April 16, 2020
By Walt Koenig, President/CEO of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce
San Angelo, TX – The six main San Angelo economic development organizations are working together to develop and implement strategies and plans for navigating defenses from the three attacks that are currently impacting our region. These include the degradation of the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil triggered by the Russia-Saudi supply duel, the potential predicted casualties from the COVID 19 pandemic, and the severe economic impacts caused by the government mandated closure of many businesses, schools, conferences, travel, and social events.
The economic and social fabric of San Angelo and the Concho Valley are inextricably tied to the global economy. As isolated as San Angelo may sometimes appear it is, in fact, a city that is heavily linked with people, nations, and corporations around the globe. The Concho Valley has been hit simultaneously by global challenges that emanated from other continents – the collapse of oil prices and the rapid spread of the virus that ravaged the far east, Europe, and several cities in North America. It is broadly recognized that the San Angelo economic ecosystem will only withstand these unprecedented global biologic and market forces if we, as a community, stand together to explore, create, and deploy methods of assisting local retail, service related, and industrial businesses.
In response to all of these challenges, on March 18th the six main Concho Valley economic development partners formed the Economic Response and Recovery Task Force, with the mission of sharing information on the converging economic situations and creation of a collaborative set of solutions. This response group is comprised of the City of San Angelo Development Corporation (COSADC), the ASU Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Texas the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board, Tom Green County, the Concho Valley Council of Governments (CVCOG), and the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. A collaborative approach has been embraced by the group because each team member brings unique perspectives, experience, skills, and resources to bear. This collaborative effort has already begun to produce results.
One output of this collaboration has been the Chamber of Commerce’s launch of the collective COVID-19 Resource Hub link on at www.SanAngelo.org. The RESOURCE HUB is a comprehensive web page containing real-time, updated resources for small businesses and individuals. The website contains easy-to-navigate resource links to recovery content from the ASU Small Business Development Center, Concho Valley Workforce Development Board, the City of San Angelo, the Internal Revenue Service, Texas Restaurant Association Relief Fund, Department of Agriculture, and Tom Green County. The site also features Job Openings in San Angelo, US Treasury and IRS payment deferment, Paycheck Protection Program, and SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) guidance. All are encouraged to visit this webpage often since the information provided is frequently changing.
Additionally, the Economic Response and Recovery Task Force has coordinated immediate information-sharing about layoffs, companies, and independent business owners in need. They are assisting local businesses with coordination of Unemployment Insurance claims, lender and credit help, and help with filing Trade Adjustment Assistance petitions to the Department of Labor for companies harmed by the actions of foreign nations.
The group will continue to coordinate timely and effective responses and assistance through this crisis period, and has already begun planning the next-step actions for a Concho Valley economic recovery program.
The Task Force is also coordinating with our regional economic development partners, the High Ground of Texas and the Texas Midwest Community Network (TMCN) to share information and best practices to address these economic challenges.
It is understood that the recovery effort will come in stages and will take time. All available resources are being leveraged to ensure that our local economy will be brought back online as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible. The people of the Concho Valley are determined and resilient. We will all work together to overcome these global pressures, and will be a better community for having done so. Input from the community is critical and there are many resources available for assistance.
- San Angelo Chamber of Commerce (325) 655-4136 – COVID-19 HUB Resources for Small Businesses SanAngelo.org
- ASU Small Business Development Center (325) 942-2098 – Emergency Loan Information angelo.edu/services/sbdc/
- Concho Valley Workforce Development Board (325) 655-2452 – Unemployment Insurance
- City of San Angelo Development Corporation (325) 653-7197 – Business Expansion help economicdevelopmentsanangelo.com
- Concho Valley Council of Governments (325) 944-9666 – Revolving loan fund for small businesses
- Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd (325) 653-3318