The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:
CITY OF ABILENE TO HOST COMMUNITY STATUS UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19: The City of Abilene will hold a press conference this morning at 9:00 am to give the community an update on COVID-19 in Abilene. Tune in on their Facebook page here.
ABILENE CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE THURSDAY TO POSTPONE MAY 2 ELECTION: The Abilene City Council on Thursday likely will vote to postpone its May election in light of coronavirus concerns, while the city plans a news conference Wednesday to provide a broad update on the pandemic. The vote on the May 2 election, which includes contests for mayor and for Places 3 and Place 4 on the council, comes days before early voting was to begin April 20. Read more.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION LOANS AVAILABLE TO FARMERS, REGARDLESS OF REVENUE, APPLY NOW: Yesterday morning, the American Farm Bureau Federation posted an article, Farmers’ Use of Paycheck Protection Loan Depends on ‘Small Business’ Definition, questioning whether the Small Business Administration’s industry-level standards pertaining to revenues would be enforced, ultimately excluding thousands of agricultural producers from getting Paycheck Protection Program Loans. Yesterday evening, SBA released the Paycheck Protection Program interim final rule. Based on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s analysis of the IFR, we are pleased to confirm that the IFR removes the industry-specific revenue thresholds. Agriculture enterprises that employ 500 or less people whose principal place of residence is in the United States are eligible, regardless of revenue levels. Read more.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF STATE PARKS AND HISTORIC SITES: Governor Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to close all state parks and historic sites as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen social distancing practices and prevent gatherings of large groups of people. Historic sites and state parks will close to the public starting at 5:00 PM yesterday evening and will reopen at the direction of the Governor. Read more.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOCAL LENDERS: We're blessed in that Abilene's financial landscape is populated by strong, local institutions that qualify as SBA lenders. They are institutions we know and trust and are members of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. View the list here.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM FAQ: The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, intends to provide timely additional guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established by section 1102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act or the Act). This document will be updated on a regular basis. View the document here.
WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS OF WEST TEXAS: A local snapshot of unemployment numbers and more. Read more.
BUSINESSES ARE STEPPING UP: Big Country area businesses are offering help to the community in many ways as we weather the COVID-19 situation together. Share how your business is helping.
Previously shared updates
COMFORT FOOD CARE PACKAGES: FEED YOUTH AND FAMILIES IN NEED AND STAY OPEN: Governor Greg Abbott today announced the Comfort Food Care Package (CFCP) program to provide meals for at-risk youth and families in communities across Texas as the state responds to COVID-19. As part of the program, participating restaurants offer CFCPs for patrons to purchase on behalf of families and youth in need. Read more and sign up here.
COVID-19 COMPLIANT BUSINESS PARTNER: To further encourage the business community to comply with new "Limited Shelter in Place" order, the Chamber is launching “COVID-19 Work Safe ABI” program.Businesses who adopt these principles are encouraged to publicly declare their pledge to do so. Take the pledge.
ABILENE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU: Stay engaged with your favorite attractions through virtual events. Find things to do, local dining and more here.
OVERNIGHT VIRTUAL BUSINESS: How to Successfully Operate Your Business with Technology During COVID-19 presented by Tolar Systems. Missed the seminar? Click here to watch a recording.