April 27, 2021
SBA SHUTTERED VENUE OPERATORS GRANT PORTAL NOW OPEN
The U.S. Small Business Administration Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal is now open for operators of live music venues, live performing arts organizations, museums and movie theaters, as well as live venue promoters, theatrical producers and talent representatives to apply for critical economic relief.

SVOG is a first come, first served grant, and all submitted applications will be processed in the order they are received. 

In preparation for the application portal reopening, the SBA recommends eligible applicants take the following actions:
RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND
Your Chamber has recently learned from the U.S. Chamber that the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund will begin taking applications very soon. We are told it is likely applications could open any day this week or next.
The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
The U.S. Chamber officials and your local Chamber leadership are concerned that the $27 billion allocated for the fund will go very, very quickly.
Click here to view the Small Business Administration site for the program which includes a sample application, how to apply, and when to apply. We highly suggest if you are interested in access to these funds, DO NOT DELAY. Gather the information that is needed now so you are ready to go when funds are accessible.
For questions or assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our team.
GROWTH IN TEXAS MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY REMAINS ROBUST, OUTLOOKS IMPROVE FURTHER
Texas factory activity expanded at solid clip in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell 14 points to 34.0, a reading still well above average and indicative of robust output growth. Other measures of manufacturing activity also pointed to strong growth this month, with demand, labor, price and wage indexes reaching all-time highs.

ABILENE IS HIRING
If you’ve been out and about in Abilene lately, you’ve likely seen “HELP WANTED” signs everywhere. It’s no secret that businesses need workers and workers need jobs – so that’s why the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and the Abilene Industrial Foundation are teaming up for a Hire Now Job Fair this coming Wednesday.

  • WHO: People seeking jobs
  • WHAT: Hire Now Job Fair
  • WHEN: Wednesday, April 28 from 11a-6p
  • WHERE: Rose Park Activity Building

The event is free to job seekers and businesses.

Many businesses who have open positions are expected to be at the job fair to meet potential employees. This is the first in-person job fair held in Abilene this year.
Businesses across Abilene have been suffering with a shortage of workforce. Some businesses are having their operations affected due to lack of staff. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released for February, job openings are at 7.4 million – 268,000 more than in January. However, a recent survey conducted by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Abilene Industrial Foundation, local employers are facing challenges finding employees.

“This challenge isn’t unique to our community,” said Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. Peters also serves as president of the AIF. “However, as the primary voice of business in the Big Country, we’re here to serve and assist members of the business community in any way possible.”

For more information on the job fair or how to participate, please contact the AIF Director of Talent & Development, Marissa Ransted.

KTAB/KRBC is a proud partner of this event.
SIGN UP TO BE THE CHAMBER'S BUSINESS OF THE WEEK
Eligibility for the Chamber’s Business Spotlight of the Week is just one of the benefits of partnering with us. Along with a highlight in our Monday Morning Memo and on our social media pages, Businesses of the Week also are featured on 95.1 The Wolf and 96.1 Q Country for an entire week. That’s 42 mentions and a $500 value in radio advertising all at no cost to you, our valued partner!

LAST DAY FOR EARLY VOTING
Early voting for the Joint City General Elections ends today. Taylor County residents have polls available from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm at the Taylor County Plaza. The Mall of Abilene will make voting available between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm in the movie theater corridor, and early voting is open from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm at Abilene City Hall.  
You don't want to miss these upcoming events for
your business.

APRIL 28 HIRE NOW JOB FAIR The event is free to both businesses and members of the community to participate. Registration for businesses is broken into two-hour time slots allowing participants to choose the timeframe that best suits their schedule by setting up for two-hours or for all seven hours of the event. Register your business 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.

APRIL 28 ONE MILLION CUPS Are you an entrepreneur? Are you searching for a way to connect with other entrepreneurs to discover solutions for your small business needs? The Abilene Chamber of Commerce and McMurry University Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship are excited to bring the Abilene community - 1 Million Cups! Details here.

APRIL 28 HOW PUBLIC PROCUREMENT CAN GROW YOUR BUSINESS The next Governor’s Small Business Webinar will focus on how businesses can prepare to compete for public procurement contracts and the importance of business certifications in this process. It is essential for business owners to understand how to develop an effective business development strategy to win public procurement contracts. Join us as we bring together procurement experts from across the state to answer your questions on these topics through a live Q&A. Register here.

MAY 3 GREAT WEST TEXAS ECONOMIC REBOOT RIBBON CUTTING Join us on Monday, May 3 as we close Cypress Street for about an hour and celebrate the official reopening of this economic highway that we call Abilene. We’ll be at the corner of North 2nd and Cypress (by the cool new park) at 3:30 pm sharp. (Note: in the meantime, the economy is open – please keep spending local!) Set a reminder.

MAY 4 SALUTE TO SMALL BUSINESS LUNCHEON The Abilene Chamber of Commerce will be spotlighting the individuals and businesses who, through their independent entrepreneurial spirit, play a vital role in building the community and the economy. To be nominated is a reward in itself and a nomination serves as a great tribute to a company’s leadership and employees. All small business nominees and recipients will be recognized at the Salute to Small Business Luncheon. Register here.

MAY 5 SMALL BUSINESS WEEK WAKE UP WEDNESDAY Our regularly scheduled Wake Up Wednesday sponsored by First Financial Bank and America's SBDC with a focus toward small businesses and Small Business Week. Register here.

MAY 6 WEST TEXAS ENTREPRENEURSHIP BOOTCAMP You have the idea and the determination to make it happen, and we have the entrepreneurship resources to help you take your idea or business to the next level. Details here.