• COVID-19 - What You Need to Know TODAY May 6, 2020

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    May 06, 2020
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    IMPORTANT UPDATES 

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic has been a challenging time for our business community. We sent out an email late yesterday as well as posted on our website, Facebook and Twitter about the updated information for Williamson County’s WILCO Forward Small Business Grant Program 

    It is important that you review the information at WILCO Forward so that you are prepared with the application goes live TODAY at 5:30pm. This is open to most businesses in Williamson County. This is restricted to Williamson County businesses only! 

    We will send another email out this afternoon to remind you, but put a reminder on your calendar RIGHT NOW to apply for these funds. These will be processed in the order they are received.  

     

    FEDERAL & STATE UPDATES FOR BUSINESS 

    The U.S. Chamber and MetLife Poll shows small businesses are ramping up their actions to survive the pandemic. Among other key insights, the most recent poll finds that to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic: 

    • 27% have shortened their hours 

    • 26% have asked customers for support 

    • 19% have adjusted employee salaries or hours 

    • 19% have applied for a working capital loan 

    For the full report CLICK HERE 

     

    Yesterday, Governor Abbott held a press conference expanding business openings in Texas and announcing Surge Response Teams. The Governor stated that Texas is in a position to continue opening parts of our economy because of the efforts and determination of the people of Texas. Following social distancing practices and staying home whenever possible has slowed the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  

    The Governor made some clarification and additions to his earlier orders. This included clarifications on wedding venues and services, receptions, funerals and other “mass gatherings” considered religious services. The Governor also announced beginning May 8th, cosmetology salons, hair salons, barbers, and other cosmetic services will be allowed to be open under strict guidelines. May 18th will see additional business sectors open. For more information on how to open safely CLICK HERE 

     

    WILLIAMSON COUNTY 

    While we may have already mentioned this at the top, I believe it is worth mentioning again because it is that important. Williamson County has launched WILCO Forward, a grant program funded through the approximately $93 million the county received from the CARES Act and pursuant to Texas Local Government Code Chapter 381.  

    Applications will be accepted starting at 5:30pm on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. The deadline for Phase 1 is June 30, 2020. Phase 1 of WILCO Forward is funded with $25 million for grants to Williamson County small businesses impacted by COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The maximum amount any business can receive is $30,000. Grants will be processed and funded in the order received until the budgeted funds are exhausted. Both for profit and non-profit businesses headquartered and located in Williamson County with 100 or fewer employees (excluding ineligible entities) are eligible to apply. If you still have questions after reading the information on the website, you can email questions to SmallBusinessApp@wilco.org. For more information on this program CLICK HERE 

    CITY OF CEDAR PARK 

    If you are ready to get your library books, you may be in luck. Cedar Park Public Library will have curbside pickup for holds and drop-off for returnable materials. This new process will be available Monday – Thursday from 10am – 6pm and Fridays & Saturdays from 10am – 4pm. Material holds can be made online.  

    Cedar Park Public Library is also hosting virtual programming and you can find out more by CLICKING HERE. These programs include: 

    • All-ages Story Time 

    • Virtual Craft Club for Adults 

    • Book Buzz 

    • Ease into Cookin 

     

    LEANDER ISD 

    TEA Commissioner Mike Morath provided new guidance on 2020 Graduation Ceremonies for Texas School Districts at Governor Abbott’s Press Conference. The TEA is providing four different pathways for schools to celebrate their graduating seniors, and each district is at liberty to determine if any of these options best serve the needs and desires of their community. LISD has already laid out their plan. 

    • Completely Virtual Ceremony 

    • Hybrid Ceremony | Consists of a compilation of vides of students being recognized in person as they celebrate graduation in small groups. 

    • Vehicle Ceremonies | Students and families wait in their cars while other graduates are recognized one at a time. 

    • Outdoor In-Person Ceremony | Mainly for rural counties. 

     

    CHILDCARE INFORMATION 

    Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area has a Childcare Portal for Parents in Need of Childcare Options. This childcare portal is available to parents free of charge. Early care and education is important to the development of children, but it is also important to our local economy. Workers who need to get back to their jobs, need a safe place to take their child while school does not go back until the fall. While many have made plans for the summer, we still have 30 or more days until those plans may have been available for people. Be sure to check it out HERE 

    IN CLOSING TODAY 

    Obviously, I feel strongly about this since it was already mentioned twice in this single newsletter, but get your information ready for this evening’s opening of the WILCO Forward Program. These funds are distributed as they are received and once the money has been exhausted, we do not know what the next steps will be. This is federal money given to the county to use for purposes like this. Be sure to get your WILCO Forward funding as quickly as you can! 

    Be safe and be kind to one another!