"The state of Texas is strong; our people, resilient. As we have seen during past natural disasters, when neighbors help neighbors, our resilience is redoubled. As we open Texas, we are each called upon to be Texans: to act responsibly and safely as we re-engage the economy, to continue following all health precautions, and to care for our most vulnerable neighbors. Lives depend on our actions. I know you will respond as Texans."
Governor Greg Abbott
Texans are battling a colossal challenge – one that has tested lives and livelihoods. The Governor's Economic Development & Tourism Office staff and community partners continue to work together to provide direct assistance and resource referrals to Texas businesses to overcome this crisis. We are also focused on recovery and the next steps to position our state and businesses for future success. Governor Greg Abbott and the Strike Force to Open Texas are diligently working to safely and strategically restart and revitalize all aspects of the Lone Star State. A series of phased business openings have allowed Texas businesses to reopen with certain occupancy limitations and minimum health standard protocols: Open Texas Checklists. For additional news and resources regarding the State's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), go to gov.texas.gov/coronavirus.
Navigate to resources on this page:
- Go to Resources for Texas Small Businesses
- Go to Resources for Texas Workers
- Go to Resources for Texas Communities
- Go to Resources for All Texans
- Helpful FAQs Relating to COVID-19 for Texas Businesses and Community Economic Development Partners
Update on the Governor's Plan to Open Texas
UPDATE: On June 26, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-28 limiting certain businesses and services as part of the state's effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The order includes:
- All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 p.m. on June 26, 2020. These businesses may remain open for delivery and takeout, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
- Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
- Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
- On July 2, 2020, the Governor announced a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others. Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
Businesses should follow the minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Guidance for employers and employees, as well as Open Texas Checklists by business type, can be found on the Open Texas Website.
EIDL Application Reopened
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to all eligible businesses on June 15, 2020. The EIDL is designed to provide long-term, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. Organizations looking for more information and application instructions can visit the SBA's Disaster Loan Webpage (or visit the Spanish version of the page here). Small business owners requesting loan reconsideration can e-mail: PDC.Reconsideration@sba.gov
Note: All available funds for the EIDL Advance program have been allocated. By law, SBA is not able to issue EIDL Advances once program funding has been obligated and is no longer available. However, EIDL loan applications will still be processed even though the Advance is no longer available.
Paycheck Protection Program: Deadline August 8, 2020
Congress approved an additional $310 billion in appropriations for the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan initiative through an amendment to the CARES Act. Eligible small businesses should work with an approved lender to apply and should carefully review PPP regulations and certifications required to obtain a loan on the SBA’s website (or visit the Spanish version of the page here).
The SBA posted a new PPP loan forgiveness application, implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers.
For a list of FAQs regarding PPP loan forgiveness, click here.
Main Street Lending Program
The Main Street Lending Program was established by the Federal Reserve System to support lending to small- and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan terms are up to $25 million at 5%, over 4 years, with payments deferred for the first year. Businesses can apply through eligible lenders, which include U.S. banks, savings and loans and credit unions, U.S. branches or agencies of foreign banks and any U.S. subsidiary of a foreign bank. The Federal Reserve is currently working to create the infrastructure necessary to operationalize the Program. Businesses should stay in touch with their bank for details on when the program is likely to open and continue to check the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program webpage and program FAQs. Lender registration is now open, the Federal Reserve is currently working to create the infrastructure necessary to fully operationalize the Program.
Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI) may also be able to provide assistance. Find a CDFI near you by utilizing the CDFI Finder. Please continue to check with your local and regional economic development organization for local resources which may be available, as well as your local financial institutions.
Texas Workforce Commission
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has additional resources for employers regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on their website. TWC offers a video addressing the three most commonly asked questions by Texas employers that are affected by COVID-19. Watch the video here (or watch the Spanish version here).
Skills Development Fund: COVID-19 Initiative
Texas businesses impacted by COVID-19 may receive training for existing employees and new hires. TWC's Skills Development Fund pays for the training through partnerships with eligible applicants, which may include public community and technical colleges, Workforce Development Boards or the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). There is a total of $10 million available in grant funds for applicants that can address the training needs of business partners. The program staff works with businesses and training providers to support application development and submission. For more information, download the program PDF flyer, or visit the TWC website.
Center for Disease Control (CDC) Resources
- Read the CDC's guidance on business reopening: Businesses and Workplaces (or read the Spanish version here).
- Download the CDC's guidance for small businesses: Preparing your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of the Effects of COVID-19 (or download the Spanish version here).
- Watch the CDC's #COVID-19 YouTube videos (or watch the Spanish videos here).
The Governor's Economic Development & Tourism Office has launched a series of webinars to provide Texas small businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources they need during this crisis. Businesses will receive timely, relevant, actionable information on COVID-19 recovery resources and will connect with local experts and support systems. Visit gov.texas.gov/business/events to see upcoming webinars, or sign-up for our Small Business Updates to be notified as soon as new dates are announced.
