In this time of crisis, the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce will continue to bring you updated and accurate information. We pledge to be your information partner, allowing you more time to focus on the decisions facing your business. Please continue to visit our website for small business assistance information, FREE job bank, and a continuously updated list of business closures/change of operations. You may also call us at 830-997-5000.
We are working remotely, but are providing full service (except for the handshake).
WELCOME NEW 2020 MEMBERS
Alexander Vineyards | Alzheimer's Association | Barnes Creative | City Cleaners | Fredericksburg | Dankworth Dry Goods | The Edge Wedding and Event Venue | Edward Jones, Kristy Knaupp-Beyer, Financial Advisor | Fancy Goat Boutique and B&B | Fredericksburg's Home Sweet Home
REVISED MINIMUM STANDARD HEALTH PROTOCOLS FOR BARS AND SIMILAR ESTABLISHMENTS
The Governor's Office issued these REVISED Minimum Standard Health Protocols for Bars and Similar Establishments on May 22.
ADDITIONAL EXPANSION OF SERVICES UNDER
PHASE II OF OPEN TEXAS
Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation expanding additional services and activities that can open under Phase II of the state's plan to safely and strategically open. With this proclamation, water parks, recreational sport programs for adults, driver education programs, and food-court dining areas within shopping malls can begin operations with limited occupancy or regulations to protect the health and safety of Texans.
Beginning Friday, May 29th, water parks can open but must limit their occupancy to 25% of normal operating limits. Components of these water parks that have video arcades must remain closed. Starting Sunday, May 31st, recreational sports programs for adults can resume, but games and similar competitions may not begin until June 15th. Driver education programs can resume operations immediately.
Food-court dining areas within shopping malls can also immediately resume operations, but malls are encouraged to designate one or more individuals who are responsible for ensuring health and safety practices are followed, including: limiting tables to six individuals; maintaining a six-feet distance between individuals sitting at different tables; cleaning and disinfecting tables between uses; and ensuring no condiments or other items are left on tables between customer uses.
Minimum standard health protocols outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) are recommended and located on the Open Texas webpage.
FARM AND RANCH ASSISTANCE ENROLLMENT TO OPEN MAY 26
Farmers and ranchers can begin enrolling for $16 billion in direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
Signup will start on May 26 at local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. CFAP will provide direct relief to farmers and ranchers who have suffered a 5 percent or greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.
BUSINESS RE-OPENING Q&A
How Do I Estimate Capacity?
The City of Fredericksburg has issued the following formula for businesses to estimate capacity. Please note that per GA-18, only 25% occupancy can be achieved unless the County Judge attests to certain regulations. At that time, occupancy can be increased to 50%.
Determine the area to be occupied in square feet (Length X Width) Ex: 30Lx50W=1500 sq ft
Choose appropriate occupancy requirement:
Assembly Concentrated (chairs that are not fixed): 7 sq ft/person (EX: 1500 sq ft / 7 = 214)
Assembly Unconcentrated (tables and chairs): 15 sq ft/person (EX: 1500 sq ft / 15 = 100)
Assembly (standing space only): 5 sq ft/person (EX: 1500 sq ft / 5 = 300)
Assembly Exhibit gallery and Museum: 30 sq ft/person (EX: 1500 sq ft / 30 = 50)
Kitchens: 200 sq ft/person (EX: 1500 sq ft / 200 = 7)
Mercantile Retail area: 30 sq ft/person (EX: 1500 sq ft / 30 = 50)
Divide the area by the occupancy requirement for total occupant load.
To get 25% occupancy, divide by 4. To get 50% occupancy, divide by 2.
If you have any questions regarding occupancy, please contact the City and County Fire Marshals.
Reagan Rabke, City Fire Marshall 830.990.2034 or Email: email@example.com
Steve Olfers, County Fire Marshall 830.889.0022 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the guidelines for businesses that serve alcohol? The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has issued the following overview of when businesses that serve alcohol may re-open and at what capacity. Please note, revisions to these rules are possible and the TABC website should be carefully monitored.
CLICK HERE to sign up for daily TABC COVID-10 Update emails.
