The Rio Grande Valley and the rest of the United States is facing a crisis like no other in a generation, causing massive disruptions across all industries. However, the Rio Grande Valley will come out of this stronger, reinvigorated with an energy to build a better future.
The COVID-19, coronavirus pandemic, has swept across the country and into our Valley communities. We’re already responding to the challenge. Our local elected leaders, especially county judges, acted quickly in issuing shelter in place directives and social distancing guidelines.
The vast majority of our residents are paying heed to that call. They’re staying home and doing their part to flatten the curve. We must all continue to do our part.
We ask that you find ways to support our healthcare professionals (our heroes) as they care for those who become ill due to the virus.
Understand as well that our educators have challenges of their own as they meet the challenge of connecting with students via distance learning. We ask that you continue to communicate with our school district board members and administrators to identify innovative programs to continue to have robust school districts.
It’s been heartening to see how so many of our small businesses in the RGV have responded proactively to the crisis. Restaurants that have seen their dining rooms closed quickly ramped up their delivery and drive-through services. Other businesses that are accustomed to having customers come to them are now going directly to their clients with products and customized orders.
Local companies in the manufacturing sector are pivoting their production lines to support our first responders. It is impressive to see how quickly many local businesses shifted to produce ventilators, hand sanitizer, and masks with pride in their hearts to support our local community.
This is the sort of spirit we are accustomed to seeing in the Valley. It’s in our DNA to be resilient in taking some tough blows and come out on the other side stronger. Be it coming back from hurricanes or dealing with Mexican peso devaluations, our Valley communities have absorbed some hard jolts and rebounded with vigor and innovation.
This current challenge will prove to be no different. Collectively, we will pivot and innovate for a better future!
Congress passed a massive stimulus package that includes direct payments of $1,200 to Americans and bolstered unemployment funds to help those displaced by the coronavirus crisis.
The CARES Act in the third stimulus package provided a $350 billion relief package that features the Paycheck Protection Program, which is now in dire need to be replenished in the fourth stimulus package. This program is designed to get cash quickly into the hands of small businesses that have taken a hit due to the crisis. Loan forgiveness will be granted for this program if a business keeps its employees on the payroll for eight weeks.
The Small Business Administration also offers the Economic Injury Disaster Loans. No loan repayments will be due before 12 months with a $10,000 loan advance made within three days of a successful application.
The Rio Grande Valley Partnership stands ready to help facilitate and support all of these efforts to help our local businesses get back on their feet in the aftermath of this crisis.
Let’s continue to help each other and pray that we get through the difficulties of these times. We will get past this and go into a new era in a Rio Grande Valley that will continue to grow and prosper.