Did you miss a previous webinar? All Governor's Small Business Webinar Series playbacks are available on YouTube, and presentations from previous events can be downloaded on the Small Business Events page.
If your employment has been affected by COVID-19, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) encourages you to apply for benefits by utilizing the online claim portal, or by calling the Tele-Center at 1-800-939-6631 any day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. TWC will investigate why you lost your job and mail a decision explaining whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits. TWC may be experiencing increased call volumes and hold times on Tele-Center phone lines. You are encouraged to use the online claim portal, Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS), to handle your claim needs quickly. UBS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also sign up for electronic correspondence so you can receive TWC communications online as soon as possible. For additional information and resources for job seekers, visit TWC's webpage.
Guidance for Self-Employed
The CARES Act includes provisions for temporary coverage of individuals who have exhausted their entitlement to regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) and individuals who are not eligible for regular UC, such as individuals who are self-employed or have limited recent work history. Self-employed individuals looking to file a claim are directed to do so online via Unemployment Benefits Services, or by calling a TWC Tele-Center any day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at 1-800-939-6631.
The Texas economy is resilient and employers around the state are currently looking to fill open positions. Visit our webpage at gov.texas.gov/business/jobs for information on local workforce and job resources.
CARES Act Recovery Assistance
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the availability of $1.5 billion in CARES Act funds through the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to aid communities impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. For more information and to see if your organization is eligible for an EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant, visit the U.S. Department of Commerce website.
Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF)
Under the CARES Act, $5.06 billion in funding is available to local governments in Texas to aid in reimbursement of direct expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Treasury has directly sent over $3.2 billion to the cities and counties in Texas with a population greater than 500,000. The remaining $1.85 billion will be available to other cities and counties throughout the state. The counties, and the cities within those counties, that did not receive direct allocations from the Treasury are eligible to apply for a $55 per capita allocation from the $1.85 billion. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) will administer the process and will partner with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to provide individual assistance to each city and county throughout the process. Information on how to apply for funding, as well as guidance about eligible uses, can be found on the TDEM website.
COVID-19 Federal Assistance Training for Local Leaders
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides a series of free online trainings to help local officials understand, acquire and administer federal assistance available to the state of Texas. The first online training, Federal Relief: An overview for local governments, is available now. Additional trainings will dive into the specifics of individual programs based on the needs of state and local officials and will be posted on the AgriLife Extension website.
COVID-19 Emergency Funding for Local Governments
Governor Greg Abbott announced that his Public Safety Office (PSO) will provide $41 million in federal funds to assist cities and counties throughout the COVID-19 response. These funds come from the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program authorized by the federal Emergency Appropriations for Coronavirus Health Response and Agency Operations Act. A list of jurisdictions that have received an award can be found here. The list will be updated as awards are released. Local units of government that are interested in learning more about this program can contact PSO via email@example.com or at 512-463-1919.
In April 2020, the Governor announced that the PSO will provide $38 million in federal funds to local units of government in Texas to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. For more informaion and eleigible expenses click here. Interested jurisdictions may access the Public Safety Office’s eGrants grant management website to register and apply for funding.
Texas COVID Relief Fund
The Texas COVID Relief Fund, powered by the OneStar Foundation, will provide critical funding and resources to organizations across the state working on the ground to support the economic recovery of local communities. Funds raised will be distributed through grants focused on the areas of community and economic development, healthcare and education. For more information, visit the OneStar Foundation website.
IC2 Institute Program
The IC2 Institute, headquartered at the University of Texas at Austin, serves as a think-and-do tank to explore the broad economic, technological and human factors that drive economic development in regions. To assist Texas communities in looking ahead towards business recovery and expansion, the Institute has put together a research team to investigate more than 50 selected Texas cities, examine current assets and challenges in those cities, and create community asset summaries for use in developing recovery strategies. More information on this research program is available in the Institute’s website. In addition, the Institute will offer both specialized online training for community leaders this fall and opportunities to work in teams on solving particular problems.
FEMA Community Disaster Loan (CDL) Program
The state (TDEM) has made a request to FEMA to become eligible for the CDL program. If approved, jurisdictions which meet the program requirements may apply. This program is typically initiated after the first six months of the incident period. However, it’s advisable that jurisdictions who are knowledgeable on the program should start collecting required pre-disaster financial information. FEMA’s website provides additional detail on the program, required documents and the loan implementation process.
Governor Abbott's plan to Open Texas allows certain services and activities to open with limited occupancy. The Texas Department of State Health Services is issuing minimum standard health protocols for all businesses and individuals to follow, which can be found in the Open Texas Checklists
The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus, including COVID‑19:
Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Practice social distancing. This includes avoiding crowds and minimizing physical contact.
Updated as of July 14, 2020