"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 certain Texas businesses to reopen with occupancy limitations. Businesses permitted to open and associated Open Texas Checklists can be found here. 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
Under Governor Abbott's Phase I to Open Texas, certain services and activities are allowed to open with limited occupancy. Under Phase II, restaurants may increase their occupancy to 50% (starting May 22) and additional services and activities that remained closed under Phase I may open with restricted occupancy levels and 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.
Via Executive Order 23, the following services and activities may open under Phase II.
- Child Care Centers (May 18)
- Massage and Personal-Care Centers (May 18)
- Youth Clubs (May 18)
- Rodeo and Equestrian Events (May 22)
- Bowling Alleys, Bingo Halls, Simulcast Racing, and Skating Rinks (May 22)
- Bars (May 22)
- Aquariums and Natural Caverns (May 22)
- Zoos (May 29)
- Day Youth Camps (May 31)
- Overnight Youth Camps (May 31)
- Youth Sports (May 31)
- Certain professional sports without in-person spectators (May 31)
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.
Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Congress approved an additional $310 billion in appropriations for the PPP loan initiative through an amendment to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (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.
- Download a List of Participating PPP Lenders in Texas
- Download PPP Forgiveness Application and Instruction Form
For additional guidance from the SBA on COVID-19 resources, visit their website here. 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.
Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI) may also be able to provide assistance. Find a CDFI near you by utilizing the CDFI Finder.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The CARES Act was passed by Congress on March 27, 2020. The programs and initiatives in the Act are intended to assist business owners and nonprofits with current needs due to the COVID-19 crisis. For more information on the small business provisions in the CARES Act, download the CARES Act and PPP Loan Overview.
Texas Workforce Commission
The Texas Workforce Commission has additional resources for employers regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on their website.
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 below:
- Central Texas
- North Texas
- South Texas
- East Texas
- West Texas
- Business Strategy for an Evolving Future
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
The Office of the Governor’s Public Safety Office (PSO) will provide $38 million in federal funds to local units of government in Texas. These funds come from the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program authorized by the federal Emergency Appropriations for Coronavirus Health Response and Agency Operations Act. 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 (Not Currently Active)
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 May 22, 2020