Governor Abbott smiles broadly at the screen as the live Zoom broadcast begins shortly after 11:30 am today. "Let me move over so you can see the great seal of Texas," he smiles again as he adjusts his position. Gov. Abbott is about to announce a new program for small business owners.

" We can not ignore the economic impact coronavirus has caused and Texans need relief, so they can provide for their families and meet their families needs." Gov. Abbott begins, " We need to work to restore the livelihoods of Texas." Abbott offers. With that, Governor Abbott announces a $50 million dollar microloan from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Business Initiative for small business for Texas in combination with the LiftFund initiative loan.

On the split screen alongside Abbott, John Waldron of Goldman Sachs offers, " Goldman Sachs has long recognized the catalyst Texas' small businesses provide for the economy. We launched a 10,000 Small Business program in 2009, providing education and capitol to small businesses and during Harvey we were guided by a single mission to offer our longstanding support of Texas growth." Goldman Sachs is offering this microloan again in the wake of COVID-19.

The total $500 million dollar package also includes a $25 million dollar grant for the needs of front line workers. According to Goldman Sachs, through the paycheck protection program, partial or whole portions of the loan may even be forgiven.

To learn more about PPP loans click here.

Also joining the governor throughout the program are Texas business owners, Brent Reaves, of Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que, as well as Patricia and Clint Butler, owners of Coffeecionado and Michele and Mitch Allen, owners of iRun Texas; all businesses who will be postivively impacted by new loan programs.

Also sharing the live stream screen is, LiftFund  president Janie Barrera offering that, "LiftFund is a not for profit community development financial institution." According to its website, Liftfund "helps finance new small business and start up companies." Janie offers additionally that LiftFund will go live today for faster appointment streaming.

" We collaborated with LiftFund to rebuild from Harvey, and now we are collaborating with LiftFund to rebuild from Covid-19." Abbott offers.

After the announcement Gov. Abbott offers that, "Our primary goal is to reduce to spread of Covid-19, contain it and make sure the state is safe"  while offering whe=at he calls "some good news, glimmers of hope, with red flags attached" by explaining that  numbers across the country show the lowest number of people in a week affected by covid-19 means "we are truly flattening the curves". For Texas, it was the lowest count in a week and the second lowest since late March.

Here are other important notes from today's Zoom meeting:

  • Texas ranks second in the highest number of recovered COVID patients in the nation.
  • Over 4 million masks and 2 million gloves have recently been shipped to Texas.
  • Although a record number of Texans have applied for unemployment, the Texas Workforce Commission has processed over a million claims, paying out over 400 million dollars.
  • Later this week Abbott is going to evaluate what must be done for Texas to open back up consistent with data and medical advice.
  • Abbott spoke to both the President and VP over the weekend to work on the strategies for slowly and safely opening the states, including Texas.
  • Only business that have zero impact on the spread of Covid -19 will be allowed to reopen in Texas first.
  • Expect an important announcement for Texas schools later this week.

Gov. Abbott thanked both Goldman Sachs and LiftFUnd for their "lifeline to Texans".

To see a recap of the Zoom meeting, click here on PBS Newshour or watch below.

Let's get back to work safely Texas. Thank you to all the small business in our great state. We are rooting for you all to recover!

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