WEEKLY WRAP UP for Friday, March 20, 2020
A message from your Chamber
    It has been a wild week and one that has changed our community. And it has driven home to me the heroism of our local small business owners and entrepreneurs. 
    Small business risk everything for their dreams -- and not just their own everything. When you are responsible for a business, every employee is your responsibility and their families depend on you. 
    It's a lot even in the best of times.
    Like many of you, we have had to make some temporary changes including canceling our events and fundraisers, we've trimmed staff hours with staff working from home.
    Our goal at the Chamber is to offer you as much support and information as we can while advocating for you on the state and national levels.
    Small businesses are the real engines of this nation's economy, the reason our young people's sports teams have shirts, the backbone of every charitable organization and the life and breath of our town.
    Here's what I am asking of those of you who can...PLEASE support them by buying from their stores, their restaurants and their businesses. They need you now.
    Look at the end of this newsletter for the latest information we have on how you can continue to be their customers. Be there for them now because they have been there for you in the past and will be again!

We need info to fight for you!
     Within the proposed federal stimulus there are stipulations for loans to businesses suffering loss of income.  However, due to mandated exclusions (bacteria and virus) many employers are not able to activate business interruption or loss of income provisions in their commercial insurance policies.
We are working with chamber leaders around the state to assess the impact this is having on businesses in your community.  Ultimately, this may develop into a coalition to seek a waiver of the exclusions or a "FEMA/grant style" opportunity for businesses to have access to assistance that is not a loan and does not have to be repaid.  

 Taylor counts!
    You should have received your Census information in the mail last week. Please take time to fill out the nine short questions for yourself and the quick six others for each member of your household.
    You don't need to have information with you or research anything before you complete the survey. It asks general questions that are essential to Taylor's ability to seek grants, its political representation and economic future.
    The Census is every citizens obligation under the U.S. Constitution. Filling out meets your responsibility and doing it online now could help prevent spread of the Covid-19 virus. In a few weeks, Census workers will have to visit all homes who don't respond online.

Chamber News

Ambassadors for the Greater Taylor Chamber of Commerce awarded Amber Hardin of Citizen National Bank as this month's Customer Service of the Month winner at a presentation March 5 . Amber's nomination letter told how she is cheerful beyond words, even on Friday's. She is always efficient and helpful. Go see for yourself at 316 N. Main or call 512-352-7641 .

Welcome to our new member!

Dancing with Al Frazier
1517 McLain, Taylor

     Small business/Covid-19 FAQ  
Here are some of your questions and their answers. These were put together by the County and by Rep. John Carter's office. We appreciate their help during these times.

Unemployment questions
     There have been several questions about unemployment benefits, options for workers, etc. The Texas Workforce Commission has set up a dedicated site to address those questions. There is an e-mail update list that you can sign up for on that site as well.


Have any deadlines been postponed for sales tax payments? 
     The short answer is no.  February sales tax payment is still due to the Comptroller by March 20.  Here is a statement from the Comptroller on the subject:  http://comptroller.texas.gov/about/media-center/news/2020/200317-sales-tax-virus.php
Has the deadline to file business personal property (BPP) renditions with the Appraisal District been postponed? 
     The Governor has not issued any orders that suspend or postpone any property tax deadlines.  The Appraisal District has issued the attached press release concerning property valuation in general.  Here is a link to the Williamson Central Appraisal District's website video information on BPP renditions:   https://www.wcad.org/business-personal-property-rendition-video/

I'm worried my small business will have to close due to financial issues. Will there be more assistance?
     Secretary Mnuchin has made clear immediate assistance is on the way. Moreover, H.R. 6047- the first Coronavirus bill- allowed $1 billion in loan subsidies to be made available to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture producers, and nonprofit organizations which have been impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This funding could enable the Small Business Administration to provide an estimated $7 billion in loans to these entities. In addition, provides $20 million to administer these loans.
     Impacted small businesses should register with the Texas Division of Emergency Management first. This registration allows counties to meet the threshold of eligibility for funds. To access the registration worksheet, click here. Once counties meet the requirements, businesses can receive funds if they apply. Businesses must apply for assistance here.
My small business can't afford to pay sick leave.
     H.R. 6201- the second Coronavirus bill, as passed by the House - includes a refundable payroll tax credit to reimburse-dollar-for-dollar-local businesses for paid sick leave and family and medical leave wages paid to employees that are affected by COVID-19.

