The 2020 hurricane season in the United States is predicted to be one of the most active in recent history. Twenty named storms and three to six major hurricanes are expected to form in the Atlantic Ocean. Though Tropical Storm Isaias brought only showers to Florida, it is forecasted to move up the East Coast as a category one hurricane. Just as the country attempts to control the pandemic’s escalation, states are faced with hurricane response efforts at the same time.

A recent McKinsey webinar explored how COVID-19 has impacted small businesses. Small to medium-sized businesses make up 99 percent of all firms and employ 47 percent of all private-sector workers. They also create two-thirds of net new jobs.

Before COVID-19, surveys show small businesses were optimistic about the economy. Now, however, almost 80 percent of small business owners are concerned about their firms’ sustainability. With limited liquidity, small businesses – especially those owned by minorities – are more likely to be at risk due to COVID.

On July 15, the Texas Association of Business, Texas Economic Development Council, Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, North Texas Commission, and other Texas businesses and stakeholders came together to launch the Texas Return to Work Initiative. This effort includes an interactive resource guide and series of  employer surveys intended to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on Texas businesses, employees, and economies. 

“We wanted to craft a program specifically to fill the gap that was left by the CARES Act,” said Lindsey Kimball, Director of Economic Development at Hillsborough County in Florida. On June 30, Hillsborough County launched three distinct small business assistance programs to form the Rapid Response Recovery Assistance Program (R3) to do just that.

Each program was designed to provide assistance based on the specific problems small businesses in Hillsborough County were experiencing. Whether it was a rapid infusion of capital, funding to hire more workers, or reimbursements to make your business safer, the R3 programs were created to help businesses keep their doors open after covid-19 forced them to close.

RESTORE YOUR ECONOMY

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