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COVID-19 Updates & Business Resources

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COVID-19 is impacting our circumstances in a profound way. First, Kilgore Economic Development Corp. hopes you are well.  We also want to support the community and employers in Kilgore. That is true always, but especially now when our circumstances are rapidly changing.  Be assured that KEDC has the tools and capability to rise to this challenge and help the community. KEDC was created in response to crisis in the 1980s and has responded through the years by nurturing a cohesive and successful economic strategy. Below please find sources of support and relief:
 

 

Kilgore Support

Kilgore Cares

Kilgore Economic Development Corporation has established Kilgore Cares, a two-part COVID-19 Crisis Program that addresses the needs of various Kilgore businesses impacted by the adverse economic impacts of the novel coronavirus. Kilgore Cares consists of two funds that are designed to provide support and relief to local industrial employers and to local small businesses.

The COVID-19 Crisis Economic Development Performance Agreements for industrial employers will provide financial relief to approved applicants. The program will be structured as a forgivable loan for a term of one year. If the company remains in business in Kilgore at the end of the term, the loan will be forgiven. The loan program will be similar to KEDC retention agreements.  For more information, contact KEDC at 903 522 5332 or submit the application below to [email protected].

Application for COVID-19 Crisis Economic Development Performance Agreement for industrial employers - PDF

Application for COVID-19 Crisis Economic Development Performance Agreement for industrial employers - Word

For more information: Kilgore Cares Crisis Fund Local Industrial Employers

 
As Kilgore small businesses continue to suffer financial fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kilgore Economic Development Corp. has established Kilgore Cares, a COVID-19 crisis fund for Business Enterprises in partnership with the City of Kilgore and Kilgore Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau to provide support and relief for Kilgore small business.
The program provides $2,000 grants for businesses that have been significantly impacted by this pandemic.  The grant is open to Kilgore small businesses that meet the following criteria:
  • Non-home-based, for-profit business deemed non-essential such as salons and spas, gyms, movie theaters, non-essential retail, dine-in restaurants, and entertainment centers
  • Employ less than 20 full time equivalents
  • Have a business location typically open to the public within the city limits of Kilgore
  • Be an official Texas business registered with the state in some capacity (Secretary of State, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Workforce Commission)
  • Submitted an application to at least one of the SBA programs under the CARES Act, Economic Injury Disaster Loan or Paycheck Protection Provision, or filed for unemployment benefits
  • Be in good standing with the City of Kilgore
  • Must have been harmed by COVID-19 after benefits through state and federal programs 
If your business meets the above criteria, please complete and email the application below to [email protected] or submit in-person to the chamber offices at 1108 N. Kilgore St. Deadline for applications is noon on Fridays to be considered for a weekly review until funds are exhausted. Notice of approval will be delivered to applicants the following Friday by email.
 
Grants will be awarded in installments.
 
Size of Business (FTE Employees)
Award
0-19
$2,000
Award
Installments
½
Immediately after approval
½
30 days
 
 
 
 
 
 

Impact Survey

KEDC will conduct surveys for industrial businesses designed to identify and mitigate specific risks and gauge how we can make a meaningful contribution.  Our first survey asks ten questions about present operations, talent-related challenges, and short-term projections.
 
Please take five minutes to let us know how you are doing. Follow the link below to our survey. Or, call Business Development Manager Sonya Waters at 903 983 3522 or 903 431 9286 if you would prefer to discuss personally.
 
 
 

Business Assistance through the Small Business Administration

Through the CARES Act the Small Business Administration (SBA) has a number of new resources and programs available for small businesses. The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act. Those programs include:
 
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The Paycheck Protection Program is a guaranteed loan program through an SBA 7(a)  lender or certain other institutions for 2.5 times an average monthly payroll at 1% fixed interest. It can be used for payroll, mortgage, lease, and utilities. Payments are deferred for six months, and the loan is due in two years. A borrower is eligible for loan forgiveness if 75% of payroll is maintained or restored and for an period of up to eight weeks for certain expenses. The PPP created by the CARES Act prohibits borrowers from taking out two loans for the same purpose. 
Eligible borrowers include small businesses, private non-profits, sole proprietors, the self-employed, and tribal and veteran's organizations that meet the SBA size standards. PPP will be available through June 30, 2020 unless funds are allocated before that time. Click here to learn more   Click HERE for an informational poster from Sen. John Cornyn's office. Applications for this program are still being taken, applicants must apply through an approved SBA lender (see list of Kilgore lenders below). 
 
