Texas Workforce, SBA offer economic assistance

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Dear Texas Employers,

With uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the Texas Workforce Commission continues to offer Texas employers its full support.

From legal questions regarding work from home policies to resources for loans, it is available to answer questions and help ensure things go as smoothly as possible.

TWC has developed a webpage with resources and information on actions taken by the commission in response to COVID-19. This page will be continuously updated with answers to questions about operating your business during this time. Visit https://twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-employers.

Information about managing multiple layoffs is available at https://twc.texas.gov/businesses/mass-claims-unemployment-benefits. At that site is information about filing a mass claim for unemployment benefits for employees and the Rapid Response services.

For information on preventing layoffs by cutting employee hours or furloughing workers, TWC encourages employers to explore shared work programs. Those programs are designed to allow employers to supplement their employees’ lost wages because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits. For more information, or to apply for a shared work plan, visit https://twc.texas.gov/businesses/shared-work or email ui.sharedwork@twc.state.tx.us.

Employers needing to hire new employees in the face of changing demand, TWC encourages them to post the positions on WorkinTexas.com or call a local Workforce Solutions office. Both resources can instantly connect employers with qualified individuals to ensure you are meeting customer needs.

TWC encourages those concerned about operating capital or making their next payroll to apply for any designated programs under the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Small Business Administration

Many Texas small businesses are already feeling the impact from the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its disruption of the American way of life. Today, small businesses statewide are eligible to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The SBA is processing applications as soon as possible and some are even processed as fast as a within a few days.

The Texas Governor’s Office and the SBA Disaster Office teamed up to rapidly make this recovery funding available to help minimize any economic disruption to Texas’s 2.7 million small businesses, who employ 4.7 million people.

The SBA joins the whole of government response and stands beside Texas’s entrepreneurs ready to help guide them through this unprecedented chapter in the country’s history.

To get money to small businesses across the nation sooner, Administrator Jovita Carranza revised the criteria for states seeking an economic injury declaration related to coronavirus. Her move to relax the criteria had two immediate impacts:

  • Faster, easier qualification process for states seeking SBA disaster assistance. Historically, the SBA has required that any state or territory impacted by disaster certify at least five small businesses have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of a disaster, with at least one business located in each declared county. Under the revised criteria, states or territories are only required to certify that at least five small businesses have suffered substantial economic injury, regardless of where those businesses are located.
  • Expanded, statewide access to SBA disaster assistance loans for small businesses. SBA disaster assistance loans are typically only available to small businesses within counties identified as disaster areas by a governor. Under the revised criteria, disaster loans will be available statewide following an economic injury declaration. This will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to coronavirus.

The interest rate on EIDL loans is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. It’s important to note that for the first $25,000 no collateral is required. Over $25,000 you may be required to pledge available collateral.

Apply for loans online by visiting https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/, call 1-800-659-2955, or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The SBA launched www.sba.gov/coronavirus to provide information about additional resources small businesses can access now. This includes financing through SBA Loan Guarantee Program – working capital, microloans, express loans and lines of credit – and counseling services through the SBA’s Resource Partner Network to help businesses navigate preparedness plans.

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