B/CS Chamber of Commerce Update on WTAW

President Glen Brewer visits with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia about their medical supply collection, money raised from the cancelled Crawfish Boil, upcoming webinars, the Brazos Valley COVID-19 Community Relief Fund, and more during his appearance on The Infomaniacs on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Listen to “B/CS Chamber of Commerce Update on The Infomaniacs” on Spreaker.

News release from the B/CS Chamber of Commerce:

I want to let you know that all of our businesses are in our thoughts and prayers right now as our country, state and Aggieland fight this pandemic. While practicing social distancing, your Chamber has been hard at work for business—reaching out personally to membership, closely following developing legislation, and raising relief money that is needed right now at home to support you, our business and nonprofit community.

I wanted to let you know about a few of the things that we are currently working on—

1) As the CARES Act has passed Congress, we have been following closely so that we are able to share information with our membership as soon as it is available. Here are BUSINESS-RELATED Highlights:
• Direct payments to Americans ($1,200 to $2,400; $500/child)
• Unemployment: expands eligibility and offers workers an additional $600 per week for four months, on top of what state programs pay; extends benefits through 12/31; applies to self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers
• Payroll taxes: The measure allows employers to delay the payment of their portion of 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022.
• Use of retirement funds: The bill waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related purposes, retroactive to Jan. 1. Withdrawals are still taxed, but taxes are spread over three years, or the taxpayer has the three-year period to roll it back over. 401(k) Loans: The loan limit is increased to $100,000
• Small business relief: Companies with 500 employees or fewer that maintain their payroll during coronavirus can receive up to 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance. If employers maintain payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven.
• Visit our COVID-19 Resource Page for more details.

2) The Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the United Way of the Brazos Valley and the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley to raise funding for disaster relief for local businesses and nonprofits. To donate, text BVCOD19 to 4-1-4-4-4 or Click here. Awards for the first round of funding will be tentatively delivered this week. Your Chamber donated $25,000 toward the fund.

3) Your chamber has been collecting data on the economic impact of COVID-19 in our area. We are compiling data to send to both cities and the county today and will release data to the media and membership later this week. Future surveys will follow to track changes.

4) We want to say a special thank you to our 2020 Crawfish Boil donors and our Chamber of Commerce Ag Council. Because of your generosity, we were able to participate in the online Brazos County Youth Livestock Show auction and bid over $12,500 on animals and projects.

5) Stay tuned for a Webinar series featuring resources for local businesses coming soon from the Chamber and member partners.

6) If your business needs immediate financial assistance—call your local banker! They are all reaching out to us to let the business community know they are here to help and to get your business through this!

We are still working hard to also utilize social media to share updates and information for our members. Please tag us on facebook, Instagram or twitter and we would be happy to share your post.

One thing that I would like to mention is how amazing it to see our community come together through this and see businesses and individuals stepping up and helping each other. You all make me proud every day to represent the business community of Bryan/College Station, and now more than ever is that true.

Stay strong, stay safe and we hope to see you all as soon as possible!