Jan 21, 2021
Join us tomorrow for our first virtual Business After Hours of the new year!

Before you head out for the day, tune in from the comfort of your at-home office or office as we meet to end the year on a positive note making business connections.

The continued presence of COVID-19 has caused Chamber leadership and volunteers to take a look at programming and events for the next year. Chamber leadership is optimistic that in-person events and activities will resume soon and are actively working on ways to ensure your safety while providing virtual opportunities for you to engage.

Here's a look at some of the changes for this year:

  • Texas Farm Ranch & Wildlife Expo Cancelled for 2021
  • Business Expo in March has been moved to August 11, 2021
  • Small Business Week in May tentatively continues as scheduled
  • Leadership Abilene Class of 2021 has been postponed until the next year
  • AYP Leadership Summit in June tentatively continues as scheduled
  • 20 Under 40 honoree reception has been moved to the Leadership Summit in June
  • Fall events continue as previously scheduled

For questions about the 2021 schedule or other Chamber events, please reach out to Doug Peters here.
$13.9 billion in state and local taxes and state royalties paid from oil and natural gas production, pipelines, refineries and LNG facilities equals $38 million each day.

These are funds that directly support Texas schools, teachers, roads, infrastructure and essential services.

In Fiscal Year 2020, the Texas oil and natural gas industry: 
- Paid $2.035 billion to Texas ISDs in property taxes from mineral properties producing oil and natural gas, pipelines, and gas utilities

- Paid $688.4 million to Texas counties in property taxes from mineral properties producing oil and natural gas, pipelines, and gas utilities

Our state’s Rainy Day Fund, Permanent School Fund and Permanent University Fund are funded almost exclusively with oil and natural gas tax and royalty revenue. In fact, in 2020, 99% of the state’s oil and natural gas royalties were deposited into these education funds, with the Permanent University Fund receiving $771 million dollars and the Permanent School Fund receiving $942 million dollars.  

All this, while the oil and natural gas industry has taken the lead in developing environmental solutions. As a result:
- U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are at 25-year lows
- Methane emissions for oil and natural gas systems are down 23% since 1990
- Texas producers are capturing 99.5% of natural gas produced in Texas for beneficial use 

The City of Abilene is currently updating its Comprehensive Plan. This document helps the City set priorities for infrastructure and other improvements over the next 5 to 10 years. Help us make Abilene an even better place to live, work, and play. As a concerned citizen, the City takes your views very seriously. Please take some time to answer this survey and help guide future decisions. Your answers will remain anonymous. The survey will take approximately 20 minutes.
You don't want to miss these upcoming event for
your business.

JAN 21 FINANCING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Approximately 75% of small business owners never get in front of a lender to talk about a commercial loan. It is no wonder that being undercapitalized is a leading cause of small business failure. Learn what you can do today to prepare yourself financially to operate a successful business. Register Now.

COMMUNICATION, REMOTE WORK, AND MORE After such a difficult year, HR teams, employers and employees must rebuild the camaraderie lost due to pandemic fatigue, closed offices, and worker burnout. This 3 hour webinar will offer lively discussion on safety technology, communication obstacles, Covid-19 vaccination policies, recruitment and more. Register Now.

JAN 21 UNDERSTANDING THE SAVE OUR STAGES ACT: HOW MUSIC VENUES APPLY FOR SBA PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE The Governor's Office of Small Business Assistance is partnering with the Texas Music Office to connect Texas small businesses in the music industry with vital recovery resources. Attendees will learn about recent legislation that can help their business, such as the Save Our Stages Act, and other pandemic assistance available through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Register Now.

JAN 26 TEXAS ALLIANCE OF ENERGY PRODUCERS At 12:00 p.m. noon, join Alliance President Jason Modglin for an engaging discussion with newly elected Texas State Senator Drew Springer (District 30) who will share his priorities for session, any energy related matters he will be focused on and his thoughts on moving to the Senate. Register Now.

JAN 26 CYPERSECURITY FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: THE FUNDAMENTALS This "Cybersecurity for small business: The Fundamentals" webinar is intended to share the "how to's" of cybersecurity as recommended by NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. You, your team, company or community group will learn the steps for understanding cybersecurity, the risks and steps to mitigate them. Presented by SBDC Business Counselor, Manzel McGhee and CARES Act Coordinator, Kenny Heaton. Register here.

JAN 26 SBA SURETY BOND GUARANTEE PROGRAM WEBINAR We would like to invite you to attend our upcoming Surety Bond Guarantee Program Webinar that will be held Tuesday, January 26, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. This one hour webinar will cover details regarding our SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program and how it can help small contractors and subcontractors obtain bonding on reasonable terms. Please click here to join the meeting.

JAN 27 TAKING THE PULSE OF U.S. BUSINESSES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC Knowing how the business community is changing because of Coronavirus is critical for your business model and marketing strategy.  From April 26 - June 29, the U.S. Census Bureau collected data for the first phase of the Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS). The SBPS measures the effect of changing economic conditions during the Coronavirus pandemic on our nation’s small businesses. SBPS phase 2 data collection began August 9th and through the end of October. This presentation will provide an overview of the data products available through the Small Business Pulse Survey and a live demonstration of the interactive data visualization. Register here.

JAN 29 TEXAS ECONOMIC OUTLOOK PANDEMICS AND THE TEXAS ECONOMY: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas will host its annual Texas Economic Outlook on January 29 virtually. At this event, Keith Phillips, assistant vice president and senior economist, will release the Dallas Fed’s 2021 forecast for Texas employment growth and share more details on the factors likely to influence Texas in 2021. Texas Economic Outlook will provide business and community leaders from across the state of Texas with the most up-to-date economic information to help them make informed business decisions. Register Now.