Updates

Updates


March 27, 2020 — The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. For more information and to find out if you are eligible visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's website here.
March 20, 2020 —The Small Business Association has included all counties in Texas in its Economic Injury Disaster Declaration and granted access to its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Texas small businesses who believe they may be eligible for an SBA EIDL should visit www.sba.gov/disaster where they can directly apply for assistance. The online application is the fastest method to receive a decision about loan eligibility.
March 18, 2020 — The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law and will go into effect on April 2, 2020. The legislation responds to the growing health and economic crises with provisions that include:

  • Paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and sick leave for businesses with less than 500 employees;
  • A new tax credit to small employers to cover the now-required payments to employees who take time off;
  • Free testing for COVID-19 — The law seeks to make testing for the coronavirus free to the public (without having to use deductibles or copayments). It includes a variety of waivers in order for testing costs to be covered by either insurance or government programs; and,
  • Expansion of federal funding of Medicaid — The law includes a temporary 6.2% increase in federal payments to Medicaid for states.

March 17, 2020 — The Governor Greg Abbott requested designation from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration to access the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the entire state of Texas.
March 6, 2020 — The President signed a $7.8 billion emergency cornavirus spending plan into law. The plan provides funding for the local, state, national and international levels. Among other provisions, the legislation includes:
  • An estimated $500 million provision to allow Medicare beneficiaries to access telehealth programs that will let them remotely see providers to assess symptoms potentially tied to the coronavirus.
  • More than $300 million to ensure that when a vaccine is developed — which some estimate could be a year or more away — that Americans will be able to access it regardless of their ability to pay, according to a congressional aide involved in the negotiators




Live Blog


Follow the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's live blog here.





Agencies & Organizations

Texas Workforce Commission


The Texas Workforce Commission is providing information regarding unemployment benefits, taxes, precautions, mass claims, and shared work programs. Visit their website here.




Small Business Administration


The Small Business Administration is providing guidance and loan resources to support businesses. Visit their website here.




Hays County Task Force & Survey


Hays County public and private leadership have formed a taskforce to address the growing concerns around COVID-19. This team will work to better understand the impact of the virus on employers, employees, and residents to ensure current and future needs are met. The team will continually update this website with useful information to help ensure the business continuity while offering any available resources from the federal and state governments. For more information, click here. If you are a business in Hays County that has been impacted by COVID-19, you can complete this survey here.




National & Local Chambers of Commerce


For updates on how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is responding to COVID-19 and links to resources, visit the Chamber's website.

Visit the local chambers of commerce here:





Guidance & FAQs

Common Issues Encountered by Small Businesses


The Small Business Administration has prepared a list of issues and guidance that small businesses may be experiencing in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business's financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it. See SBA’s capital access resources.

  • Workforce Capacity – Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It’s critical to ensure they have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected.

  • Inventory and Supply Chain Shortfalls – While the possibility could be remote, it is a prudent preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event one supplier cannot meet an order request.

  • Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.

  • Insurance Coverage Issues – Many businesses have business interruption insurance; Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.

  • Changing Market Demand – Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand.

  • Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.

  • Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA’s website at: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-planning-exercises




Guidance from the CDC


The CDC has prepared interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and resond to COVID-19. Please follow this link for the most up to date guidance.




Coronavirus Response Toolkit


The U.S Chamber of Commerce has prepared a Coronavirus Response Toolkit for businesses and employees. View the toolkit here.




Guidance on Applying for Disaster Loans


The San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce has provided guidance for small businesses on how to apply for one of these loans. Visit their website here. The City of Dripping Springs share this three-step chart from the Small Business Administration on applying for disaster loans.




Rapid Response Program


The Texas Workforce Commission administers the Rapid Response Program. Texas Workforce Solutions can provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses. Rapid Response provides early intervention assistance designed to transition workers to their next employment as soon as possible. Services are tailored to each company, based on the needs of the affected employees To learn more about the program, follow this link.




FAQs Relating to COVID-19 for Texas Businesses and Community Economic Development Partners


The City of Dripping Springs has prepared an FAQ's page for businesses in the region. View the page here.




Guidance from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives


View resources and best practices from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives by following the link here.




Information on Online & Curbside Orders


Seller Community has prepared guidance on how to help your business stay afloat by enabling you to take orders online for in-person pickup. For more information, follow this link.





Assistance by Industry

Artists & Arts Organizations


Visit the National Endowment for the Arts' website to find frequently updated news and resources from arts organaizations across the country. Visit the Dramatists Guild's website to find resources for resources and information on emergency relief grants.




Hotels & Lodging


Visit the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association's website to find updates and resources. Visit the Asian American Hotel Owners Association's website for updates on COVID-19. For hospitality businesses currently in operation, view this infection prevention pamphlet here.




Restaurants & Bars


Visit the Texas Restaurant Associations website for resources and guidance. For bartenders in need of assistance, you can apply for the Bartender Emergency Assistance program from the United States Bartenders Guild. Click here to apply. For restaurants currently in operation, view this infection prevention best practices pamphlet here. The Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation has prepared information and links to resources including relief funds and financial assistance. View their website here.




Musicians


The Recording Academy and its affiliated charitable foundation MusiCares have established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help peers in the music community affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. View their website here.




Tour Companies


Tourmageddon aims to match local tour companies needing help with those offering help. Visit their website here.




Food & Beverage


The Southern Smoke Foundation provides funding to individuals in the food and beverage industry who are in crisis.Visit their website here.




Early Childhood Providers


The Texas Association for the Education of Young Children is providing resources for early childhood providers. Visit their website here.





Loans & Grants

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program


Texas small businesses who believe they may be eligible for an SBA EIDL should visit www.sba.gov/disaster where they can directly apply for assistance. Completing this application is the fastest way to receive assistance.




Facebook Small Business Grants Program


Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. For more information, visit their website here.




Paycheck Protection Program


April 3, 2020 — The Small Business Administration is now accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program. As the loan capital will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, small businesses are highly encouraged to apply ASAP. To apply for the program, visit the Small Business Administration's website here. Under the Coronavirus Aif, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the federal government allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed. The Paycheck Protection Program provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses that may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls. For more information on the program, visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's resource page here.




AssistHer Emergency Relief Grants


This program assists Texas, woman-owned businesses that have been severely impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19). A total of $1,000,000 (100 grant awards of $10,000) is available. For more information visit the Texas Women's University Center for Women Entrepreneurs' website.




The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. The administration soon will release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan. Find more information here.




Still Budaful Stimulus Program


In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Buda City Council authorized the Still Budaful Stimulus Program to assist businesses negatively affected by the pandemic. The Still Budaful Stimulus is a local economic development program authorized under Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code to help reduce the resulting economic strain on local businesses. Read more information here and here.