April 8, 2021
Abilene City Council will meet this evening at 8:30 am at City Hall. You can find the full agenda here and watch online here.  
The Abilene City Council will consider approving multiple improvements for the future of Abilene Regional Airport during Thursday's meeting. The first involves applying for a renewed Passenger Facility Charge. ABI currently charges $4.50 per passenger ticket, which is the maximum allowable fee. The current agreement Allows ABI to collect a maximum of $4 million. Abilene Transportation Services Director Don Green says they expect to reach the limit in a few months and begin PFC number 4, "We need to get started closing that out and possibly do an amendment to it and that takes some time. We don't want to lose any time on collecting the next PFC because, again, that goes toward our future projects.” The funds go toward repaying the City of Abilene for grant investments into capital improvements for the airport.
ABI is also working with Kutchins and Groh Consulting Firm to negotiate the development of a centralized quick turn around facility for the airport's rental car companies. If city council members approve the resolution, airport officials will begin to design a building that all three rental car companies will use to wash and service vehicles on the airport property. Abilene's Transportation Services Director Don Green says a Customer Facility Charge, collected per day for each rental vehicle, will help pay for the project, "We think that this facility will cost more than the current funding so we will work with the car rental companies to find additional ways to fund this. It will not come out of the city's general fund or anything like that."
The City Council will also consider approval of the Airport Master Plan, which lays out short term and long term concepts for potential growth and upkeep of airport facilities and services. The plan includes economic development opportunities and is required by FAA regulations. (Source: KACU)
Businesses in Abilene are struggling to find new hires. There are over a thousand job openings in the Key City, however, they are not being filled.

Businesses in the Key City say they can’t get many new hires, let alone good ones.

Recent graduate, Brandon Berry is the head server for Lytle Land and Cattle.

“I have four tables at the moment, one of them being the owner Sharen Riley, so gotta love that. Keep it interesting,” said Berry.
A business that is in desperate need of workers. Berry said, “when you work a double up here it’s probably a 12 hour day and you usually get an hour or two break.”

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced a policy change to help businesses weather the financial hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by significantly increasing loan limits up to 24 months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.

These loans were previously limited to six months of economic injury up to a maximum of $150,000.

The SBA’s new increased loan limits for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program are now in effect. For loan amounts over $25,000, SBA will continue to take a security interest in business assets evidenced by a general security agreement and UCC filing. SBA will also require an unsecured personal guarantee for loan amounts over $200,000 from any individual with 20% or more ownership. Real estate collateral will not be required for any loans of $500,000 or less.

Abilene could be getting an open container entertainment district downtown that would allow adults to walk from restaurants to shops with an alcoholic beverage in their hands.

Some Abilene residents and business owners say they fully support it.

“We are really excited about the opportunity of more people downtown,” said Jessica Adams, owner of Vagabond Pizza. 

The idea of a downtown entertainment district started after two businessmen approached city councilman Weldon Hurt.

“Anything that a citizen brings up, whether it be good, bad, whatever we need to do, I generally bring it up to the city manager,” said Hurt. 

The 2007–09 global financial crisis packed an economic punch that led the Federal Reserve to its first-ever monetary policy framework review. The Fed concluded this effort by announcing a major change in its monetary policy strategy—moving from what has been described as flexible “inflation targeting” to flexible “average inflation targeting.”

The change reflects lessons learned over time and from other countries and represents an evolution of the framework to better adapt monetary policy to the challenges of a low-inflation, low-interest-rate environment.

A new grant program aims to help history museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions recover from February's winter storm. The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded over $134,000 to Texas. Eric Lupfer heads Humanities Texas, NEH's state affiliate that will distribute the funds. "We can make grants to organizations to cover costs that are associated with the clean up, and conservation and replacement of humanities collection material, as well as resuming humanities programming that was postponed or cancelled as a result of the storm.” Lupfer says nearly 170 humanities institutions statewide have reported damages, “The damage included broken pipes, roof damage, structural damage both interior and exterior, electrical damage, flooding, and other kinds of damage to exhibition and other collateral materials, also also damage to humanities collections such as library books and archival materials."       
​​Applicants for the Recovery Grants can request up to $10,000. Click here for more info.
(Source: KACU)
Unions and their allies are promoting a bill that would destabilize America’s workplaces and impose a long list of dangerous changes to labor law. The proposal, called the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (S. 420/H.R. 842), is a litany of almost every failed idea from the past 30 years of labor policy. The PRO Act would undermine worker rights, ensnare employers in unrelated labor disputes, disrupt the economy, and force individual Americans to pay union dues regardless of their wishes. Read more about the PRO Act’s numerous flawed proposals below.

The PRO Act as introduced in the 117th Congress and passed by the House includes a number of new provisions that were not in the original bill. Members of Congress who co-sponsored the PRO Act in the 116th Congress should not feel bound to co-sponsor a different bill.

Read more about the PRO Act’s provisions.
You don't want to miss these upcoming events for
your business.

APRIL 10 THE 69TH TEXAS PANHANDLE POISON CENTER ABILENE MEDICATION CLEANOUT will be hosted by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) from 10 AM - 2PM at 1674 Pine Street (TTUHSC Campus). The Medication Cleanout uses a drive-through, drop-off format event and the collections provide a safe way for residents to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired medications in a free, legal and
environmentally sound manner. Click here for more information.

APRIL 13 GOVERNMENT CONTRACT TRAINING Have interest in working with the government? Want to learn more about proposal writing techniques and pricing methods? Join us for this full day workshop on April 13 8:00 am - 4:00 pm featuring Sandra Burns, CEO, and Greg Hansen, CFO, of Project Solutions, Inc (PSI). Register here.

APRIL 14 ACRONYM SOUP - GOVERNMENT TERMINOLOGY In Government Contracting there’s an Acronym for everything! SAM, IDIQ, BPA, MAS, MPIN, WAWF, & SDVOSB…just to name a few. Join Northwest Texas PTAC, Program Director Rich Lyles as he takes some of the mystery out of several common acronyms that government market partners are likely to encounter.

APRIL 21 MOCK DISCOVERY REQUEST: A CASE ANALYSIS Perhaps you haven't dealt with electronic discovery for a while/are comfortable with the next steps and/or are just looking for an outside resource to help confirm & support a current or upcoming case. Eide Bailly will be reviewing the discovery process by answering common questions from the electronic evidence standpoint.

APRIL 21 HR TRENDS IN 2021 Eide Bailly's HR Consulting Leaders will discuss inclusion and diversity, the importance of a focus on mental health and well-being, work flexibility, and changes in the areas of recruitment and employee engagement.

APRIL 22 AYP AFTER FIVE We've missed you! Join us at our first in-person networking event of 2021. We'll enjoy gathering again with our young professional community over drinks, eats and overlooking downtown Abilene at the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. Register here.

APRIL 28 ZOOM FOR MEETINGS Are you having issues using Zoom, or are you just looking to get the most out of your remote business meetings? If so, than this training is perfect for you. In this post COVID-19 business environment, learning how to use Zoom is more important than ever. Register here.