April 7, 2020
Members and Supporters,

I hope this message finds you safe and well.
 
In this COVID-19 Update, you can read more about some of the latest updates in terms of the CARES Act, etc. Information is being released at a fast pace so we’ll continue to send out our weekly update as well as post information on social media and the Facebook Member Group .
 
We are also launching our first Virtual Brewing Up Business this week and we have a number of webinars on the events calendar or planning in progress. 
 
It’s a challenging time but We Are All In This TOGETHER . If you need anything please call the Chamber Office at 832-510-3002 or email info@houstonlgbtchamber.com . We are here for you.
Tammi Wallace
Co-Founder & Board Chair
Small Business Forgivable Paycheck Protection Program*
A Guide for Small Businesses, Non-Profits and Independent Contractors
Our corporate partner, Amegy Bank, is ready to assist small businesses during this pandemic. Amegy Bank is a participating bank in the CARES Program and they are partnering with the SBA in offering this opportunity to both current clients and new clients. 

Amegy has created a SMALL BUSINESS FORGIVABLE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) Guide for Small Businesses, Non-Profits and Independent Contractors. Click here for the guide. The guide will assist business owners with qualifications, the amount available and required documentation.
 
Learn more about the Amegy Bank Paycheck Protection Loan Program at www.amegybank.com/CARES Keep an eye out for our upcoming webinar with Amegy Bank.
 
Chamber Members who wish to request additional information and/or apply for the program can contact Clay Melder, Assistant Vice President with Commercial & Community Lending via clay.melder@amegybank.com or 713-232-1008.
Other Helpful Links & Information Regarding the PPP
SBA’s “Paycheck Protection Program” Applications Begin April 3

The U.S. Treasury and SBA have launched CARES Act “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP) webpages, which include information for borrowers, lenders and a sample application form that small businesses will use once SBA-approved 7(a) lenders, banks, or credit unions begin taking applications on April 3 (according to U.S. Treasury). 

See the SBA’s PPP page here , and the U.S. Treasury’s CARES Act page here .

The SBA also launched a new guidance page here .

According to the U.S. Treasury: “Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.”

Here are some key links for small businesses provided by U.S. Treasury:

ABOUT CARES ACT: Eligibility and "the rules." For a top-line overview of the program, please click CLICK HERE .

SMALL BUSINESS BORROWERS: If you’re a borrower the information provided HERE is useful in filling out your PPP application, determining eligibility, etc.

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM APPLICATION*: The application for borrowers can be found HERE .

*Application and loan processing will be administered through an SBA 7(a) approved lender.
COVID-19 Member Survey
In an effort to continually understand how COVID-19 is impacting our membership, we are sharing out a link to a member survey. The results from the bi-monthly survey will assist the Chamber in providing resources and information during this challenging time. Please complete the member survey via https://conta.cc/2wW63QB.
Helpful Guides
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19.
 
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expands the Small Business Administration’s long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL).
 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide and cheat sheet to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan from the CARES Act's Paycheck Protection Program.

Check out this article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on “How to Access Funding For Your Small Business.”
Small Business Majority Community & Webinar
Access the Small Business Majority’s Community Forum where small businesses can engage with other business owners and experts to share best practices, information and other resources that will help us all get through this crisis.
 
Check out the webinar reply hosted this week by the Small Business Majority covering " National Resources and Policy Updates for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19". Click here for the replay.
 
The webinar is best viewed in the Chrome browser. If you don't hear any sound, hit refresh in your browser.
Upcoming Events & Webinars

Check the Events Calendar frequently for more webinars. Do you have an idea for a webinar you would like to see? Email info@houstonlgbtchamber.com to share your thoughts. Would you like to present a webinar? Complete the Program Proposal Form .

We know that during this time our members need us now more than ever. We will continue programming through video-conference to provide opportunities for new resources, skills and leads.
Relief Grant Opportunity for Women-Owned Businesses
The purpose of this grant for women owned businesses (51% or more woman-owned) is to help sustain your business while you are under economic hardship due to COVID-19.

The funds can be used for technology upgrades or other items needed to change or adapt your business model. Operating expenses (excluding payment of sales tax, payroll, purchase of food for consumption, penalties and fees, and charitable donations).
Hello Alice  is offering both emergency and longer-term funds, up to $50,000, to small business owners to help them get through this critical time. Please visit  www.covid19businesscenter.com  to apply for the grants and to learn more about other available resources. They also have funds for organizations that support entrepreneurs, so be sure to check it out.
SCORE mentors can help you organize the documents needed for EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan)
  • At least two (2) years complete business tax returns with all schedules
  • Personal Financial Statement for each applicant
  • Schedule of Liabilities for all fixed debts
  • Optional: Items: 2 years complete financial statements, that is P&L, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow and Monthly revenue records for at least 2 years
  • It helps if you are able to show that you were denied credit by banks/credit card companies and don't have personal savings to weather the storm.

Meanwhile, they suggest you do the following:
  • Contact banks for a bridge loan to cover immediate needs
  • Contact lessors of property to postpone payment for a couple of months
  • Contact suppliers to see if they are willing to delay payments


PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUBMIT YOUR REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE as their mentors are available to help you by video chat, email, or phone.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
Employer Paid Leave Requirements
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. [1]  The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

Read more .
Support Local
Please continue to support LGBTQ and Allied businesses. Have you seen the Chamber’s Support Local page? Buy gift cards and order online from a Chamber Member. Also, our nonprofits, many of which have had to cancel their spring fundraisers, need our support – please donate to those whose events you would have supported or consider an extra gift to nonprofits that are really struggling right now. Peruse our Chamber Directory or go online and call one of our members to say: “Hi, I’m a Greater Houston LGBT Chamber Member and just wanted to check in and see how you are doing and what I can do to support you."

How Can You Help This Week?
Join us in an effort to infuse revenue into our local economy by ordering takeout or delivery for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner this week from a Chamber member. We know that spending money in our local economy helps grow our general fund base, which will in turn support our residents, businesses and community as a whole.
COVID Resource Page
Check out the recent updates to the Chamber's COVID-19 Resource page here . We continue to update the COVID Resource Page with information to help our members navigate this challenging time.
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Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce | 832-510-3002 | info@houstonlgbtchamber.com | houstonlgbtchamber.com