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North San Antonio Chamber Members and Partners,
 
This is it! Our final newsletter of the year and the decade . . . It seems like the longest, quickest, most incredible year ever. It’s no secret that COVID-19 is not only our news of the year, but it will be the news of the decade and will continue to be one of the most significant events of our lifetimes.
 
Years from now, we will ask each other, “What was 2020 like?” I am hopeful and confident that this coming year and for years to come when we look back, we can say in response, “Although the pandemic hit every aspect of our lives, making it tragic in the lives lost, the businesses shuttered, and the economy weakened we also saw so much hope, faith, and resilience that resulted in families and communities coming together to support the most vulnerable and in-need populations.”
 
For our Chamber, here is what we saw, experienced, and how we responded. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in various levels of ever-changing restrictions within our communities that resulted in businesses struggling and finding ways to make it through, including ourselves. The North SA Chamber went virtual and took immediate steps to shift our business model within our service pillars focusing on the most important aspects such as Advocacy and Member support. Doing this allowed us to focus on our Members, partners, and even non-members, as they sought much-needed and reliable information and emergency resources to keep their employees working and their businesses running. 
 
We also continue advocating for our Members and the business community at the local, state, and national level as government plans and executes policies for their response and recovery to the pandemic. There is too much to list here, but please open and read our 2020 Milestones or tap on the image below.

We look forward to sharing with you our plans for 2021 in the upcoming January CEO Connect newsletter and highlighting our 2021 Chairman of the Board, Trey Dawson, and our new appointments to the Board of Directors. In the meantime, we want to say thank you. Thank you to our local, state, and federal leaders who persevered despite the challenges, scrutiny, and intense pressures that they would face this year. Thank you to our 2020 Chairman of the Board, David Pope, and our Board of Directors for supporting our Chamber by engaging and responding to our needs and supporting our quick actions. Thank you to the Chamber team for their ability to adapt and shift and commitment to supporting you, our Members. Most importantly, thank you to our Members and Partners for staying with us as we navigated different ways to serve you.
What I’m looking at this week:

To close out this year, I want to share a message of hope and faith from this 1897, New York Times Editorial, in response to a young girl asking, ”…Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?” It beautifully reflects a child's innocence that would’ve been lost, if not for our innate belief in hope and in the goodness that comes from trying times.
 
On behalf of the North San Antonio Chamber Board and Team, please stay safe and healthy. We wish you all Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Sincerely,
Tap on the 2020 Milestones image below to read more.
December | San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) announced its 2021 Executive Committee

The SAEDF's Executive Committee is a group of executive leaders that is represented by diverse industries and demographics that make up the San Antonio regional business community. Our very own Past Chair for the North San Antonio Chamber, David Pope, will serve on this 2021 Executive Committee. Read More.
Re-Open Texas | State Updates
December 21 | Texas Capitol To Re-Open January 4th

At a time when many state capitols, including the U.S. Capitol, are closed, Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced today that the Texas Capitol will re-open on January 4th. 
 
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety protocols have been put in place to allow for the Capitol’s reopening while maintaining a safe environment for all visitors, lawmakers, and staff. Preparations to safely conduct business in the Texas House and Senate are ongoing, and each chamber will vote upon their respective rules and protocols at the start of the legislative session. 
Federal Update
December 21 | U.S. Congress passes COVID Relief Funding Bill

Thank you to our Congressional leaders for supporting the passage of another installment of a coronavirus relief package and the FY2021 Omnibus Appropriations bill, the ‘‘Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021"

You can find an update from U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) here.
The Government Affairs Council serves as an advocate for Member businesses and their employees before municipal, county, state, and federal officials on political policy issues impacting the economic growth, quality of life, and financial health of local industries. The Council informs and educates Members on proposed initiatives, policies, and legislation which may affect the way business in San Antonio is conducted.
January 7 | Meeting of the Government Affairs Council

Join us for our first Government Affairs meeting of the year. We will have a full agenda starting with guest speakers to be announced and review and discussion of the North SA Chamber Legislative Plan.

Members interested in joining the Government Affairs and/or Workforce Councils may contact the NSAC team at Membership@northsachamber.com.
The Infrastructure Council serves as a resource and strategic advocate for San Antonio regional infrastructure planning and development to improve the quality of life for our members and stakeholders.
January 13 | Infrastructure Council Meeting

Please join us for our first Infrastructure Council meeting of the year. We will have a full agenda with updates from our infrastructure partners and discussions regarding our plans for the year.

