Category Archives: Government

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Enters Into Force

USMCA

On July 1, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement entered into force, officially replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement. USMCA is the first trade agreement ever to include a full chapter dedicated to small business interests. The modernization of trade with Mexico and Canada under USMCA is designed to benefit U.S. small businesses. It will also ensure more balanced trade. U.S. companies with fewer than 500 employees comprise 65 to 70 percent…

Read More

Pharr Reaches Out During Pandemic

Pharr has remained busy during COVID-19 era. (Courtesy)

The City of Pharr set up an emergency business loan program similar to other cities – and then did one better in reaching out to its community. The city established the Pharr COVID Recovery Center at its events center to handle all sort of inquiries related to the pandemic outbreak. Among those questions is how local businesses can apply for funds from the Pharr CARES Small Business Loan Program. It…

Read More

Back to Work: TWC Provides Acceptable Reasons for Refusal

The Texas Workforce Commission recently took action to provide guidance on eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits due to refusal to suitable work. Evaluations of each UI benefits case is currently on an individual basis. However, because of COVID-19, the following are reasons benefits would continue if an individual refuses work. Reason for refusal: People 65 years or older and/or people with medical issues. These include heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a…

Read More

Edinburg Economic Development Department Board Forms

Former Rep. Verónica Gonzáles is one of seven members now on the board of directors for the newly-created Edinburg Economic Development Department. (photo Paul Chouy)

The new Edinburg Economic Development Department now has a seven-member board of directors after appointments by the Edinburg City Council. The board consists of a former state representative, three previous members of the Edinburg EDC board of directors and three other prominent area leaders. The Edinburg Economic Development Department takes over the duties of the Edinburg EDC. The Edinburg EDC every year received millions from the city’s one-half cent sales…

Read More

Harlingen Launches Small Business Loan Program

The City of Harlingen and the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation have established the Harlingen’s Emergency Loan Program (HELP) for Small Business with $1,000,000. The HEDC will provide the emergency loans at zero interest to qualified businesses. Repayment of the loans will then start a year after fund disbursement. “Our business community is so interconnected and when businesses are hurting, it impacts others as well,” says HEDC President Mickey Boland. “The decision…

Read More

Traffic Volumes Dropping

Social distance practices and shelter in place directives from county judges appear to be having the effect intended. At least one Rio Grande Valley city reports significant declines in vehicular traffic. The City of McAllen reports a nearly 70 percent drop in normal vehicular traffic at two of its busiest intersections. Those locations are 2nd Street and Nolana Avenue and Ware Road and Nolana. Both intersections as of March 28…

Read More

Local Webinar Addresses SBA Disaster Loans

The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce joins the SBA’s Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office to provide a webinar about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program April 3 at 10 a.m. This webinar will address and inform small businesses with an interest in applying for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The program covers vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to…

Read More

McAllen Goes Green With Unique Facility

Grinding and processing brush at the McAllen Composting Facility.

Robert Treviño winds his city-issued truck through 20-foot-plus high piles of brush – grinded and raw – at the McAllen Composting Facility.  The city’s renewable resource manager oversees a facility that annually sells 25,000 bags of compost and mulch, and also hauls and delivers products all over South Texas. It’s a valuable commodity among growers and gardeners for the nutrients and microbial activity it provides to soils for plant use…

Read More

SBA Disaster Loans Available in Texas

Small businesses throughout the entire state of Texas are now eligible to apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans. “I’m encouraged by the collaboration between the Texas Governor’s Office and the SBA Disaster Team to rapidly make this recovery funding available to small businesses and nonprofits statewide,” said South Central Regional Administrator Justin Crossie. Small businesses are beginning to feel the impact from the spread of…

Read More

Local Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Begins

coronavirus

Starr County began offering drive-through coronavirus testing on Sunday while Cameron and Hidalgo counties saw their number of COVID-19 cases grow over the weekend. The first coronavirus-confirmed patient in Hidalgo County is from McAllen. The second also resides in the county, but health officials did not state in which city the patient lives. Both patients were infected away from the Rio Grande Valley before returning home and showing symptoms. Cameron…

Read More