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Business advice during Corona – TCOG facilitates economic seminar for local businesses and cities
By Texoma Council of Governments
May 15, 2020
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Sherman, Texas -- TCOG Community and Economic Development hosted an informative presentation for area cities and businesses on the ways to help our communities recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, on Wednesday May 13.  Guest speakers included statewide and regional economic development experts offering suggestions for cities on ways to create opportunity from small business and industry reeling from coronaviruses shut downs.

Featured speaker was Jeff Moseley, former head of Economic Development and Tourism for the state of Texas, advisor to the Governor’s office, and current CEO of the Texas Association of Business, Texas’ largest business association. He spoke on funding updates, health concerns about returning to work, statewide economic recovery projections and investing in Texas.

He also highlighted legislation from the past and proposed, that could help the efforts. He offered one glimmer of real hope in his prognosis for the future: that some experts believe our recovery could be a V curve bounce back. A quick and strong recovery once we get through this, due to the strong business environment Texas has cultivated.

Regional economic development experts spoke next, Audrey Schroyer of Gainesville EDC, William Myers of Denison Business Alliance, Stephen Filipowicz of Bonham EDC, they discussed what initiatives have been introduced in their own communities and how they have helped. 

Audrey Schroyer of the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation shared the community efforts put in place for communicating up-to-date information to the citizens and business community, as well as best Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) program practices during these times. Ms. Schroyer also shared her perspective on how EDCs and communities need to be proactive, creative and flexible in moving forward with respect to programming, strategic planning and budgeting.

William Myers of Denison Development Alliance spoke about Denison Mayor Gott’s effort to communicate with state and federal elected officials and to keep Denison residents and businesses informed, he also shared info about the Denison Development Foundation Small Business Emergency Loan for additional info go to www.denisontx.org/apply and the City of Denison‘s “Reopening Denison” information campaign https://www.discoverdenison.com/discover/page/reopening-denison. He urged communities to increase Business Recruitment & Expansion Program efforts and the need for communities to encourage more businesses to establish online presence and E-commerce capabilities. 

Stephen Filipowicz of Bonham EDC spoke of the business grants and loans programs they have created for City of Bonham businesses. BEDCo Emergency Assistance (EA) Round #1 grants, now finished, was a program offered to City of Bonham businesses totaling $49,600 in grants of $1,600 each, awarded to 31 eligible Bonham businesses. He introduced the new Bonham/BEDCo Emergency Assistance (EA) Round #2, which has set aside $150,000 for 0% APR loans to eligible, creditworthy Bonham businesses. Loans are not to exceed a maximum of $10,000 per applicant and to be repaid within forty-eight months. Fact Sheet and application information is available on Bonham Economic Development Corporation Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bonecodev/

In addition, Catherine Krantz, TCOG Community & Economic Development Planner announced that the Texoma Economic Development District will be launching a new website and data tool in the coming months, specifically designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The software platform will provide business owners access to a tremendous amount of data with very specialized and individualized market research, to help them identify opportunities and insights about their business and the region. All presenters were helpful, informative and optimistic about our prospects in Texoma, showing what we can do to make the best of our current situation and be ready to recover. For business owners wanting additional resources on funding opportunities or technical assistance they suggested reaching out to the Grayson Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which can be found at http://www.graysonsbdc.org/ 

For more information about presenters and programs, you can contact TCOG Community & Economic Development Planner, Catherine Krantz at ckrantz@tcog.com, Audrey Schroyer at ASchroyer@cogtx.org, William Myers at wmyers@denisontx.org and Stephen Filipowicz at sfilipowicz@cityofbonham.org