Loan Forgiveness: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury have released additional guidelines on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness requirements and procedures. The SBA's PPP forgiveness application and instructions form informs borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the CARES Act. The SBA also recently released Interim Final Rules (IFR) on loan forgiveness requirements and loan review procedures and borrower and lender responsibility guidelines. This guidance may be downloaded below:

 

Debt Relief Program: The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis. Under this program: the SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020; and the SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months. SBA Debt Relief

For questions or assistance on the SBA programs please contact the UT Tyler-Longview Small Business Development Center on (903) 757-5857 or visit the website. See the list below o contact Kilgore participating lenders
 

SBA 7(a) lenders in Kilgore

Citizen Bank
301 E. Main Street
Kilgore, TX 75662
903-984-8671
https://www.citizensbanktx.com/lending/covid-19-sba-ppp
Austin Bank
1006 Stone Road
Kilgore, TX 75662
903-983-1584
https://www.austinbank.com/business-banking/sba-loans/

Regions Bank
910 N. Kilgore St
Kilgore TX,75662
903-218-5520
https://www.regions.com/about-regions/community-engagement/coronavirus-information

Vera Bank
410 N. Kilgore St.
Kilgore, TX 75662
903-986-2265

BTH Bank
205 N. Kilgore Street
Kilgore, TX  75662
903-983-2265

Other Funding Opportunities 

Community Development Financial Institutions – CDFIs: An alternative to SBA loans, CDFI’s are private financial institutions, 100% dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending and helping those that may not be well-served by conventional lenders as well as disadvantaged people and communities. An example is: PeopleFund and a full list is available at https://cdfi.org/Texas/.
 
Hello Alice: is offering $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by coronavirus as part of their broader mission to ensure Business for All. Grants will be distributed on a rolling basis. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community. https://www.covid19businesscenter.com/.
 
M.Roberts Media Community Marketing Grant: M. Roberts Media will grant up to $1 Million of matching marketing dollars to local businesses in Texas. These are matching funds so every dollar invested by the local business will be matched by the Marketing Grant fund up to $15,000 – based on approval and availability. Grant funds may be used in print or digital marketing efforts through any M. Roberts Media location or product (Kilgore News Herald is included). Apply at their website https://mrobertsmedia.com/communitygrant/

 

U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA): Rural Development Guaranteed Loan Programs: Effective immediately until September 30, 2020, lenders may offer 180-day loan payment deferrals without prior agency approval for:

For additional information, visit Rural Development COVID-19 Response

USDA offers a variety of funding opportunities to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners finance their businesses. There are also microloans available for small, beginning farmer, niche and non-traditional farm operations, such as truck farms, farms participating in direct marketing and sales such as farmers’ markets, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), restaurants and grocery stores, or those using hydroponic, aquaponic, organic and vertical growing methods. Visit their website to learn about funding programs. https://www.farmers.gov/fund

 

Business Resources

Steps to Reopen Texas: Individuals, employers, employees, and customers are encouraged to review, print out, and follow the MINIMUM health protocols recommended by DSHS in the checklists located in the Governor's Strike Force to Open Texas Report in addition to federal and state employment laws and workplace safety standards. The DSHS minimum recommended health protocols are subject to change based on new and evolving information.
 
Texas Comptroller: The deadline to file property tax renditions with Gregg County Appraisal District has been extended from April 15, 2020, to May 15, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Different deadlines apply for certain regulated property. For other taxes, the Comptroller’s office is providing continuous updates on the Comptroller’s COVID-19 Emergency Response page on their website. The agency is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest. To learn about options for remaining in compliance and avoiding interest and late fees on taxes due, contact the Enforcement Hotline at 800.252.8800.
 
