Jan 5, 2021
State lawmakers meet in Austin next week for the regular legislative session that happens once every two years. And today, the Texas Comptroller is out with more data that shows declining sales tax revenue, which is the number one source of money for state government. 
Sales tax receipts for December were down by 5% statewide compared to a year earlier. Comptroller Glenn Hegar says most major economic sectors in Texas saw significant declines in sales. But there were some exceptions, especially online retailers. Also home improvement stores, warehouse clubs and super centers, sporting goods stores and hobby stores did well. Next Monday, the Texas Comptroller will give lawmakers an overall estimate for how much money they’ll have to work with during the legislative session. The last estimate from July predicted a shortfall of $4.5 billion, but Hegar has said since then that it won’t be as bad. (Source: KACU)
Natural gas futures plummeted to a historic low in June 2020 only to rebound by late October, with prices more than doubling to $3 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). The main reason for the rebound: a decline in natural gas production from oil wells.
To read more, click here. 
Guide to Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Loans
Click here to view the U.S. Chamber's new Guide to Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Loans with the latest information and answers to FAQs about the changes that have been made to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Program as part of the end-of-year pandemic relief package Congress has passed. We encourage you to share this resource with your members and networks as you see fit and will continue to make updates as more information becomes available.

Summary of 501(c)(6) Eligibility in Pandemic Relief Package Expansion of PPP
Click here to view the U.S. Chamber's summary of the extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the Pandemic Relief Package as it pertains to the eligibility of 501(c)(6) organizations.
CO— Pandemic Relief Small Business Update (12/22) Recording
On December 22, 2020, the U.S. Chamber's CO— hosted a Pandemic Relief Small Business Update during which executive vice president and chief policy officer Neil Bradley shared more about what the new stimulus bill will mean for the small business community. If you weren't able to join the program, or would like to watch it again, please click here to view the recording.
As you know, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna. As states begin to prioritize, allocate, and distribute the first doses, the U.S. Chamber has created a new COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ one-pager to answer the common questions being asked by Americans—and especially business leaders.

Click here to view the one-pager with accurate and current information about the vaccine allocation process, expected timelines, and what it all means for the road to recovery. The U.S. Chamber will continue to update this resource as new information becomes available.
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.

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JAN 13 INTRODUCTION TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING The Federal Government spends over half of a trillion dollars on goods and services each year. States and local governments spend 1.5 trillion dollars on goods and services cumulatively each year. This webinar covers the basics of doing business in the public sector at all levels. Register here.