• The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Resources
  • Guidance for Businesses & Employers

  • Federal Guidelines for Re-Opening America Federal Guidelines for Re-Opening America

    President Trump announced new federal guidelines on April 17 that governors can use to re-open their states amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The national plan lays out three phases that slowly return life to a "new normal" that continues to use some of the most fundamental aspects of social distancing.

    Phase 1: All vulnerable individuals continue to stay at home. Physical distancing must be practiced in public places and non-essential travel must be minimized. If schools are closed, they should stay closed. Visiting senior living centers is still not allowed.

    Phase 2: Non-essential travel may resume. People should avoid public gatherings of 50 or more, unless physical distancing is possible. Visits to senior centers would still be prohibited, but schools and day care centers could reopen.

    Phase 3: This would be the country's "new normal." Physical distancing in public places is still recommended, but vulnerable individuals can resume public activities. Visits to senior centers can resume.

    There is no set timeline for moving through each of the three phases. Governors will make that decision, but a state or region would have to experience another 14-day decline in cases before moving to the next phase.

    Learn More

    Governor's Report to Open Texas Governor's Report to Open Texas

    On April 27, Governor Abbott released the Report to Open Texas, which lays out a clear plan for reopening closed businesses across the state in a phased approach. Access the full report via the link below and find guidance for specific industries and allowable open dates.

    ► View the Report

    ► Gov. Abbott's Executive Order Expanding Reopenings


    Health Protocols from the Texas Department of State Health Services:


  • Work Safe

  • Safety Practices for Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to COVID-19 Safety Practices for Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to COVID-19

    CDC

    To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.

    Learn More

    Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

    Department of Labor

    OSHA provides guidance and other resources for preventing exposure to, and infection with, the novel coronavirus in the workplace.

    Learn More

    Business Resliency Planning Business Resliency Planning

    US Chamber of Commerce

    The Resilience in a Box toolkit is helpful for businesses that need help putting a plan in place.

    Learn More

    Houston Worksafe Program Houston Worksafe Program

    Houston Work Safe Program

    As the Houston region moves to reopen our economy, it is important that we do so safely, sustainably and successfully. Get best practices, tools and guidance from the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston Work Safe Program and take the pledge to be a Work Safe Company.

    Learn More


  • Relief Options

  • Small Business Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Paycheck Protection Program

    The Paycheck Protection Program is providing small businesses with the resources they need to maintain their payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead.

    The Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act, is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury.  This program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

    The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

    Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.


    Program Overview


    For Borrowers


    For Lenders


    Program Rules

    Economic Injury Disaster Loans Economic Injury Disaster Loans

    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 following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

    The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    This program is for any small business with fewer than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19.

    Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.

    The Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance funds will be made available within days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

    SBA Pilot Loan Programs SBA Pilot Loan Programs

    Community Advantage Loan Program
    In the Community Advantage program, community-based, mission-focused lenders meet the credit, management, and technical assistance needs of small businesses in underserved markets. Program expiration is March 31, 2020.

    Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program
    Allows for SBA-guaranteed financing on an emergency basis for disaster-related purposes for eligible small businesses to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork while awaiting long-term financing through the EIDL. Program expiration is September 30, 2020.

    Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program Guide, V.2
    Requirements, conditions, and list of forms required to apply for the Bridge Loan (Mar 25, 2020)

    SBA Debt Relief SBA Debt Relief

    The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of SBA's debt relief efforts,

    • The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.
    • The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.


    Additional Debt Relief

    For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.

    What does an “automatic deferral” mean to borrowers?

    • Interest will continue to accrue on the loan.
    • 1201 monthly payment notices will continue to be mailed out which will reflect the loan is deferred and no payment is due.
    • The deferment will NOT cancel any established Preauthorized Debit (PAD) or recurring payments on your loan. Borrowers that have established a PAD through Pay.Gov or an OnLine Bill Pay Service are responsible for canceling these recurring payments. Borrowers that had SBA establish a PAD through Pay.gov will have to contact their SBA servicing office to cancel the PAD.
    • Borrowers preferring to continue making regular payments during the deferment period may continue remitting payments during the deferment period. SBA will apply those payments normally as if there was no deferment.
    • After this automatic deferment period, borrowers will be required to resume making regular principal and interest payments.  Borrowers that cancelled recurring payments will need to reestablish the recurring payment.

    If you have questions about your current loan and whether or not your loan is automatically deferred, please contact your Loan Servicing Office directly using the following information:

    • Birmingham Disaster Loan Servicing Center:
      • Phone: 800-736-6048
      • Email: BirminghamDLSC@sba.gov
         
    • El Paso Disaster Loan Servicing Center:
      • Phone: 800-487-6019
      • Email: ElPasoDLSC@sba.gov

    Texas Small Business Assistance Loan Program Texas Small Business Assistance Loan Program

    $50 million in loans to small businesses in Texas

    Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund, along with other community development financial institutions (CDFIs), are partnering to provide $50 million in loans to small businesses in Texas that have been affected by COVID-19 as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

    These loans, made through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), will primarily be used for payroll so that employees can continue to receive paychecks and small businesses can retain their employees and will be partially or wholly forgiven.

