Check out our monthly (January 2021) Downtown Economic Recovery Update, a collection of statistics and updates on commercial real estate, residential, retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.
We hosted a Membership event in December featuring updates on the METRONext Moving Forward plan including details on how METRO is serving riders during COVID-19.
CITY OF HOUSTON MUNICIPAL COURTS EXTENDS SUSPENSION OF ALL JURY TRIALS AND JURY DUTY TO INCLUDE ALL IN-PERSON HEARINGS, ARRAIGNMENTS, JUDGE TRIALS, AND NON-ISSUE SETTINGS STARTING JANUARY 1, 2021 UNTIL FURTHER NOTIFICATION (12/29/2020)
Due to changing circumstances regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and to encourage the health and safety of the public and court staff members from the spread of the COVID-19, the
City of Houston Municipal Courts Department has extended the suspension of ALL JURY TRIALS and JURY DUTY, ARRAIGNMENTS, JUDGE TRIALS AND NON-ISSUE SETTINGS starting JANUARY 1, 2021 UNTIL FURTHER NOTIFICATION in conjunction with the Texas Supreme Court’s Order. The Court remains open for all other proceedings.
If your jury trial was scheduled from September 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, resets will continue to be given. The resets can also be requested by mail. Please visit the Municipal Courts’ website at www.houstontx.gov/courts for information on all court locations and hours of operation. It is important to note that if an individual fails to reset their case(s) when Municipal Court resumes operations, an arrest warrant may be issued.
GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF THE REOPEN TEXAS PLAN EFFECTIVE JUNE 26
Per Governor Abbott’s order, effective at noon June 26, all bars and similar establishments must close. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out.
Beginning Monday, June 29, restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50 percent of total listed indoor occupancy. Previously, restaurants were allowed to operate at 75 percent of capacity.
Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions, and rafting and tubing businesses must close.
HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE HIDALGO RAISES COVID-19 LEVEL SYSTEM EFFECTIVE JUNE 26
In Harris County on June 26 , Judge Hidalgo announced a change in the COVID-19 threat level system, which advises county residents on the local level of transmission. Judge Hidalgo raised the threat level from Level 2, “significant and uncontrolled level of COVID-19,” to Level 1, meaning that “residents should minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs.” Judge Hidalgo also issued a Stay Home advisory, which encourages residents to remain at home whenever possible.
GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT ANNOUNCES WHICH TEXAS BUSINESSES CAN OPEN EFFECTIVE MAY 1
The Governor’s Report to Open Texas outlines two initial phases. Phase 1, starting Friday, May 1, includes all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums, libraries, churches and places of worship being allowed to reopen with occupancy limited to no more than 25 percent. Interactive exhibits at museums and libraries must remain closed at this time. Phase 2 will proceed once two weeks of state data show no flareups of COVID-19, which could be as early as May 18. Phase 2 would increase occupancy for the above-listed businesses to 50 percent.
DISASTER RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund are helping Texas provide $50 million in loans to small businesses to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for the program are live on Liftfund Houston.
The safety of our residents, workers and visitors is of the utmost importance to us here at Central Houston. We are monitoring all recommendations and updates from government officials surrounding COVID-19 and we will inform our stakeholders of relevant changes. The first priority for everyone is to take appropriate steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure our entire community remains healthy.
During this difficult time, our mission is to help businesses, stakeholders and members understand the resources available. In addition, we are working closely with state and local officials to advocate on your behalf.
We’ll continue to revise this list, but please feel free to reach out to these businesses directly for any questions:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economy Security Act (CARES Act) provides over $350+ billion in Federal support for small business. Our partner, gener8tor, has created a CARES Act Emergency Guide presentation that encapsulates the big takeaways and also links to additional resources.
America's Small Business Development Center Network - COVID-19 Small Business Resources
SBA Disaster Assistance - SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus
US Chamber of Commerce - Combating the Coronavirus, Coronavirus Response Toolkit & Resources to Help Your Small Business Survive the Coronavirus
IRS- special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO)- features tips, advice, reports, research and more.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers & Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
Tech Against Coronavirus - Software Solution (i.e. Slack, Toggl, Zoom, Google Handouts)
Facebook for Business – Small Business Grants Program
State, Local and Other Resources:
The Greater Houston Business Recovery Center (GHBRC) is a business-led recovery program connecting businesses to available recovery resources. As a first step in this program, the Partnership aims to inform its members and Houston’s business community about federal programs and opportunities designed to help companies weather and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist
Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) - COVID-19 Resources Employer
State of Texas - Information for Businesses, Events, and Venues
Greater Houston Partnership - Houston coronavirus resources
Houston First- resources and support for Houston’s hospitality industry.
The U.S. Travel Association- comprehensive tool kit.
Retail Strategies- Small Business Resource Guide
Tools to help you remote work and/or deliver your services online.
Additional resources offered by our Central Houston partners:
ImpactHub, a locally rooted, globally connected, nonprofit organization that inspires, connects and empowers people working to solve social problems in our city and around the world.
Gener8tor, a Madison, Wisconsin-based nationally ranked, turnkey accelerator platform focused on the creative economy connecting startups, entrepreneurs, artists, investors, universities and corporations.
- gener8tor Emergency Response Program – Daily Webinars
- CARES Act Emergency Guide presentation that encapsulates the big takeaways
MassChallege, a Boston-based globally recognized 501 (C)(3) non-profit startup accelerator
- COVID-19 Innovation Summit Recap: How Leaders and Innovators Are Tackling the Pandemic
- Articles - Flybridge Advice to CEOs and Founders in light of COVID-19
The Cannon, is an organization that develops and manages startup hubs -- workspaces for entrepreneurs that surround them with all the resources they need to succeed.
- The Latest News & Startup Tips from The Cannon Community - Resources For Navigating Coronavirus (Updated 3.19)
Alice, the world’s first 100% virtual accelerator.
Techstars is an American seed accelerator founded in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado. As of 2019, the company had accepted over 1,600 companies into its programs with a combined market capitalization of $18.2 billion USD.
- Crowdsourcing Solutions
- Tech Platform: Global Innovation Exchange, is a platform for sharing and seeking solutions that invites participants to explore and add potential ideas and Innovations that may be relevant to COVID-19.
- Advice: State SBA Crisis Loan Resources - COVID-19, Techstars Kansas City Managing Director Lesa Mitchell offers her advice on applying for loans from the SBA.
- Guide: How startups can benefit from the new federal stimulus bill, Pilot’s guide to the Paycheck Protection Program and CARES Act for startups.
- Guide: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act, the programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now.
The Ion is continuing to be a resource to the entrepreneurial community during these unstable times.