Hello Azle Businesses,
I hope this find you and your family doing well during this most turbulent time.
I have been receiving many emails and attending webinars with information on available resources for Texas employers and employees. Below is the latest information I have gathered in the hope that some of it might be helpful to you.
I will continue to post information as I get it.
The Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas website with links for business resources and checklists for reopening their business.
Risk Assessment Chart
This chart is intended as a guide, prepared by physician experts, to help Texans make smart and educated choices of activities to pursue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
TARRANT COUNTY SMALL BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM
The Tarrant County Small Business Assistance Grant Program was approved by the Commissioner Court last Tuesday and information on the grant program is now available on the Tarrant County website at http://smallbusiness.tarrantcounty.com
The online application will be open on June 22nd at 10 am through July 1st at 6 pm.
We are encouraging businesses to take this time to read the information, requirements and guidelines for the grant and to assemble, prepare and scan your documentation for upload with your application.
The City of Azle Economic Development Department will serve as an Application Assistance Center for Azle businesses wanting to submit the application.
Information and Requirements:
Ineligible Business Entities:
Types of Allowable Expenses for Grant Funding Consideration: http://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/county/small-business/eligible-uses-of-grant-proceeds.html
Documentation Required with Application Submittal:
Example of Financial Information to be included in the Application: http://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/county/small-business/example.html
Frequently Asked Questions:
The Application submittal period begins June 22, 2020 at 10 a.m. and ends July 1, 2020 at 6 p.m.
For additional assistance or questions, please e-mail TCSBGrant@tarrantcounty.com or call 817-884-1267.
Executive Order No. GA-18 The Governor’s Executive Order relating to the expanded reopening of services as part of the safe, strategic plan to Open Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster
Streetsense is a strategy and design firm based in DC. They’ve developed some great resources for small businesses and just released a toolkit for restaurants. The toolkit contains capital management tactics, operational guidance to relaunch, and resources to help future-proof your restaurant. You have to provide your name and email address but otherwise free. Toolkit Link
INDEPENDENT FUNDING RESOURCES
GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund (also accepting donations for anyone who has a few dollars to contribute)
Hello Alice – Business for All – Apply for grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency grants.
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund – Offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.
Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund – The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
To assist small businesses to stay afloat and to support community organizations to meet unprecedented client demand, the LISC Fund will provide grants and patient, flexible loan capital to meet the following expenses:
- Rent and utilities
- Outstanding debt to vendors
- Upgrade technology infrastructure for remote delivery of services
- Emergency cash assistance for clients most in need
- Other immediate operational costs
In addition to financial resources, small businesses and community organizations will need to employ new tactics around marketing, finance, technology and human resources. LISC will provide technical assistance to help partners hone the skills to do just that. For LISC Borrowers: https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/borrowers/
AssistHer Emergency Relief Grant – This Texas Woman’s University fund was designed to assist Texas, woman-owned businesses that have been severely impacted by Covid-19. $1 million (100 grants of $10,000) is available.
Creative Capital – This organization is supportive of all the creative sectors. Staff have been compiling resources for artists, writers, freelancers, and more.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program – Facebook is offering $100 million in grants for ad credits and cash support. This is a program that is still being developed. You can sign up for updates as they are released.
MusiCares – The Recording Academy and its foundation MusiCares have announced creation of the COVID-19 Fund to support the music industry.
Fort Worth Chamber Virtual Learning Series Leaders Online –
STATE PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION RESOURCES
Texas Restaurant Association Relief Fund – A listing of resources for restaurants and restaurant employee family resources.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Quick Guides for chambers of commerce and local businesses.
TEXAS STATE RESOURCES
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI)
- Alternative to SBA loans
- CDFIs are private financial institutions
- 100% dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending
- Helping those that may not be well served by conventional lenders, as well as disadvantaged people and communities
- Business and Community Lenders of Texas (BCL)
- Click here to download the full list of CDFIs in Texas
Texas Workforce Commission
Shared Work Program
- Provides Texas employers with an alternative to layoffs
- Helps Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business
- Shared Work allows employers to: – Supplement their employees’ wages lost because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits – Reduce normal weekly work hours for employees in an affected unit by at least 10 percent but not more than 40 percent; the reduction must affect at least 10 percent of the employees in that unit
- Employees who qualify will receive both wages and Shared Work unemployment benefits.