The leave is fully funded by the tax credit, but my small business will be interrupted by cash flow issues.
     H.R. 6201 provides significant relief to businesses that otherwise may not be able to afford the employee costs associated with coronavirus-related paid leave. Treasury has broad regulatory authority to advance funds to employers to protect businesses concerned about cash flow. In a March 14 press release, Treasury stated that "employers will be able to use cash deposited with the IRS to pay sick leave wages. Additionally, for businesses that would not have sufficient taxes to draw from, Treasury will use its regulatory authority to make advances to small businesses to cover such costs."
    The legislation exempts businesses with more than 500 employees from mandated paid leave while imposing the requirement on small- and medium-sized job creators.
     The benefits under H.R. 6201 are not an expense for the business, rather it operates as a benefit to both the worker and the employer. The legislation will ensure that every dollar of leave that an employer is required to pay is reimbursed-dollar-for-dollar-by the federal government. It will allow workers to care for themselves and loved ones impacted by coronavirus. Additionally, the credit will help businesses to stay up and running. After all, workers who knowingly show up sick jeopardize the health of coworkers and business operations.
     Nearly 90% of businesses with more than 500 employees offer paid sick leave to their full-time workers. To facilitate more universal coverage of paid sick leave, H.R. 6201 provides temporary federal coverage for paid sick and family leave to all employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Does the bill mandate an unaffordable extension of FMLA on my small business?
       H.R. 6201 as passed by the House permits the Secretary of Labor to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the longer-term mandate where it creates significant hardship.

What flexibility is there for states to offer unemployment insurance now to individuals that have lost their job or are unable to work due to COVID-19 crisis? 
     DOL has issued guidance which explains flexibility states have to provide unemployment benefits when:
    • An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
    • * An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
    • * An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
To find out details on your Texas' unemployment insurance program, visit DOL's website  here.

Below are updated websites from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that you may refer business and community leaders to:

Here's how you can SHOP TAYLOR!
    Here is the information that our Chamber members have shared with us. If you want to add information about your Taylor business, please email the information to me at president@taylorchamber.org.

Luigi's Italian Restaurant
    Open for take-out only. Call 512-352-0150

Plowman's Kitchen
   Serving take-out, delivery within a 5-mile radius (evenings only) and outdoor dining options Place orders by phone at 512-352-0055 or on their website at www.plowmanskitchen.com
Loose Screw
    Beer growlers to go 2-8 p.m. 

Southern Hospitality
  Closed temporarily

Texas Beer Company
   The tap room is closed but beer is available 4-7 p.m. daily at 1332 W. 2nd St. Six packs are $8 and cases are $24. Order online at www.TexasBeer2Go.com or by calling 512-521-2759

La Scala
    Offering a to-go pasta (and chocolate caramel tart) menu with pickup 4-8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Call 512-786-5588 to place your order. Stay up-to-date at their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/La-Scala-Taylor-104200897755619/?ref=py_c

Curbside Coffee House
   Serving espresso drinks and coffee to-go 6 a.m.-3 p.m. daily from their front door. Pastries are available in multipacks. Call orders in to 512-269-9894

Gatti's Pizza
    Drive-through window is open. Order by phone at 512-365-2222 or online at www.gattispizzataylor.com

2nd Street Farm2Market
   Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. for walk-up, carry-out service only, Monday-Saturday. 512-269-7890 (don't forget they have fresh produce, meat, eggs, bread and milk). Call ahead.

Louie Mueller Barbecue
    TO GO service available now. Call 512-352-6206 to order.
   Limited delivery service in the near future.
   Complete shipping service anywhere in the US available now. (www.texasbbq.com)
    Finally, they are in the process of revising their menu to better fit the new operations environment.  This will allow guests to pay in advance for TO GO orders (and deliveries) providing maximum social distancing to all patrons. Please follow their social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to review the revised menu and learn the latest developments .

Cherry Tree Creative & The Next Box
    Find online shopping adventures with Curie on the stores' Facebook pages  here and here.

    Online shopping at www.frillsonfourth.com with delivery and pick-up available

Mezoozah Boutique & Corner Sweets
   Online shopping at www.mezoozah.com

Vintique Mall
    Closed temporarily

Mustang Creek Golf Course
    Groups limited to six with the proshop and common areas inside and outside closed. Players are encouraged to book online at https://golfmustangcreek.teesnap.net%20

Moody Museum
   Closed until further notice

GSM Insurors
    Office closed to the pub lic but they are available via email, phone and fax. 361.729-5414 x3602

St Mary's Catholic School
    Distance learning has been implemented through April 6. The campus is closed to students and parents. To learn more, call 512-352-2313 or visit www.stmarystaylor.org

Online Art Exhibit
    You don't have to miss out on everything just because you are stuck at home. Enjoy local art 6-9 p.m. at an online exhibit. Set your timers and tune in to the TAG at 120Art's Facebook page, here.
    If you see something you like, you can purchase it through Facebook.

Greater Taylor Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
1519 N. Main St.  Taylor TX 76574
512-352-6364          www.taylorchamber.org          president@taylorchamber.org