• Resources for Businesses

    SBA Loans

    The SBA has now approved all counties in Texas in its Economic Injury Disaster Declaration and granted access to its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which will provide long-term, low-interest loans to qualifying businesses across the state. Please visit this website to apply.

    Sales Tax Payments

    The Texas Comptroller has established a hotline for businesses who have questions about sales tax payments: (800) 252-8880.

     

    For businesses seeking tax payment assistance and waivers of penalties and interest, from the Comptroller:

    These are challenging times for businesses all over the nation. The Texas Comptroller’s office knows that during periods of economic hardship, paying or remitting taxes and fees on time can feel like an extra burden when there’s so much uncertainty. We’re thankful to those businesses that were able to remit state and local sales taxes they collected from customers in February on the March 20, 2020, due date.


    We understand that virtually all of our taxpayers are doing their best to remain in compliance and be responsible in submitting the taxes they collected from their customers. With that in mind, our agency is here to offer assistance to those businesses that are struggling to pay the full amount of sales taxes they collected in February.


    For businesses that find themselves in this situation, our agency is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest.
    We ask that you contact our Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880 to learn about your options for remaining in compliance and avoiding interest and late fees on taxes due.


    In addition, we have a variety of online tools for businesses seeking assistance. See our COVID-19 emergency response webpage for access to online tools, tutorials and other resources for tax services, and to establish 24/7 online account access with Webfile.


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    Tarrant Conty Order

    On March 21st, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley ordered new restrictions on Tarrant County businesses to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can read more and see a chart of affected businesses here.  

    Critical Infrastructure Businesses

    On March 22, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley amended an order clarify language provided by the Department of Homeland Security as to what critical infrastructure businesses should operate in accordance with CDC guidelines. See the order here. More information and guidance on critical infrastructure businesses can be seen here.

    Mass Claims and Shared Work (TWC)

    Facing Layoffs? Check out TWC’s Mass Claims Program

    If you have to close your business either temporarily or permanently and need to lay off employees, you may be able to submit a mass claim for unemployment benefits on their behalf. The Mass Claims program streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs. Employers can submit basic worker information on behalf of their employees to initiate claims for unemployment benefits. You can submit a mass claim request on Employer Benefits Services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Note: If you have already laid off staff, you cannot use Employer Benefits Services (EBS) to submit a Mass Claim. If your layoff date was in the past and you have 10 or more employees affected by the pandemic, email TWC’s Mass Claims Coordinator at: ui.massclaims@twc.state.tx.us and ask us to provide Mass Claims documents to submit manually. Make sure your email contains the following information:

    • Company’s name, address, phone and fax number, and TWC Tax Account Number
    • Contact person’s name (authorized representative with signature authority)
    • Contact’s email address, phone and fax number
    • The layoff date and how many employees were affected

    Our Mass Claims department will send the documents to you as soon as possible.

     

    Need to Reduce Employee Hours? Check out TWC’s Shared Work Program

    If your business has slowed down due to the pandemic and you need to reduce employee working hours, you may be able to avoid laying off employees by submitting a shared work plan. The Shared Work program provides Texas employers with an alternative to layoffs. TWC developed this voluntary program to help Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business.

    Shared Work allows employers to:

    • Supplement their employees’ wages lost because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits.
    • Reduce normal weekly work hours for employees in an affected unit by at least 10 percent but not more than 40 percent; the reduction must affect at least 10 percent of the employees in that unit.

    Shared Work unemployment benefits are payable to employees who qualify for and participate in an approved Shared Work Plan. Workers may choose not to participate. Employees who qualify will receive both wages and Shared Work unemployment benefits.

    For more information, see TWC’s Shared Work web page.

     

    Learn more.

    Guidance on Issues Small Businesses Will Encounter

    From the Small Business Administration:

    • Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business's financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it. See SBA’s capital access resources.
    • Workforce Capacity – Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It’s critical to ensure they have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected.
    • Inventory and Supply Chain Shortfalls – While the possibility could be remote, it is a prudent preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event one supplier cannot meet an order request.
    • Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.
    • Insurance Coverage Issues – Many businesses have business interruption insurance; Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.
    • Changing Market Demand – Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand.
    • Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.
    • Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA’s website here

    Resources to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

    From the Small Business Administration:

    The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.

    • To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use the guidance described below and on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page.
    • Below are recommended strategies for employers to use now. In-depth guidance is available on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page:
      • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
        Separate sick employees
      • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
      • Perform routine environmental cleaning
      • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
        • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from designated countries with risk of community spread of Coronavirus, and information for aircrew, can be found on the CDC website.
      • Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
        • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
        • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.