Members interested in joining the Infrastructure Council may contact the NSAC team at Membership@northsachamber.com.
December 11 | Secretary Hughs Presents Border Transportation Master Plan To Texas Transportation Commission

Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs presented to the Texas Transportation Commission the Border Transportation Master Plan (BTMP). The completed BTMP is the result of joint efforts between TxDOT and the Border Trade Advisory Committee (BTAC), which the Secretary chairs in her capacity as Texas' Border Commerce Coordinator.

"The purpose of the border master plan is to identify and highlight infrastructure priorities and projects as well as funding needs for necessary improvements that will support the State's economic vitality and global competitiveness," said Secretary Hughs. "With its approval, this plan will be a key resource to convey the importance of investing in the future of the Texas-Mexico border, an invaluable economic asset that benefits not only our border areas, but the entirety of North America." Read More.
The Workforce Development Council serves in an advisory role to assess, research, and design strategies that address workforce development challenges and opportunities. North San Antonio Chamber members are kept abreast on local workforce trends and demands, creating programs through collaborative partnerships to address workforce shortages.
December 21 | City seeks applicants for SA: Ready to Work Advisory Board
 
The City of San Antonio is accepting applications for the SA: Ready to Work Advisory Board. San Antonio voters approved SA: Ready to Work, a training and education initiative to assist San Antonio residents impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in November. City Council approved the creation of a nine-member SA: Ready to Work Advisory Board to provide feedback on program objectives, which will consist of representatives from four local employers with in-demand occupations, two current/previous participants in the City of San Antonio workforce development programs, one trade or labor organization, one community organization, and one workforce training provider in addition to City Council members appointed by the Mayor to serve as liaison.

Applications for the SA Ready to Work Advisory Board positions can be found at City of San Antonio’s Board and Commissions. Read More.
December 21 | SA Works 4th Quarter, Jobs Report

"Since publishing our last Jobs Report in June, we’ve seen significant policy and funding support put in place to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on our community. One of those key policy and funding investments focuses on the workforce recovery programs that were established by both the City of San Antonio and Bexar County with the goal of assisting those whose jobs were impacted by the pandemic with access to paid training, support services, and on-the-job training opportunities.

In support of our overall workforce recovery needs, we dived deep into our employer engagement activities leveraging our Business Development team’s extensive employer contacts to better understand the changing jobs and employment landscape across key industries.

This Q4 Jobs Report takes into account both labor market data as well as direct insights provided by our local employers over a series of collaborative meetings. These employer engagements allowed us to collect more detailed information, identify trends, and uncover distinct employer needs even within the same sector. All of which is key to informing key stakeholders and partner agencies on how we can best support job seeker’s employability while also meeting our local employer’s hiring needs.

Our commitment to our workforce and economic recovery is fueled by the continued support and collaboration of partners like you and we look forward to strengthening those partnerships in 2021."

Romanita Matta-Barrera
Executive Vice President of Workforce & Executive Director, SA Works
San Antonio Economic Development Foundation
Tap on image/video to for PDF and more information.
December 21 | U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Data, K-Shaped Economic Recovery

According to the U.S. Chamber, COVID-19 pandemic has taken on a "K-Shape" with some industries doing well (top of the K) and others, mostly service-based businesses that require close personal contact, struggling to make it through as we wait until vaccines are widely distributed (bottom of the K).

The U.S. Chamber compiled employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which demonstrates the varying conditions of the industries and how different industries' workers are faring. View the data here. You may also contact the U.S. Chamber senior economist Curtis Dubay at cdubay@USChamber.com for questions.
2021 North SA Chamber Leadership Council | Call for Applications
Tap on images to for more information & registration.
December 21 | National Restaurant Association Pandemic Relief Bill Overview

Read the National Restaurant Association's, "Legislative Assessment, What the COVID-19 Bill Relief Means For Restaurants." Also, check out the 90-second update below from the National Restaurant Association.

Join the National Restaurant Association for a COVID Relief Bill webinar briefing tomorrow, December 23 at 12:30 PM CT.
National Restaurant Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Sean Kennedy and Director of Healthcare and Tax Policy Aaron Frazier will outline what is in the latest bill, how it helps restaurants, and what steps you need to take to utilize benefits and programs.
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