The Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce and our Board of Directors take the health and safety of our community very seriously. We are actively monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 and are in communication with local authorities and our local media.
Maintaining the health of our economy is also crucial during this time. Please continue to shop local when you can and enjoy our restaurants and retailers.
The Chamber continues to act as a hub of resources and information for businesses and community members. If you need business assistance or are seeking additional resources, please contact the Chamber at (979) 260-5200. Please follow here or on social media, @bcschamber, to stay up-to-date on all Chamber programs and events.
On Tuesday, March 2nd, Governor Abbott issued an executive order lifting the mandatory mask mandate in Texas and opening Texas back to 100%. See Executive Order GA-34 here.
- There are no COVID-19-related operating limits for any business or other establishment.
- Mandatory mask mandate lifted in the state of Texas, however, individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household, but no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering.
The City of College Station has received an additional $400,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds that the city council has allocated for the Economic Assistance Grant Program. The program is designed to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and to prevent job losses.
- Grants of up to $50,000 will be made available to micro-enterprises or small businesses and involve no fees but must be used to retain at least one full-time equivalent, permanent job for each $35,000 in funds.
- Applications are open during two rounds — today through Jan. 6 and Jan. 11-Feb. 3. Businesses may receive no more than one grant per calendar year. Grants are available based on the business’s number of full-time employees.
- A profit/loss statement for the previous year and a tax return demonstrating profitability.Qualifying businesses must provide the following documentation:
- Three-month average payroll.
- Business situation narrative that addresses how the funds would impact operations.
- The year the business was established.
- Evidence that business revenues were affected by disaster declarations.
- After the funds are received, provide affidavits of income for LMI employees.
City of Bryan Council Members adopted a resolution Tuesday (1/12) that allows the city to receive and distribute $603,226 in CARES Act funding that will be used for COVID-19 pandemic related assistance.
- This newly approved amendment allows for $259,388 to be allocated through a competitive Request for Proposal process for the Public Service Agency Program, which in the past has provided funds to programs including Catholic Charities and Project Unity.
- Additionally, $253,355 will go into the city’s economic development grant program for Bryan small businesses through an online application process, and $90,483 is being set aside for administrative costs including oversight management and a temporary position associated with delivery and compliance of the CDBG CARES additional funding.
CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT 2021 (rules.house.gov)
Here are the key provisions that will be included as part of the $900 billion agreement:
- Direct economic relief via stimulus checks of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year. $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, and an extra $600 for dependent children that are under 17 years old.
- Aid for struggling small businesses, including more than $284 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans and $15 billion "in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions"
- $300 per week for enhanced unemployment insurance benefits
- $20 billion to buy vaccines and make "the vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it" and $8 billion for vaccine distribution
- $20 billion for coronavirus testing efforts
- $25 billion for rental assistance and an eviction moratorium extension
- $82 billion for education providers like schools and colleges, including aid to help reopen classrooms safely and $10 billion for child care assistance
- The deal will rescind "$429 billion in unused funds provided by the CARES Act for the Federal Reserve's emergency lending facilities"
- $13 billion in increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and child nutrition benefits
- $7 billion to bolster broadband access to help Americans connect remotely during the pandemic
- $45 billion to support transportation services, including $2 billion for airports, $1 billion for Amtrak and $16 billion for "another round of airline employee and contractor payroll support"
- A tax credit "to support employers offering paid sick leave"
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan
Texas Department of State Health Services
- TDEM COVID-19 Provider Search
- Who is eligible?
- Phase 1a
- Paid and unpaid workers in hospital settings working directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19
- Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents
- EMS providers who engage in 911 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport
- Home healthcare workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and high-risk patients
- Staff in outpatient care settings who interact with symptomatic patients
- Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics
- Community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID
- Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in administration of COVID testing and vaccinations
- Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19
- School nurses who provide health care to students and teachers
- Phase 1b
- People 65 years of age and older
- People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
- Cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, solid organ transplantation, obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Phase 1c
- Projected mid-January - early February. Specific target population has not yet been identified
- Phase 2
- Projected February-March at the earliest. Specific target population has not yet been identified
- Phase 3
- Projected April-May at the earliest. Specific target population has not yet been identified
- Phase 4
- General population. Projected June-July at the earliest
- Phase 1a
RISING COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATIONS REDUCE OCCUPANCY LIMITS
On Dec. 28, Brazos County Judge Duane Peters received notification from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) that Trauma Service Area N (in which Brazos County is located) has surpassed the limit set forth by Gov. Abbott in Executive Order GA-32.