    Goldman Sachs will provide the capital as part of its $550 million commitment to COVID-19 relief, and LiftFund, alongside other CDFIs, will administer the funding to qualified small businesses. If all stipulations are met, small business can have their loans forgiven in full by the SBA.

    ►Business owners can apply for a PPP loan and find more information about the program on the LiftFund website.

    LiftFund is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in San Antonio, that helps small business owners with limited access to capital. The company offers small business loans and minority business loans for entrepreneurs. LiftFund partners with SBA lenders and other lending institutions to provide startup loans, SBA 504 Loans, and microloans in Texas, and throughout the South Eastern U.S. In 2018, LiftFund had 591 donors, 118 investors, 500 partners, and 100 employees.

    The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals.  Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.

    Coronavirus Tax Relief Coronavirus Tax Relief

    Internal Revenue Service

    Businesses with less than 500 employees can get funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee's own health needs or to care for family members.

    Learn More

    Texas Comptroller Assistance Texas Comptroller Assistance

    Office of the Texas Comptroller

    The Texas Comptroller is offering assistance to those businesses that are struggling to pay the full amount of sales taxes they have collected from customers. For businesses that find themselves in this situation, the Texas Comptroller is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest.

    Learn More


  • Business Resources

  • Webinars Webinars

    Upcoming

    Tuesday, May 12 | 2-3 p.m.
    The State of Energy: Industry in Peril
    How will the energy industry’s downturn affect Houston's economy? How will the decline in global oil demand impact Houston’s energy workforce now and in the future? Those issues and much, much, more.

    Register


    Thursday, May 21 | 10-11 a.m.
    Ready, Set, Grow!

    Get unstuck by learning proven and practical tools that will facilitate a more peaceful and energized life.

    Register


    On-Demand Webinars

    Is A Virtual Event Right for You? 
    The Wolford Group

    In this season of postponed and canceled events, The Wolford Group explores the considerations to decide the next steps that are right for your organization and gives concrete examples of virtual events that are working.

    Watch Now


    COVID-19 Legislation and SBA Resources for Nonprofits
    Briggs & Veselka

    Resources to help nonprofits understand the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, CARES Act and SBA Loans.

    Watch Now


    Managing Ourselves and Team During and After Crisis
    Coaching & Consulting Experience, LLC

    Resources for you and your team and the necessary steps to take launch your business.

    Watch Now
    Download PPT

  • U.S. Chamber Resources U.S. Chamber Resources

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    Resources for small businesses compiled by the U.S. Chamber including toolkits and financial relief options.
     

    Learn More

    Office of Texas Governor Office of Texas Governor

    Office of Texas Governor

    The Office of the Texas Governor provides COVID-19 updates, resources and information for Texas businesses. The page includes FAQs relating to COVID-19, detailed section on how small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and information on unemployment benefits for those affected by COVID-19.

    Learn More

    Texas Workforce Commission Texas Workforce Commission

    Texas Workforce CommissionState resources including information for employers impacted by COVID-19.
     

    Learn More

    Small Business Development Centers Small Business Development Centers

    Small Business Development Center

    America's Small Business Development Centers are working to help small businesses addresss the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    SBDC Webinars
    SBDC Materials
    Lone Star College SBDC

     

    Better Business Bureau Better Business Bureau

    Better Business BureauTips, alerts and other information from the Better Business Bureau around COVID-19.

    Learn More


  • Public Health Resources

  • Montgomery County Public Health District Resources Montgomery County Public Health District Resources

    Montgomery County Public Health District

    Case figures across the county, resource phone numbers and more from the Montgomery County Public Health District.

    Learn More

    Montgomery County Coronavirus Response Hub Montgomery County Coronavirus Response Hub

    Montgomery County Texas

    Information, maps and resources about the coronavirus response in Montgomery County, Texas.

    Learn More

    U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    CDCThe latest from the CCD on the U.S. response to the virus.

    Learn More


  • Support The Woodlands Area

  • Promote Your Business Promote Your Business

    The Woodlands Area Chamber encourages you to use our website and social media network to promote your business. Here are a number of ways we can help you get the word out.
     
    Webinars
    The Chamber provides a forum for members to host webinars covering topics of interest to businesses during this time, including financial planning, marketing during a crisis, SBA loans and more.
     
    Community Calendar
    The online community calendar has become a central hub of local events that are being held virtually. Individuals and businesses can view and register for upcoming events or post their own.
    How to Add an Event Webinar
     
    News Releases
    The News section of our website is a widely used platform that includes daily press releases with information regarding changes in the business community, available loans and individual business updates.
     
    Hot Deals
    Interactive Hot Deals allow members to connect with one another by sharing special discounts of offers that are available to fellow Chamber members or the general public.
     
    Job Board
    Looking to hire employees that match your company's mission? In search of volunteers? Post opportunities on our website's job board for free.

    Chamber Social Media
    We encourage all members to use the Chamber's social media pages to promote their business. Use #TheWoodlandsBiz and tag us and we will share your posts.

    Restaurant Owners and Mangers: Submit your current information here to be included in the Chamber's COVID-19 Dining Guide.


    Retailers: Submit your curbside shopping information here to be included in the Chamber's Retail to Go Guide.

  • Chamber Events