May 7, 2020
Members and Supporters,

We are around eight weeks in with COVID-19 in the Greater Houston region. We are missing that in-person connection, visiting member businesses and enjoying wonderful food and company. These have been some of the most challenging weeks we’ve ever experienced as a community and a country. Hang in there and one day at a time seem to be the norm for our communications these days.

While we can’t be together in person, we can still be connected. And, while Zoom doesn’t allow for us to “break bread” together, it does allow for connection and a sense of community. The Chamber is committed to maintaining that connection for our members now and as we move forward. With all of the uncertainty, you can be certain that the Chamber will be here to support you.  

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
PPP Loan Forgiveness – Daily SBA Webinars
Have you received or applied for a PPP loan? The SBA Houston District Office is offering daily webinars at 9:00 a.m. to help business owners through the official guidance related to PPP loan forgiveness. Now is the time to set-up your accounting and tracking to ensure you are in compliance with the requirements of the PPP Loan in terms of forgiveness. See the events calendar where we continually add new SBA webinars. 

PPP Loan Forgiveness Webinars Scheduled This Week:

FRIDAY ----> https://bit.ly/2W4pNew

Note: Next week, the SBA Houston District Office will start holding the PPP Loan Forgiveness twice per day at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. We’ll update the Chamber events calendar with more details as we received information.

Additional Info: SBA for Previous EIDL & Advances Status: If you submitted an application, received correspondence from SBA, and have a loan number that begins with a “3”, you are in the queue and your patience is appreciated. If you would like to further inquire about the process and understand what to expect next you should contact the Office of Disaster Assistance 24/7 Customer Service line at 800-659-2955. 
PPP Guidance

New PPP Guidance: On May 3 and May 6, additional Q&As were added to SBA / Treasury’s core guidance document, which brings the total number of questions and answers on PPP rules to forty-five.
  • Question #40 addresses efforts at employee retention and whether PPP loan forgiveness will be reduced “if the borrower laid off an employee, offered to rehire the same employee, but the employee declined the offer?” The answer is “No,” and to qualify for the exception “the borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire, and the employee’s rejection of that offer must be documented by the borrower. Employees and employers should be aware that employees who reject offers of re-employment may forfeit eligibility for continued unemployment compensation.”
  • Question #41 offers additional guidance for seasonal employers regarding calculation of maximum PPP loan amounts.
  • Question #43 reminds borrowers to carefully review the required certification on the application form, and addresses the safe harbor for loan repayment.
  • Questions #45 answers the question: “Is an employer that repays its PPP loan by the safe harbor deadline (May 14, 2020) eligible for the Employee Retention Credit?" The answer is yes.   
Amegy Bank Committed to Supporting Underserved Small Businesses Through PPP Loans
Our Silver Level Corporate Partner, Amegy Bank , continues to accept applications for the Payment Protection Program (PPP) and is committed to helping Houston’s small business owners.
 
Amegy Bank is dedicated to supporting underserved small businesses, including LGBTQ owned businesses, that may be in need of the SBA PPP. The program still has funds remaining and Amegy Bank is well positioned to move the applications quickly. In fact, you do not have to be an existing clients. For more information or assistance, please contact Clay Melder , Assistant Vice President, Community & Non-Profit Lending, clay.melder@amegybank.com .

Thank you to Amegy Bank for your strong commitment to the Chamber and the small business community! 
Reopening Houston - Resources
The Greater Houston Partnership has released a report that includes recommendations on how to Reopen Houston Safely. Chamber Co-Founder & Board Chair, Tammi Wallace, participated with The Partnership as part of the Small Business Industry Working Group to share input .  
With the announcement from Governor Abbott that More businesses will be allowed to reopen over the next couple of weeks in Texas, this report is timely and a good resource for the business community. The link to the report and other Reopening Resources are included on the Chamber’s COVID-19 Resource Page .
Below is a great resource from Baylor College of Medicine that outlines best practices on reopening Houston.
Upcoming Events & Webinars
Check the events calendar for our upcoming webinars and events:

All events are held via Zoom, and attendees must pre-register to receive the Zoom information via email.  

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.
Corporate Partner, SignatureCare ER, Performing
COVID-19 Antibody Testing
Can you help us show some love to our Healthcare Workers & First Responders? Support their heroic work through ChamberCares!
Check out our participating members in ChamberCares !
COVID Resource Page
Check out the recent updates about Reopening Texas added 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.
Member Facebook Group
The Facebook Member Group continues to grow! If you are a member, please request access via Facebook Member Group . We are sharing out COVID-19 updates as well as lighter topics such as food pics, etc. Come join in and CONNECT with fellow Chamber Members, tell us more about you and your business. We love hearing from our members.  
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Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce | 832-510-3002 | info@houstonlgbtchamber.com | houstonlgbtchamber.com