COVID-19 Updates, Resources for TX Small Businesses

Date: May 06, 2020

Checklists for businesses — and their customers

Under the Executive Order to Expand Openings of Certain Businesses and Activities issued by Gov. Greg Abbott on May 5, cosmetology salons, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade may reopen on May 8 and must ensure at least 6 feet of social distancing between operating work stations. Licensees should follow these health guidelines:

The Strike Force to Open Texas also released guidelines for customers to use when visiting a barbershop, hair salon, or nail salon:

This Executive Order overrides any local orders prohibiting these businesses from opening.

Safety tips for restaurants, other businesses with curbside pickup

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published an alert with safety tips for restaurants and other businesses providing curbside pickup and takeout service:

  • Reserve parking spaces near the front door for curbside pickup only.
  • Avoid direct hand-off, when possible.
  • Display a door or sidewalk sign with the services available, instructions for pickup, and hours of operation.
  • Practice sensible social distancing by maintaining 6 feet between co-workers and customers.
    • Mark 6-foot distances with floor tape in pickup lines, encourage customers to pay ahead of time by phone or online, temporarily move workstations to create more distance and install plexiglass partitions, if feasible.
  • Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.
  • Provide a place to wash hands and alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.

Click here to learn more.

NFIB releases survey of Texas members

Small business owners surveyed by the Texas office of the National Federation of Independent Business say customer and employee health are their top concerns when it comes to rebooting the Texas economy. NFIB released the survey results on April 23. Details here.

Paid leave non-enforcement period ends

Wednesday, April 22, marked the conclusion of the temporary non-enforcement period of paid leave protections under the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act.” Additional resources concerning paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave can be found here.

SBA releases list of PPPL lenders

The Small Business Administration on April 23 released a state-by-state list of lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program Loan program. Learn more here or download the list (PDF) here.

State issues guidelines for ‘retail-to-go’

The Texas Department of State Health Services has issued guidelines for Governor Abbott’s plan to begin reopening retail businesses on Friday, April 24. The guidelines explain what workers and customers can expect under “retail-to-go,” a model allowing merchants to deliver goods to customers’ cars, homes or other locations in order to minimize physical contact and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Read the guidelines here.

The provision was included in three executive orders the governor announced on April 17. Learn more here. NFIB State Director Annie Spilman called “retail-to-go” a “responsible way to let merchants reopen and reconnect with customers while minimizing contact and maintaining social distancing.” Read her statement here.

LISTEN: NFIB TX state director on KRLD in Dallas

State Director Annie Spilman was on NewsRadio 1080 KRLD in Dallas the morning of April 20 to discuss the small business reaction to Governor Abbott’s to slowly reopen the Texas economy.

Find additional funding

Check with your local and regional economic development organization as well as local financial institutions for local resources that may be available. Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI) may also be able to provide assistance. Click here to find CDFIs in Texas.

 
Franchise tax reports due July 15

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is automatically extending the due date to file and pay the 2020 Texas franchise tax reports to July 15, 2020, to be consistent with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The due date extension applies to all franchise taxpayers. The extension is automatic, and franchise taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms. Click here to learn more.

Coronavirus relief options for small businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration has posted a guide to the various forms of financial relief available to small business owners. Read it here.

LISTEN: Texas Workforce Commission on COVID-19

NFIB State Director Annie Spilman spoke with Aaron Demerson, the commissioner representing employers, on April 3 about the impact the novel coronavirus is having on Texas’ small businesses. Click here to listen.

Update on paycheck protection loans

The SBA has updated their website with information on the paycheck protection program loans. The loans are 100% forgivable if all employees are kept on the payroll and other stipulations are met. Learn more here.

Governor renews, amends order on social distancing

On March 31, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order directed all Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.

The executive order renews and amends his previous order enforcing federal social distancing guidelines for COVID-19, including closing schools and instructing Texans to avoid eating or drinking at bars and restaurants.

The protocols allow exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Examples of these essential services include healthcare, grocery stores, banking, and financial services, utilities, child care for essential service employees, and government services. 

Read the governor’s executive order here.

Texas Workforce Commission FAQ

The commissioner representing employers has created a FAQ (list of frequently asked questions) concerning the coronavirus. Click here to read it.

SBA loans

NFIB hosted a webinar on March 23 with information on emergency loans for small businesses impacted by the response to the coronavirus. Watch it here. You may click here for answers to frequently asked questions concerning the small business emergency loans.

The Texas Workforce Commission also has a site with important information for Texas businesses, including a FAQ specifically for employers. Click here to visit TWC’s COVID-19 website.

If you have any questions, contact NFIB State Director Annie Spilman at [email protected], or visit our Texas contact page.

Just the FAQs

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center has created a website answering frequently asked questions about how small businesses should respond to the coronavirus. Read it here. 

Latest updates from state officials

The State of Texas has COVID-19 website with the latest information on executive orders and other information affecting business owners. Here’s the link.

   Governor: https://gov.texas.gov/coronavirus

   Comptroller: https://comptroller.texas.gov/about/emergency/

   Texas Workforce Commission: https://twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-employers

   Texas Department of Insurance: https://www.tdi.texas.gov/news/2020/coronavirus-updates.html

   Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/covid19.htm

National information

As small businesses grapple with the coronavirus, NFIB is dedicated to being their voice. We are continuing to track the latest from healthcare officials and congress. Click here for the latest information.

Related Content: News | CoronaVirus State | Texas

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