of your changes by updating your hours of operation here.
Webinars for business
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.
5/7 MANAGING YOUR FINANCES AND BUDGET THROUGH A CRISIS: Join the Chamber and Eide Bailly, LLP for an in-depth look at managing your finances and budget through a crisis. Topics will include an overview of IRS relief programs (maximizing loan forgiveness and the next round of payroll protection, employee retention credit), managing cash flows, tax saving opportunities and what information your bank or lender will want and be looking for. Register here.