• COVID-19 - What You Need to Know TODAY May 19, 2020

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    May 19, 2020
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    IMPORTANT UPDATES 

    Several updates are listed below. Some of the most important include what businesses can open their doors. It is important to remember that these businesses should follow the guidance coming from the Governor’s Task Force to reopen Texas Businesses. You can find this information at https://gov.texas.gov/opentexas. This information will definitely help you open your doors safely and allow your patrons to get back to spending money with you! 
     

    FEDERAL & STATE UPDATES FOR BUSINESS 

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed their version of Phase 4 pandemic relief bill in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. This is a $3 trillion bill and includes $200 billion to ensure essential workers receive hazard pay. Employers would be able to apply for grants. This would expand eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to include all 501(C) organizations. It also expands the employee retention tax credit created under Phase 3 of the CARES Act and extends $600/week boost in unemployment insurance until January 2021 that was established under the CARES Act.  

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and multiple other business organizations, including the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce, are advocating to Congress to make the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) work better and support Main Street’s re-opening efforts. We are working with Congress to make sure PPP loan recipients can benefit from annual business deductions. We are part of a coalition effort to extend the PPP eight-week forgiveness period, repeal the 75%/25% spending limitation and extend the June 30th date for rehiring workers. 

    Governor Abbot announced the second phase of the State of Texas’ ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Under Phase 2, restaurants may increase their occupancy to 50% while other services and activities that were closed under Phase 1 may open with restricted occupancy levels and minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Opening dates are listed below. 

    May 18th open date 

    • Childcare centers 

    • Massage and Personal Care Centers 

    • Youth Clubs 

    May 22nd open date 

    • Bars 

    May 31 

    • Day Youth Camps 

    • Overnight Youth Camps 

    • Youth Sports 

    • Certain Professional Sports without in-person spectators 

    The Governor emphasized the continue need to follow social distancing protocols that are currently in place to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and not take Texas back a step. These protocols include staying home if you are at an increased risk, sanitizing your hands, staying 6 feet apart from one another and other protocols.  
     

    AVAILABLE RESOURCES 

    There are many resources for you available through the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce and our network of partners. The US Chamber of Commerce has several helpful guides to help you work through some questions you may continue to have.  

    They have a list of resources, webinars, research and advocacy for small business. Many of these links we have shared in the past, but it is always a good refresher to know what is available to you 24/7 as a member of the Cedar Park Chamber. To find out more, please click on the links below. 

    As changes continue all around us, it is important to continue to show kindness to one another. These times can be frustrating for some. The way we have done business, many times with a handshake, isn’t taking place right now. I do not believe the changes are permanent, but I do believe these changes will stay with some for a much longer time. I believe that things continue to change and whether people and businesses want to embrace it or push it away is up to them, but how we respond to those changes is up to us.  

    Respond to changes (or no changes) with respect. You can respectfully disagree. You can respectfully agree with how businesses are changing or not changing. Show them by telling them thank you. Thank you for the decisions they are making, some of them being hard changes. But understand you may not know the full story, and respect that as well. 

    Be safe and be kind to one another!