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns has been extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible. IRS Payment Deadline Extended: Filing and Payment Deadline Extended to July 15 

 

Advice on Coronavirus Tax Relief

Summary of Employer Paid Sick Leave Mandate

National Restaurant Association: Coronavirus Information and Resources

National Retail Federation: Coronavirus Resources for Retailers

NFIB: Small Business Resources in Response to Coronavirus

TMAC Coronavirus Resources for Manufacturers

OSHA COVID-19 RESOURCES

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Combating Coronavirus

U.S. Chamber Disaster Help Desk

Summary of Congressional Action on COVID-19

Coronavirus Small Business Guide

Guidance For Employers - How to plan and respond to the Coronavirus

Workplace Tips - Tips and resources for employers to combat the virus

Resource Page - Links to resources on business resilience and disaster recovery

More Resources - Including consolidated, business-specific guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

5 Ways to Retain Your Customers During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Resources to Help Your Small Business Survive the Coronavirus

5 Ways to Calm Coronavirus Fears Among Your Employees

Coronavirus: 8 Things Your Small Business Needs to Do

Coronavirus Best Practices for Small Businesses

SCORE has chapters throughout Texas and provides in-person and virtual counseling and mentorship. They have also published resources and information to support small business, including: 

 

Information for Employers

The Texas Workforce Commission is a great source that can assist small businesses during these turbulent times. Visit the TWC website for resources available to  employers and job seekers impacted by the COVID-19.Services include:
  • Assisting businesses with managing and preventing lay-offs
  • Available statewide network of Workforce Solutions Offices
  • Continuation of job matching and training services
  • Ongoing communication with employers to provide information and updates about services and resources
Find more Resources for Employers: The Commissioner for Employers legal team is available Monday through Friday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to answer employment law questions. Please contact them at 800-832-9394 or [email protected]
 
Tax Credits for Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides tax credits to reimburse employers for the costs of providing paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave to employees unable to work because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These credits are refundable.The law is intended to allow employers to keep employees on their payrolls, while at the same time making sure employees aren't forced to choose between their paychecks and public health measures needed to combat COVID-19. These credits are available to eligible employers beginning April 1, 2020, for qualifying leave they provide between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
 
Employee Retention Credit: is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. 
 
The Shared Work Program: provides Texas employers with an alternative to layoffs and helps Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business. Shared Work allows employers to:
  • Supplement their employees’ wages lost because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits
  • Reduce normal weekly work hours for employees in an affected unit by at least 10 percent but not more than 40 percent; the reduction must affect at least 10 percent of the employees in that unit
 
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. FFCRA will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Please ensure that you have the mandatory labor law poster on display at your place of work, download a copy in English here and in Spanish here. Visit the US Department of Labor website for the full details https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic
 
 

Information for Job Seekers

4.30.2020 - The Texas Workforce Commission has issued guidelines to unemployment claimants concerning continued eligibility for unemployment benefits should they refuse rehire.
 
**Update: The Texas Workforce Commission is expanding the number of staff available as well as hours taking calls. Starting April 10, call centers will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM. Starting April 13, TWC will move to a 7-days-a-week schedule. Call 800 939 6631.
 
If an individual’s employment has been affected by COVID-19, they may apply for benefits either online by using the Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS) or by calling TWC at 800.939.6631 according to the schedule shown below.   The staggered call schedule will help to alleviate long wait times and overwhelmed call centers. Please check with your employer before applying for benefits to ensure they have not filed a “mass claim” on your behalf. For questions about unemployment or employment insurance call 800.832.2829 or email [email protected].
 
Area Code of Applicant Suggested Call Time
Beginning with 9 Mon-Wed               8 AM - noon
Beginning with 3, 4, 5, 6 Mon-Wed               1 PM - 5 PM
Beginning with 7,8 Tues-Thurs, Sat     8 AM - noon
Beginning with 2 Tues-Thurs, Sat     1 PM - 5 PM

For more information on COVID-19 and unemployment benefits, visit:  https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-job-seekers.

Workforce Solutions East Texas: Contact career advisers at 1-844-ETWORKS (844-389-6757) for individual assistance or visit www.WorkInTexas.com. Workforce Solutions East Texas had created a free series of webinars to assist East Texans manage their time and maximize their skillsets while they are home or working reduced hours. These are free to attend you just need to register your attendance in advance. View the full list of webinars and register here.

 

Other Disaster Resources

Local
 
State
 
 
Federal
 
 
 
COVID-19 Updates, Resources, & Impact Survey Go Now