Texas Border Business
Trey Mendez, an attorney by trade leads the landmark City of Brownsville Texas. For years he saw the need for long term planning and decided to run for mayor, as of 2019 he leads the largest city in the Rio Grande Valley.
In this issue, learn more about him and his plans to provide citywide connectivity. Also, the plans to enhance Glady’s Porter Zoo, one of their major tourist attractions. And how his leadership has coped with COVID-19.
On other matters, Hidalgo County Clerk Arturo Guajardo, Jr. has launched a free fraud alert service that will notify a property owner when his or her name is used in any recording activity in the Official Records Department.
He told Texas Border Business, “Most people don’t check their county records unless they are planning to sell or refinance their property,” said Guajardo. “By then, it may be too late. Our property alert system is one more tool that residents can use to protect themselves from thieves.” Read more in this issue and register.
Good news for small businesses. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is one of 30 of his Senate colleagues to cosponsor the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, legislation that would streamline forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits a simple, one-page attestation form to the lender.
Approximately 4.2 million PPP loans, of $150,000 or less, account for 85 percent of all PPP approved loans but only 26 percent of the PPP funds delivered. The bill is endorsed by over 200 trade groups and associations, earning the support of small business groups like the National Federation of Independent Business, local and national lending associations representing credit unions and bankers, and labor groups like the Independent Electrical Contractors. More in this issue.
Texas wineries and distilleries are facing a crisis. As Texas continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, tasting rooms at hundreds of wineries and distilleries remain closed, limiting consumer access, negatively affecting sales, impacting jobs, and reducing much-needed tax revenue for local and state governments.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order closing bars had the unintended consequence of forcing Texas winery and distillery tasting rooms to close.
Industry leaders today announced the launch of separate grassroots efforts to educate, advocate, and mobilize Texans in support of these two key drivers of the small business community and the state’s economy. More in this issue.
Outstanding technology: The Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents are utilizing small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) to assist with border security and apprehensions.
McAllen agents working in Mission, Texas, requested the assistance of the sUAS team to help search the dense brush after subjects were seen illegally entering the United States. Upon deployment, the sUAS team located the group and guided the agents who arrested the illegal aliens. More inside.
Great News: Hidalgo County launched the Mortgage and Rent Relief Program to assist rural county residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with short-term mortgage and rental assistance, Hidalgo County Community Service Agency Executive Director Jaime Longoria said on Monday. Qualifying residents will get assistance paying their mortgage or rent for up to two months.
Funding for this assistance program comes directly from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act enacted by Congress earlier this year. The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court set aside $7.5 million to fund this program.
Enjoy and be safe!