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 business updates.
The Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Fredericksburg Standard, hosted a virtual Candidate Forum for Fredericksburg’s mayoral and city council candidates on Thursday, October 15 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. via Zoom video conference.
CLICK HERE for the full length recorded event.
FREDERICKSBURG CHEVROLET RIBBON CUTTING
The Fredericksburg Chamber enjoyed a sit-down with Fredericksburg Chevrolet owners Roland and Melissa Smith and their General Manager & Business Partner Martin Dinh.
Did you miss our virtual presentation of "COVID Snapshot: Tracking Our Recovery," presented by
Weaver Technologies? You can listen to the recorded version, in its entirety, using the link below.
The Chamber thanks our presenting sponsor, and each of our industry snapshot presenters:
TECHNOLOGY | Donald Weaver, Weaver Technologies
HEALTHCARE | Jayne Pope, Hill Country Memorial
& Dr. Michael Johnson, Fredericksburg Clinic
AUTOMOTIVE | Kenny McCarty, McLane Ford
MANUFACTURING | Jay Mallinckrodt, Heartland Enterprises
CONSTRUCTION | Todd Eidson, Sierra Homes
& Seth Crain, Builders FirstSource
HOSPITALITY| Sarah Washburne, Austin Street Group
FINANCE | William Cowden, Security State Bank & Trust & Jack Pounds, Edward Jones
AVIATION | Ethan Crane, Fredericksburg FBO
REAL ESTATE | Toni Manchester
CENTURY 21, The Hills Realty
WINE | Casie Ward, Lost Draw Cellars & Kristen Nelson, Ab Astris Winery
Supplemental Order for Mandatory Wearing of Face Coverings at Commercial Establishments Open to the Public Extended Until November 2, 2020
The Supplemental Order issued on June 29, 2020, and extended on August 10, 2020, has been amended effective immediately, extending the order until November 2, 2020. According to this order, all commercial businesses operating inside the City of Fredericksburg, that provide goods or services directly to the public, must develop and implement a health and safety policy. This policy must require, at a minimum, that all employees and visitors to the commercial entity’s business premises or other facilities wear face coverings when in an area or performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public and where six (6) feet of separation is not feasible.
All persons ten (10) years of age or older shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a public place where it is difficult to keep six feet away from other people or working in areas that involve close proximity with other people or co-workers. The CDC recommends face coverings for all people two (2) years of age or older. Face coverings may include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas, or a handkerchief. City residents and visitors should continue to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while outside their home.
The regulations in this emergency order will now remain in effect until November 2, 2020, unless extended, modified, or terminated by the City Council, or if superseded by the County Judge or Governor of Texas. The Order can be read in its entirety at www.fbgtx.org.
CALL FOR BUSINESS LIABILITY PROTECTIONS
The United States Chamber of Commerce is asking Congress to include liability protections for businesses against unwarranted lawsuits related to COVID that threaten their ability to operate and the economy’s ability to recover. The request asks Congress to pass timely, temporary, and targeted liability relief that will provide employers, healthcare providers, non-profits, and educational institutions a safe harbor from these types of lawsuits when they make good-faith efforts to follow applicable public health guidelines.
This is a critical issue for a wide range of employers from distillers who switched to producing hand sanitizers, to manufacturers that transformed their operations to construct personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, to front line medical professionals treating the afflicted, to pharmaceutical companies that are expediting research into cures, to essential businesses that remained open, to colleges that are returning to school this Fall, to businesses that are just now reopening and seeing customers for the first time in months.
A safe-harbor will ensure that bad actors can be held accountable while simultaneously protecting those entities who are working to follow public health guidance. Specifically, the Chamber calls on Congress to put in place temporary protections for the duration of the pandemic crisis and response that cover:
Businesses and other entities that work to follow government guidelines against COVID-19 exposure claims.
Healthcare providers and facilities on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.
Manufacturers that repurposed production and distribution to provide PPE, sanitizers, and other needed countermeasures.
Click here to learn more or offer comment.
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)
EARLY VOTING EXTENDED
Governor Greg Abbott has extended the early voting period for the November 3rd Election by nearly a week. Early voting by personal appearance began on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, and continue through Friday, October 30, 2020. He also expanded the period in which marked mail-in ballots may be delivered in person to the early voting clerk’s office, allowing such delivery prior to as well as on Election Day.
Protecting our community is a language we can all speak! Soon, Chamber members will be seeing a local public health campaign developed by the Fredericksburg Convention & Visitor Bureau, in partnership with the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce and Gillespie County Economic Development Commission.
The PROTECT FBG flyer is available to download for display in your business, along with social media graphics and other resources.
The Board of the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce has drafted a letter to Governor Greg Abbott requesting the immediate opening of Texas wineries, and is seeking support from surrounding Chambers as co-signatories.
Individuals who wish to lend support of this initiative are encouraged to contact their respective elected officials or use this one-click advocacy tool.
The Chamber has also offered public comment in support of an infrastructure cost-share agreement with The McDonald Companies, who are working to develop a 110-unit apartment complex on Friendship Lane funded using 4% tax credits from the state. The development is expected to offer a mix of one, two and three bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from $822-$1,140.
The City agreed in a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Charlie Kiehne dissenting, to a 50/50 cost share on a water line extension and curb/gutter extension totaling approximately $40,000.
HIRING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal income tax benefit administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for employers who hire individuals from specified target populations. WOTC reduces a business’s federal tax liability, serving as an incentive to select job candidates who may be disadvantaged in their efforts to find employment.
The main objective of this program is to enable individuals to become employed, earn a steady income and become contributing taxpayers. WOTC joins other workforce programs that help provide incentives for workplace diversity and improve access to good jobs for American workers.
GUIDANCE FOR REFUSAL TO WORK
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) issued guidance on April 30,2020 to unemployment claimants concerning their continued eligibility for unemployment benefits (UI) should they refuse rehire.
Each UI benefits case is currently evaluated on an individual basis. However, because of the COVID-19 emergency, the following are reasons benefits would be granted if the individual refused suitable work.
Reason for refusal:
People 65 years or older, and/or people with medical issues, like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a weakened immune system, are at a higher risk for getting very sick from COVID‑19. (Source: DSHS website)
Household member at high risk – People 65 years or older are at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 (source DSHS website).
Diagnosed with COVID - the individual has tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and is not recovered.
Family member with COVID - anybody in the household has tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and is not recovered and 14 days have not yet passed.
Quarantined – individual is currently in 14-day quarantine due to close contact exposure to COVID-19.
Child care – Child’s school or daycare closed and no alternatives are available.
Any other situation will be subject to a case by case review by the Texas Workforce Commission based on individual circumstances.
The Texas Workforce Commission requires employers to report workers who refuse an offer to return to work at the same position level and wage, using this electronic form.