In March of this year, we started sending the COVID-19 News You Can Use newsletter out to everybody. It has been filled with timely and important information for you to utilize and make decisions on. Today marks our 80th newsletter. I personally am proud of the work that has gone in to this from multiple people. I believe we give you accurate information that is important to you, your business, your family and your employees. Continue to utilize the Cedar Park Chamber as a resource!
FEDERAL & STATE UPDATES FOR BUSINESS
According to a release, in the next federal aid package the US Chamber is looking for timely, temporary and targeted relief, focused on issues like a liability safe harbor, support for slow-to-recover employers, the unemployed and state and local governments. Specifically, Executive Vice President Neil Bradley mentioned allowing small businesses to obtain a second Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, increasing the size of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) and directly targeting help to sole proprietors. To see more, CLICK HERE.
The COVID-19 shock has caused unprecedented price fluctuations, particularly for products impacted the most by the virus such as food and energy. The COVID-19 shutdowns have caused a great number of these fluctuations. For example, energy prices have dropped sharply as demand for fuel has fallen. This impacts both the US economy and the Texas economy in significant ways. Inflation rose 0.6% in June and increased again by 0.6%. To view the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, CLICK HERE.
WILLIAMSON COUNTY UPDATE
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell has signed an order effective today (August 13) beginning at 5pm permitting Williamson County residents to have outdoor gatherings with more than 10 people in the unincorporated areas of Williamson County provided the gatherings comply with Governor Abbott’s Executive Order. This order includes limitations on capacity for events or occupancy limits that still apply. The order also follows Governor Abbott’s Executive Order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces. To view the complete order, CLICK HERE.
According to the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) Dashboard, there have been 182 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since our newsletter Tuesday morning. There are currently 79 individuals in the hospital leaving 22% of the beds available. There are 33 individuals in the ICU leaving 22% of the ICU beds available. There are 17 individuals on ventilators leaving 78% of those available. For the 7th day in a row – the rate of infection has gone up. The current rate of new infections in Williamson County according to the dashboard is at 27.5%. There have only been two days where we have had a higher rate of infection (July 9 &10). To view the complete dashboard, CLICK HERE.
LEANDER ISD UPDATES
According to the Leander ISD Launch to Learning Update #16, the district is excited to be back today! According to LISD, it’s been a long journey from March until now, and they are grateful for everybody’s patience. The district has worked hard to be transparent and give families the most current information possible. CLICK HERE to find out more.
IN CLOSING TODAY
As I said earlier, this is our 80th newsletter, and we are happy to provide you with this information. One of my overwhelming themes within these newsletters is to be understanding and to be patient. I have said it dozens of times, and I absolutely mean it. Why am I bringing it up again today? Because today starts a new school year. This is the beginning of school unlike any other we have ever seen.
We are starting off completely virtual. This may mean you need to be understanding of your employees who are having to help their children get online. As you know, getting a 5-year-old or a 15 year old to get going on the first day of school is going to be a challenge. Please be understanding of your employees.
I will end today’s newsletter with another theme that I have tried to bring up often – check in on somebody today! Share what happened with your day. Ask them how the first day of school went for their families. Ask somebody who doesn’t have any kids what work was like today. Just reach out and check in on your family and friends.
Be safe and be kind to one another!
Tony Moline, IOM, PCED
President & CEO
Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce