Category Archives: News

Weslaco Western Store Creates New Opportunities 

Sandy Pena looks over inventory she wants to feature on her store's website.

Sandy Pena is at one of her store counters, entering inventory to soon be featured on her website. It’s early June and in downtown Weslaco the temperatures already feel like mid-August. Inside Lionel’s Western Wear & Boutique, Pena is upbeat and feeling the new possibilities in the midst of a pandemic.  “I’m not depressed or dejected at all,” Pena said. “I’m optimistic about retail. I think there’s still a place…

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Project COVID Care Helps Elderly & Disabled

Johnny Llanes and Drea Labanzat make a delivery to a resident in need. (Courtesy)

Violet Metz became concerned in March as grocery store lines grew and local governments issued shelter-in-place orders. “At my age, security is such a huge concern,” said Metz, 81, a McAllen resident. “If I really need something, will I be able to get it?” It was an extraordinary period of time in March going into April as the COVID-19 pandemic set in. The general panic being felt in the community-at-large…

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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…

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Moonshiner Bring Slice Of Ozarks

Jerrod Leon Henry stands by his copper still in Los Fresnos.

Tape holds up a distiller’s and rectifier’s permit from the state to the front window of Jerrod Leon Henry’s emerging business. A gold 120-gallon copper still made in Tennessee sits inside of what will become the Rio Grande Distillery and Magic Valley Moonshine. It’s on Highway 100 on the outskirts of Los Fresnos. Traffic buzzes by on the way to Port Isabel and South Padre Island. Henry is bringing a…

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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…

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Border Trade Alliance Elects Contreras as Chairman

Sergio Contreras, the president and CEO of the RGV Partnership, has been elected chairman of the Border Trade Alliance. Contreras takes the helm of the BTA board during a time of challenge for the cross-border trade community. “I am honored to assume the chairmanship of the Border Trade Alliance, one of the nation’s most respected trade advocacy groups, at a time when our work has never been more important,” Contreras…

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TWC Expands Skill Enhancements to UI Claimants

New virtual skills enhancement opportunities are coming from the Texas Workforce Commission for individuals receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits. According to TWC, Texas has a historic number of UI beneficiaries as a result of COVID-19. The result is an increase in need for a range of services to support Texas businesses and workers. This includes the need to enhance the skills of unemployed Texans to prepare to reconnect to the Texas…

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Mandates Are Not Pro-Business

Pro-business. Pro-business autonomy. Pro-personal freedom. You cannot support one without the others. VBR is and always has been a pro-business advocate for our Rio Grande Valley businesses and families. Current mandated mask orders on businesses in both Hidalgo and Cameron counties are government overstep. These are dangerous precedents, and we cannot and will not support them. Hidalgo and Cameron county officials are stepping on the rights of business owners ……

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UTRGV Offering Online Services For Job Searches

job search

The UTRGV Career Center is currently providing students with a number of tools to help in their job search. “Right now, it is very tentative. There are some industries that are doing well, so usually it is looking like individuals that have degrees are faring a lot better than those individuals who did not,” said Lourdes Servantes, the center’s associate director. More than 1.6 million people are unemployed in Texas.…

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