The Lone Star State provides numerous resources to support businesses confronted with COVID-19 shutdown. Those resources provide information on how to apply for emergency loans, grants, unemployment compensation, and other financial resources They also answer common questions, provide helpful links and contact information, and give guidance regarding best practices for health and safety and communicating with employees and customers.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses and nonprofits suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. These low-interest loans, with repayment schedules as long as 30 years, are supported by the emergency Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. The money loaned may be used to make payroll, pay bills, or reduce debt, and the terms and amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis. Details and information about how to apply can be found on the SBA’s website or by calling 1-800-659-2955.
Texas Workforce Commission
Another great resource is the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The TWC is particularly helpful when seeking answers or support on behalf of employees, such as how they can claim emergency COVID-19 unemployment benefits. The TWC also facilitates mass filing for unemployment insurance when businesses are forced by the pandemic to close and lay off multiple employees. Filing on behalf of all employees at once can save time and stress. But TWC is also where to find employer news and information, updates regarding tax filing deadline extensions, and tips on pandemic-related fraud prevention. TWC also provides great information regarding best practices related to sick employees; social distancing, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene; cleaning and disinfecting; and safety during travel for work.
Texas Economic Development
The Texas Economic Development office also provides information, resources, and updates to help businesses in the state with their COVID-19 challenges. For example, the office helps businesses find information about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under the Act, small businesses and nonprofits can receive an advance of up to $10,000. A downloadable PDF file with details can be found at the Texas Economic Development website. The organization also posts notifications regarding Texas government executive orders and other information relevant to businesses in the state.
Other Helpful Links and Organizations
The Texas Association of Business works with local, state, and federal officials to inform and equip businesses with health and safety information and financial resources. It also provides shareable social media resources related to the pandemic, that businesses can use to communicate accurately and proactively with employees and customers. The NFIB, a nonprofit business advocacy organization, has a website created by its legal department that’s devoted to COVID-19 news, resources, and answers to frequently asked questions. The DSHS, the state’s health department, is a direct source for COVID-19 data and ongoing pandemic developments and updates. For businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the city of Fort Worth has a special COVID-19 website resource for both essential and non-essential business. It includes information about business loans and grants, taxes, landlord and tenant issues, childcare, business continuity plans, and more.
Take advantage of these resources and share them with others. The Lone Star State has a long history of neighbors helping neighbors, and local businesses and individuals with get through this crisis together and eventually emerge strong, secure, and successful.