New restrictions are now in effect for Brazos County due to COVID-19 hospitalizations exceeding 15% for seven consecutive days.
- OTHER BUSINESSES - Any establishment that otherwise would have a 75% occupancy limit must operate at up to only 50%. Visit open.texas.gov for the complete list.
- SURGERIES - Elective surgeries, as defined in Executive Order GA-31, must be rescheduled unless they “would not deplete any hospital capacity needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.”
Restrictions will be eased when TSAs reach seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is below 15%.
While the Governor and TABC both offer an appeal process for this reduction of capacity, Brazos County does not qualify. Per the DSHS, to qualify for this exemption, Brazos County must have fewer than 30 total cases of COVID-19 reported over the last 14 days.
On Wednesday, October 7th, Governor Abbott issued an executive order relating to the continued response to the COVID-19 disaster as Texas reopens. See Executive Order GA-32 HERE.
- Beginning October 14th, bars and similar establishments can open at up to 50% capacity in conjunction with county officials.
- In hospital regions with low COVID-19 hospitalizations, County Judges will be able to opt their county into opening bars beginning October 14th, provided they assist in enforcing health protocols.
- The Governor's Executive Order also increases the occupancy levels for all business establishments other than bars to 75%.
- Bar Open Texas Checklist
- Bar Patron Open Texas Checklist
On Thursday, September 17th, Governor Abbott issued an executive order relating to the continued response to the COVID-19 disaster as Texas reopens. See Executive Order GA-30 HERE.
- Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 75% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, September 21, 2020.
- All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages must remain closed. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
- Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
Brazos County issued an Executive Order that face coverings and/or masks are required for commercial businesses in Brazos County. Effective 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. For more information CLICK HERE.
- For a business to be compliant in Brazos County:
- You must adopt a Health and Safety Policy as described in the order. At a minimum, the policy must require all employees and visitors to wear a face-covering in your business when you cannot ensure sufficient social/physical distancing (6 feet between persons from different households).
- You must notify your employees and visitors of the policy by posting signage in a conspicuous location (for example, at the entrance to the business, in employee breakrooms, at job sites, and at points of sale).
- You must implement the policy by:
- Notifying your employees and visitors of the policy;
- Requiring your employees to wear a face-covering while at work when maintaining sufficient physical distance from another person is impossible or unlikely; and
- Requiring visitors to wear a face-covering when visiting your business or facilities.
On Thursday, June 25th, The City of College Station passed an order that will require the use of face masks in all businesses. It will go into effect Monday at 6:00 a.m. and will end at 11:50 p.m. on Friday, July 10. Click HERE to read the full order.
On Friday, June 26th, The City of Bryan passed an order that will require the use of face masks in all businesses. It will go into effect Tuesday, June 30th, at 12:01 am.m and remains in effect until rescinded. Click HERE to read the full order.
CARES Act Information & Resources
- COVID-19 Emergency Loans - Small Business Guide & Checklist
- Available Small Business Aid
- CARES Act Highlights
Resources from your Congressman
- COVID-19 Resources
- Sign up for Email Newsletter
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- IRS - Economic Impact Payments: What you need to know
- Texas Workforce Commission - Unemployment Benefits Services
- Big News for Rural Health Care: Some Public Hospitals Eligible for PPP Funding
City/County Resource Links
Resources for Small Businesses
- The City of College Station and the Bryan Business Council (BBC) have partnered with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments to create a Bridge Loan Program to assist small businesses that have seen a substantial reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- How to Apply
- To add your business's information to our local business info page, please fill out the form at bcschamber.org/businessinfo-form.
- Phone: (979) 260-5222
- Click HERE for the SBA’s information on small business guidance and loan resources.
- Find Your Local Lender
- CLICK HERE for TWC's resources for small business owners.
- If the employer has no choice but to permanently or temporarily lay off employees, we want to make it as simple as possible the Mass Claim program streamlines the unemployment benefits claims process for employers faced with layoffs (permanent or temporary) of 10 or more employees at one time and takes some of the burden off the employees filing.
