Members of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce:

As we continue to move from crisis to recovery, the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce team is here to help in every way that we can. We have had a great week, so let me bring you up to speed with the latest developments:

We have joined forces with the West Texas Chambers of Commerce to actively lobby our federal representatives to provide additional funding for the very effective Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as well as other critical business support programs. To date, over 500 area businesses received over $90 million in the initial roll out of this program. Our efforts and those of many others are paying off. We are anticipating that additional funds will be available shortly and we encourage our membership to work with their local banking institutions and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to take fullest advantage of these important programs. I want to give a special shout out to our local banks and financial institutions as they are really stepping up during this critical time.

Speaking of the PPP, the next in our series of informational webinars will be on Friday, April 24 at 11am. We will hear from Jeffery McCormick of Oliver, Rainey and Wojtek and Casey Barrett of Texas Bank on the “Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness:  Best Practices”. These webinars are popular so please reserve your spot today at:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0INMpwIoR6yjCkrl3W7e9Q

We will continue to hold informational webinars every Friday and will also schedule ad hoc sessions as appropriate. We encourage our membership to take advantage of these opportunities to learn about what efforts are underway to mitigate the negative effects in the near term and to facilitate recovery in the longer term.

We applaud our Governor’s efforts to lead us from crisis to recovery. We are monitoring how this process is evolving and how it impacts our local businesses. In the latest set of guidelines, we are seeing the resumption of scheduled elective surgeries at our local hospitals and will also see an opening of local retail businesses that will begin curbside delivery starting Friday. State parks are also open for day visitors. We are anticipating additional guideline adjustments and will communicate these to you all as they are announced.

While we have been working virtually during this crisis, we are getting the Chamber of Commerce facility ready to reopen and will let you all know when we will be taking this step.

I want to caution all our membership to be aware of scams related to the COVID-19 crisis. These schemes come in many versions, including fraudulent solicitations on medical procedures, notices indicating that Social Security benefits have been suspended, and various bogus charity solicitations. I personally have seen examples of the hijacking of Facebook accounts of friends and colleagues. The scammers use these accounts to solicit funds for the release of COVID-19 related benefits. Please remain vigilant and if you have any questions about any solicitation that you receive, let us know.

I want to remind you that we are continuing to update, via social media and our website, how you all are currently operating to serve your customers during the currently restrictive environment. If you would like to convey changes in your hours or method of operations, please let us know and we will assist in spreading the word.

We will continue to communicate frequently by all means available. Please know that your input regarding you and your business remains critical, as we are constantly working on providing relevant and essential information to support our members. If you are able, we would welcome an update on how you are doing. We also ask that you take a moment to like and follow us on Facebook. We also ask you to check out our website, www.sanangelo.org, for new information, as we are frequently updating our resources page.  I have included my email and personal cell phone number below. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

In the meantime, stay safe and keep well…We deeply appreciate you all.

Walt Koenig
President and CEO
San Angelo Chamber of Commerce
walt@sanangelo.org
Personal Cell:  (321) 474-1332