SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

Monday, April 6, 2020

8:00 a.m.

COVID-19 Monday Morning Brief

Brought to you by
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce  

  U.S. Texas Bexar County
Total Cases 337,309 6,182 410
Total Deaths 9,643 127 12

MONDAY MORNING OBSERVATION - Unemployment Lives Matter:
If last week felt like a busy quiet before a storm, this week’s small business forecast is hurry up and brace.  Here’s the problem, San Antonio is 14 days into the Mayor’s Work Safe Order and Texas is still about a month away from the COVID-19 crisis peak which is likely to impact the Lone Star state on May 2 according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.  Between now and then, massive unemployment is happening and it’s time to make sure these affairs are in order - if not already done.  

The Numbers:
To put things in perspective, here are some sobering figures to start your week:   

  • New applications for unemployment benefits have reached an incredible 9.9 million nationally - 6% of the entire workforce.
  • Hardest hit: New Hampshire, Indiana, North Carolina, Michigan, and Louisiana rose 4,000% or more.
  • Volume:  More than 878,000 Californians, 366,000 New Yorkers, and almost 406,000 Pennsylvanians have filed.
  • In Texas, unemployment claims surged to more than 275,000 this past week with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) receiving around 1.5 million calls daily*

*NOTE:  Don’t Waste Your Time!  TWC made an announcement over the weekend asking Texans to file claims based on your area code beginning with:
➡️ 9:                            file claims on                       Mon, Wed + Fri                   8am – 12pm
➡️ 3, 4, 5, 6:                file claims on                       Mon, Wed + Fri                   1pm – 5pm
➡️ 7, 8:                        file claims on                       Tues, Thurs + Sat                8am – 12pm
➡ 2:                            file claims on                       Tues, Thurs + Sat               1pm - 5pm
        👉 Tele-center Number: 1-800-939-6631
        👉 For More Information:  bit.ly/COVIDcall

Why They Matter:
The greatest resource most small companies have is their teams of employees. Of the government’s $2 trillion package, only $377 billion is directly targeted to this goal. These are loans to small firms which are forgivable if the funds are spent on payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utilities.  According to a Wall Street Journal calculation this means the money allocated in the CARES ACT will run out in a month and a half, given the total expenditures in payroll, interest expenses and rents of U.S. small firms, which amounts to $258 billion a month according to U.S. Census data. 

This is why last week I stressed accessing SBA and local government financial assistance: It is important to assist those recently furloughed employees and be on top of your unemployment matters to regroup your organization’s employee A-team back together quickly. 

How to Help:
To set you and your employees in the right direction, start with these resources:

  • State of Texas

Information for COVID-19 Employers and Jobseekers
https://www.twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-services

  • San Antonio Workforce Solutions Alamo

Information on COVID-19 for employers and job seekers in San Antonio and surrounding areas
https://www.workforcesolutionsalamo.org/
https://www.facebook.com/pg/WSASanAntonio/posts/?ref=page_internal

  • Work in Texas

Employment links to more than 600,000 jobs in Texas
www.workintexas.com

  • Texas Unemployment Questions Answered

https://www.wfaa.com/article/money/business/right-on-the-money/right-on-the-money-your-texas-unemployment-questions-answered/287-d0b40fcb-5f95-4ae9-92c8-b8456d8132c3

  • U.S. Department of Labor

Career One Stop Unemployment Benefits Finder
https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/UnemploymentBenefits/find-unemployment-benefits.aspx?newsearch=true

Family and Medical Leave Act Questions and Answers
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/pandemic

The Proof - COVID-19 Brings U.S. Communities Together: 
The data tells us that overall the country remains optimistic.  This is a positive indicator and underscores why being prepared to help your recently unemployed is so important during any crisis or pandemic.  This is according to a just released COVID-19 Public Agenda/USA Today/Ipsos Hidden Common Ground Survey that found: 

  • Nearly one in 5 people feels their communities will emerge stronger than ever.
  • More than two-thirds say they’re contacting family and friends more than usual and rallying to support local businesses.
  • More than half of Americans say they plan to donate money, supplies or time to help people in their community.
  • More than three-quarters of Americans also feel the government should provide businesses with no-interest loans, give cash payments directly to those who need it and pass paid sick-leave legislation.

The research shows that there are many rays of light.  It is an extremely fragile time that can go to hell in a handbasket overnight, and a reminder that this is just beginning with more dark days ahead before it gets better.     

(END)

The COVID-19 Monday Morning Brief is a product of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and brought to you by Leonard B. Rodriguez, former White House Adviser to the President of the United States during 9-11 and Political Director for the Governor of New York, to keep you briefed on critical business-related focus areas during this pandemic.

A Hispanic Business Magazine 100 Influential alum, he is also the award-winning author of Celebrating Outstanding Hispanics – 500 Years of Latino Pride and a 10th generation San Antonian.  He currently serves as the Senior Vice President at the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the Office of Small Business Programs and Services and served his prior position as the former President and CEO of the City of San Antonio Westside Development Corporation. 

He can be reached at leonardr@sahcc.org 

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