- For more information visit: https://twc.texas.gov/businesses/shared-work
Mass Claims for Unemployment Benefits
- Streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs
- Employers can submit basic worker information on behalf of their employees to initiate claims for unemployment benefits
- During COVID – 19 the requirement to submit Mass Claims Request at least five days prior to the planned layoff has been waived
- For more information, please visit: https://twc.texas.gov/businesses/mass-claims-unemployment-benefits
Unemployment Insurance Waivers
COVID – 19 Related Waivers:
- Governor Abbott granted the Texas Workforce Commission’s request to suspend the one-week waiting period, allowing workers in Texas to receive benefits immediately after their unemployment benefit applications are approved
- Work search requirements are waived for employees
- Employers can receive more information online at twc.state.tx.us, or by calling the Tele-Center at 800-939-6631
Workforce Development Boards
Texas has 28 Workforce Development Boards (WDB’s)
Workforce Solutions Offices remain open in most cases for virtual services:
- Employer Services: full array of job posting and placement services, up-to-date information on the labor market and emerging occupations, recruiting, retention, and training assistance, tax and hiring incentives, and more
- Job Seeker Services: access to thousands of job postings, job search resources, training programs and help with exploring career options, resumé and application preparation, career development, and more
- Child Care Assistance: Child Care is a support service for parents who work, attend school, or participate in job training. Specific COVID 19 Child-care resources: https://twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-child-care
- For more information visit: https://twc.texas.gov/partners/workforce-development-boards-websites
WorkInTexas.com is an online application that offers employers and job seekers immediate and continuous access to job matching services.
- Even when job seekers are not logged on WorkInTexas.com continues to match job openings with qualified job seekers and generates notices to alert them to potential job opportunities.
- Job seekers can also browse thousands of job postings including all Texas state agency jobs, refer themselves to open positions, complete resumés and/or state applications and maintain them online.
Texas Comptroller’s Office – support for struggling businesses having difficulty in paying state sales taxes https://comptroller.texas.gov/about/emergency/
For businesses that find themselves in this situation, the Comptroller’s Office is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest. Please contact their Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880 to learn about your options for remaining in compliance and avoiding interest and late fees on taxes due.
Texas Needs Supplies, Services and Equipment
The State of Texas is seeking critical equipment and capacity for medical providers, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), alternate care sites, and infection-control products. If you have products, sites, or equipment available for the state to consider procuring, please click the appropriate links. Selling to Texas Link Donate Equipment to Help Texans Link
Texas Needs Volunteers
If you are an active or retired health care provider, a medical or nursing student, or just a Texan who wants to help, please complete the following volunteer registration form. Register to Volunteer
*Note: When accessing federal benefits, it is imperative that you document, document, document EVERYTHING
Families First Coronavirus Act (H.R. 6201)
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA):
- Requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19
- In general, employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons
- Effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA):
- Employer Paid Leave Requirements: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave
- Employee Paid Leave Rights: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave
- FFCRA Questions: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748)
TITLE II – Assistance for American Workers, Families, and Businesses (partial list of provisions)
Subtitle A—Unemployment Insurance Provisions – Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
- creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through December 31, 2020
- provides payment to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
Emergency Unemployment Relief for Governmental Entities and Nonprofit Organizations
- provides payment to states to reimburse nonprofits, government agencies, and Indian tribes for half of the costs they incur through December 31, 2020 to pay unemployment benefits.
Emergency Increase in Unemployment Compensation Benefits
- provides an additional $600 per week payment to each recipient of unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for up to four months.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
- provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits through December 31, 2020 to help those who remain unemployed after weeks of state unemployment benefits are no longer available.
Subtitle C – Business Provisions (partial list of provisions)
Employee retention credit for employers subject to closure due to COVID-19
- The provision provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by employers to employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
The credit is available to employers whose:
- (1) operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a COVID-19- related shut-down order, or
- (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year.
- The credit is based on qualified wages paid to the employees
- For employers with greater than 100 full-time employees:
- qualified wages are wages paid to employees when they are not providing services due to the COVID-19- related circumstances.
- For eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees:
- all employee wages qualify for the credit, whether the employer is open for business or subject to a shutdown order.
- The credit is provided for the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, paid to an eligible employee
- The credit is provided for wages paid or incurred from March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2020
Delay of payment of employer payroll taxes
- The provision allows employers and self-employed individuals to defer payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax they otherwise are responsible for paying to the federal government with respect to their employees.
- Note: Employers advised to consult with their own accountants for specific tax guidance for their business.
- Additional Information will be made available upon completion of full review of the CARES Act benefits for businesses
SBA (Small Business Administration) Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus –
COVID-19 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN APPLICATION – https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Paycheck Protection Program Loans (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
- PPP Loan Period: February 15, 2020 to June 30,2020
- Business has to be in operation as of February 15, 2020
- Business must have been harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020
- Cash Flow Protection during emergency through 100 Percent federally guarantee loans to employers
- If payroll maintained during emergency loans will be forgiven
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Loan Advance
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.
NOTE *You must first apply for the IEDL loan and THEN you can request the Advance
COVID-19 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN APPLICATION – https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.
This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
- Emergency advance up to $10,000 harmed by COVID within 3-days of applying for EIDL
- Must apply then request the advance
- The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstances
- May be used to keep employees on the payroll, sick leave, production cost due to supply-chain disruptions,
- Also, pay business obligations, including debt, rent and mortgage payments
Small Business Debt Relief Program
- Immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA Loans
- SBA cover loan payments on 7(a), 504, and Microloans
- Debt relief available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of President signing the bill in to law.
Local SBA Office
Texas SBDC ~ Dallas ~ North Texas Small Business
Small Business Development Center