ADDITIONAL INDUSTRY SPECIFIC RE-OPENING GUIDANCE
RESTAURANTS & FOOD SERVICE
HOTEL & LODGING
American Hotel & Lodging Association (Friday, April 24 at noon)
Replay of National Association of Manufacturers Webinar (posted April 1, 2020) Manufacturers discuss industrial cleaning best practices to mitigate risk to their workforce, limit the spread of the virus and ensure their manufacturing operations can continue unabated.
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS
International Festivals & Events Association
Are you preparing to offer Retail-To-Go options for your customers? These FDA guidelines, suggested by the Gillespie County Health Department, will help your employees with Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
If you have lost your healthcare coverage due to COVID-19, this backgrounder by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides options for consideration. (available in English and Spanish)
PHASED OPENING OF DPS OFFICES
Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will begin a phased opening of driver license offices, with Central Texas offices scheduled to re-open May 29, with limited service offerings. As part of this opening plan, DPS will launch a statewide driver license (DL) appointment system that allows customers to book appointments up to six months in advance. The limited services being offered will be by appointment only.
MAIN STREET LENDING PROGRAM
As a result of the Coronavirus Aid,
Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Federal Reserve has created the Main Street Lending Program to provide a total of $600 billion in financing for small and
While the program’s start date has yet to be announced, here’s what you need to know to check eligibility and get ready to apply. Businesses that received a Paycheck Protection Program loan ARE also eligible for this program.
FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which went into effect on April 1, created new temporary paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) programs that are 100% reimbursable by the federal government.
The effective date of both programs is April 1 and they expire on December 31. Both programs are in addition to any leave you already offer.
The key numbers to remember with these paid leave programs are 500 and 50.
• If you have fewer than 500 employees, your business is required to provide paid leave under both programs
• If you have fewer than 50 employees, though, you may be exempted from the requirement to provide leave under both programs
The link below will take you to a simple employer's guide, produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to help you determine how to administer the provisions of Families First for your specific business.
Employers are required to display the Department of Labor Employee Rights poster for this program in the workplace.
CLICK HERE to download the Employers Guide to Coronavirus Paid Leave Programs
LET'S KEEP WORKING!
BUSINESS EXCHANGE PROGRAM
As the effects of COVID-19 continue to affect our business community, the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce is offering a Business Exchange Program designed to serve as a clearing house for members experiencing staffing changes.
If your business is reducing its labor force due to
COVID-19, please let us know the number of workers impacted and their respective skill set. If your business is in need of additional workers to meet demand increases brought on by COVID-19, please let us know the number of workers needed and the types of positions you are attempting to fill. It is our goal to match that information, whenever possible, to share workers and keep our employees working!
Please email Chamber President Penny C. McBride
or call her at 830.997.5000.
TEMPORARY PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY
In order to provide increased liquidity during the COVID-19 crisis, The CARES Act provides a temporary payroll tax holiday. This is an option for employers to defer certain payroll taxes due between the enactment of the CARES Act and December 31, 2020.
Important to Note:
– This credit is not available to any employer who takes a loan under the Payroll Protection Loan Program.
– Applicable payroll taxes are limited to the 6.2% employer Social Security tax liability.
Deferment Dates – 50% of the applicable taxes are due December 31, 2021 with the remaining 50% of the amount due on December 31, 2022.
Self-Employed – Additionally, self-employed taxpayers can defer up to 50% of any related Self-Employment tax due between the enactment of the CARES Act and December 31, 2020. The deferment includes any estimated tax payments, as no estimated tax penalty will be assessed on these amounts.
NEW GUIDANCE - PPP LOAN FORGIVENESS
On May 3, the Small Business Administration issued new guidance to clarify the impact on PPP loan forgiveness if a borrower laid off an employee and offered to rehire the same employee, but the employee declined the offer. The new guidelines read, "As an exercise of the Administrator’s and the Secretary’s authority under Section 1106(d)(6) of the CARES Act to prescribe regulations granting de minimis exemptions from the Act’s limits on loan forgiveness, SBA and Treasury intend to issue an interim final rule excluding laid-off employees whom the borrower offered to rehire (for the same salary/wages and same number of hours) from the CARES Act’s loan forgiveness reduction calculation. The interim final rule will specify that, to qualify for this exception, the borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire, and the employee’s rejection of that offer must be documented by the borrower. Employees and employers should be aware that employees who reject offers of re-employment may forfeit eligibility for continued unemployment compensation."