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5/27 Update for the Business Community


Taylor County Commissioners Tuesday approved plans to hold joint runoff elections on July 14th. The ballot for the Democratic party will include two races, one for the U.S. Senate and one for Texas Railroad Commissioner. The Republican ballot will feature the 104th judicial district judge seat.  Early voting will begin June 29th and continue until July 10th, pausing on July 3rd and 4th for the Independence Day holiday. (source KACU) For more information or to register to vote, click here.


The Governor issued a proclamation expanding additional services and activities that can open under Phase II of the state's plan to safely and strategically open. On May 29 water parks can open but must limit their occupancy to 25% of normal operating limits. Video arcades in water parks must remain closed. On May 31 recreational sports programs for adults can resume, but games and similar competitions may not begin until June 15. Driver education programs can resume operations immediately.   Food-court dining areas within shopping malls can also immediately resume operations, but malls are encouraged to designate one or more individuals who are responsible for ensuring health and safety practices are followed, including: limiting tables to six individuals; maintaining a six-feet distance between individuals sitting at different tables; cleaning and disinfecting tables between uses; and ensuring no condiments or other items are left on tables between customer uses.  


This month’s data release also includes annual seasonal factor revisions. Texas factory activity declined again in May, though at a slower pace than in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained negative but improved from -55.6 to -28.0, suggesting the contraction in output has eased somewhat since last month.


Texas Highways is a longtime resource for road-trippers, and the Texas Department of Transportation Tourism magazine has created one of those cool interactive maps where Abilene’s museums and facilities, restaurants, retailers, hotels, etc., can be listed at their location, along with current hours, any special hours, anticipated opening dates, etc. Take advantage of this opportunity here.

WHAT WE'RE READING How U.S. Consumers are Spending Differently "By leveraging new data from analytics platform 1010Data, today’s infographic dives into the credit and debit card spending of five million U.S. consumers over the past few months.” Read more. Economic Pain from Pandemic Could Linger for Years, Experts Say "Even as there are signs that the Texas economy is beginning to reawaken, economists say it could take years for the state to fully recover from the economic gut punch delivered by the coronavirus outbreak. It could easily be 2022 before the Texas economy returns to its pre-outbreak production level, Austin economist Jason Schenker said." Read more.


Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Guide Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the funds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses. Click here to download this step-by-step guide to calculate your loan forgiveness amount, navigate record-keeping requirements, and determine repayment terms on amounts not forgiven. Reopening Business Digital Resources Center The U.S. Chamber has unveiled its Reopening Business Digital Resources Center to equip America's business community with the latest state guidelines, sector-specific guidance, small business advice, and other tools and resources as we look to reopen safely and keep employees and customers healthy and informed. Now, the resources center also includes a customizable workplace flyer to help you and your members communicate the steps your company is taking to keep them safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to employees and customers.

You don't want to miss these upcoming events for your business. 5/27 BRIDGING THE GENERATIONAL GAP IN THE WORKPLACE If you're a manager, human resource professional or even a business owner you face multiple problems every day. Don't let miscommunications between the different generations be one of them! Join us for tomorrow's webinar with Aaron Spatz of Bold Media as we work to bridge the generational gap in the workplace. Register here. 5/28 THE STATE OF THE BASIN: An online discussion about the economic outlook for the Permain Basin, the role critical infrastructure can play, and what you can do to product yourself and your community. Featuring Nobel-nominated economist, Dr. Ray Perryman, Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business Dr. Bradley Ewing and more. 11:45 am login here. 6/11 SBA WOMEN FEDERAL CONTRACTING CERTIFICATIONS & UPCOMING CHANGES SBA's Women Owned and Economically Disadvantage Women Owned Small Businesses (WOSB/EDWOSB) Federal Contracting Certification Program LIVE Webinar, June 11 at 10:00 a.m. (Central Standard Time). Register here.


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