- The Mass Claims program is now part of The Texas Workforce Commission Employer Benefits Services. To submit a new Mass Claims request, log on to Employer Benefits Services (EBS) 5 days before the scheduled layoff. During the COVID-19 pandemic, TWC has waived the requirement that you must submit your Mass Claims Request at least five days prior to the planned layoff.
- HRCI/SHRM Certificate - 2.25 credit hours
- HRPA Certificate - 2 credit hours
- Access the streamlined application HERE
Building Trust in Trying Times - Tips for Business Owners during Coronavirus Pandemic.
- With the recently released CMS waiver, we are able to turn all of our PACU bays, pre-op rooms, endo suite, etc to beds so are now able to take up to 48 patients if needed. We are looking into equipment and staffing needs as well with the additional volume. We are hoping to get some nurses from unaffected areas within Surgery Partners.
School Resource Links
- Texas A&M online classes will continue March 23 - April 28. Campus meetings and events will also be limited to 50 participants or less. Housing and dining will remain open to support students. Read the full update: tx.ag/COVID19
Utility Resource Links
- "As part of our commitment to serving and working with our customers throughout this difficult time, we have temporarily suspended natural gas disconnections"
- For more information, click here.
- BTU Continues to delay disconnects in response to COVID-19
- "Altice USA is committed to helping schools and students stay connected during this
unprecedented time. For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced
due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, we are offering our
Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within our footprint."
- Taxpayers will get a three-month reprieve to file their 2019 income tax returns
- Branding Iron Management is offering a FREE opportunity for branding and/or marketing for members of the B/CS Chamber of Commerce. Click HERE for more information.
- Howdy! In light of the recent outbreak and businesses all around Bryan/College Station being affected in one way or another, the management here at BPL Plasma in Bryan wanted to let you know that we are here for you and your employees! If your business has had to drastically cut hours, close down completely, or even let go of some of your employees, we want to strongly encourage you to let them know that we are still open and fully operational! We are looking for any way we can to help out those suffering around us, and it just so happens that the very nature of our business allows us a means to give the members of your staff a little bit of financial relief in these unsure times. If they are healthy and able, send them our way, our donors make $350-$500 a month, and our hope is to help as many people as possible stay on their feet through what we are all facing during this time. You can rest assured knowing that we also have strict safe-distance policies and actions in place to prevent the spread of illness. We’re here to help, and we hope that you can help us spread the word to as many people as you can!
- "After reviewing the most recent recommendations and guidelines from the CDC and State of Texas Health Department pertaining to our profession, we have established the following service restriction: All Callaway-Jones funeral, memorial, and celebration services and gatherings will be limited to immediate family, and to extended family by invite only until further notice."
- Offering electrostatic disinfectant spraying for all businesses if interested. The sprayer converts the disinfectant molecules to have a positive charge so that when it reaches any negative or neutral surface (which most surfaces are) the disinfectant will attract and cover the whole surface with a fine mist that has a quick dwell time and will not ruin electronics or any surface.
- Evolve Impact Group is offering FREE marketing services to small business owners in Bryan/College Station as we all try and navigate this new normal for our community. Our team is ready to help you with ideas as you think through your next steps. Let's work together on a plan to keep your doors open. CLICK HERE for more information!
- Offering 15% off all orders up to $1000
- "FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) is utilizing its network of leading scientists, engineers, and production facilities in both Europe and the USA, including those located in College Station, Texas to manufacture clinical material in short order to support the global efforts to control COVID-19. FDB stands ready to support United States government efforts to respond to the manufacture of a COVID-19 vaccine."
- "As H-E-B focuses on serving Texas, shortened hours allow H-E-B Partners to work diligently overnight to fully prepare the store for customers during the day. Today, all H-E-B stores will implement temporary modified hours. Tonight (3/14) all of our stores will close at 8 pm, and starting 3/15 stores will be open from 8am-8pm. Customers will also see reduced services in our delis, bakeries and floral departments as we adapt to better serve you. We will return to our regular hours and full services as soon as we can. #SlowtheSpreadTexas. Customers can find updates on H-E-B operations at www.heb.com/newsroom.
- Click here for purchasing limitations
- Offering Port-a-Pottery kits. You pick up the pottery pieces, we provide the supplies. When you're finished painting bring the items back to the studio for glazing and firing. Call the studio and we can take payment over the phone and we'll delivery curbside.
- Adjusts store hours to give stores time to restock & clean
HIRING - JOB RESOURCES