President's Message

Jason Ray

March 2020

Jason


EarthFest is a great opportunity for the business community to steward a special East Fort Worth asset, support our local university and its students, and have some fun.

Earth Fest logo

EARTHFEST @ TANDY HILLS

Saturday, April 18, 2020
8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Tandy Hills Natural Area
3225 View St., Fort Worth, TX

Details about the April 18 event can be found at this link: EarthFest at Tandy Hills

Speaking of environmental opportunities, in January the EFWBA Board of Directors signed on to a letter endorsing the preservation of Broadcast Hill. As we learned at the February meeting, Broadcast Hill is part of the Cross Timbers and Prairies Ecological Region that contains unique species of plants that can only be found in North and Central Texas. We hope our support will encourage the city and others to preserve this unique part of the East Fort Worth community.

April 2, 2020 MEETING CANCELLED!


Small Business information from the City:

My name is Martha Obermiller, and I am the Revitalization Coordinator here in the Economic Development Department at the City of Fort Worth. I just wanted to pass along information and resources for East FW businesses and business owners in case they're in need of assistance or information during this COVID-19 outbreak. Please feel free to reach out if there is any additional assistance our office can offer. I hope to connect further with you post this outbreak.

All the best,
Martha Obermiller

Strategic Development & Revitalization Coordinator
Economic Development Department
1150 S. Freeway Suite 106
Fort Worth, 76104
(817) 392-2610


The City of Fort Worth is continuing to monitor and assess the impact to the business community from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is critical that Fort Worth's business community take all necessary steps to help the city reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, there are a number of resources being pulled together at the local, state and federal levels to assist business owners during these challenging times. Along with a variety of resources offered by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Fort Worth HR to provide tools and resources to local employers and Human Resource professionals as it pertains to their employees and COVID-19.

Common issues that small businesses may encounter

Capital access. Incidents can strain a small business's financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it. View the SBA's capital access resources.

Workforce capacity. Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It's critical to ensure that your workers have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected.

Inventory and supply chain shortfalls. While the possibility could be remote, it's a good preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event that one supplier cannot meet an order request.

Facility remediation/clean-up costs. Depending on the incident, there may be a need to improve the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity that your business cleans surfaces that are frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.

Insurance coverage issues. Many businesses have business interruption insurance. Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.

Changing market demand. Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be concerns about public exposure to an incident, and customers may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA's resources partners and district offices have trained experts who can help craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand.

Marketing. It's critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you've implemented, and how customers will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.

Plan. As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. More information on how to create a business continuity plan is located further down this page. It's also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA's website.

SBA Products and assistance

The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) can assist small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their own preparedness plans as described by the CDC's Guidance for Businesses and Employers.

SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor and train small businesses. The SBA has 68 District Offices, as well as support provided by its Resource Partners, such as SCORE offices, Women's Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. Resource partners such as SCORE and the Tarrant Small Business Development Center can be reached at the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, located at 1150 S. Freeway, Fort Worth, TX 76104.

Access to capital

SBA provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business. More information on loans or how to connect with a lender is available on the SBA website.

Access to lending partners

SBA has developed Lender Match, a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders within 48 hours. Many of these programs can also be accessed at the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center.

7(a) program offers loan amounts up to $5,000,000 and is an all-inclusive loan program deployed by lending partners for eligible small businesses within the U.S. States and its territories. The uses of proceeds include: working capital; expansion/renovation; new construction; purchase of land or buildings; purchase of equipment, fixtures; lease-hold improvements; refinancing debt for compelling reasons; seasonal line of credit; inventory; or starting a business. Express loan program provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than 7 years with an option to revolve. There is a turnaround time of 36 hours for approval or denial of a completed application. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.

Community Advantage loan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in underserved markets with a maximum loan size of $250,000. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan. 504 loan program is designed to foster economic development and job creation and/or retention. The eligible use of proceeds is limited to the acquisition or eligible refinance of fixed assets.

Microloan program involves making loans through nonprofit lending organizations to underserved markets. Authorized use of loan proceeds includes working capital, supplies, machinery & equipment, and fixtures (does not include real estate). The maximum loan amount is $50,000 with the average loan size of $14,000.

SBA Disaster Assistance Loans

The SBA is also providing targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that are severely impacted by the situation surrounding COVID-19. These Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance, and can provide economic support to small businesses to help them overcome the temporary loss of revenue they might be experiencing.

Visit the SBA website to learn more about accessing COVID-19 Disaster Relief Lending.

Business continuity plans

Every business should have an emergency plan to ensure that its resources aren't overwhelmed in times of need, and that their customers will continue to receive products or services on time. Additionally, costs can add up if the business is forced to close for an undetermined amount of time.

Businesses who are prepared with a plan can resume service faster, and might be able to assist with community recovery.

Elements of a business continuity plan

Determine and document which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep your business operating.

Identify and document your suppliers, shippers, and other important resources. Define and document crisis management procedures and individual responsibilities in advance.

Plan for your building or brick-and-mortar location to be inaccessible. Plan for payroll continuity.

Include employees from all levels in your planning, to ensure that it makes sense from all perspectives, from front-line to management.

Keep both digital and physical copies of important records – lease agreements, insurance policies, employee contract and identification information, bank account records, etc. – in multiple secure locations.

If your business is a multi-tenant building or complex, consider working with neighboring businesses to share resources and create a continuity plan that covers all of your needs.

Learn more about creating a continuity plan by viewing FEMA's Business Continuity Guide.

Robert Sturns
Director Economic Development
City of Fort Worth

You are Invited!

We invite every business owner, professional person, firm, corporation or non-profit organization, to join us for our monthly meetings where you will meet other business owners, individuals and city officials that influence our lives.

The mission is still the same today for this long-lived organization. It was founded in 1974 as a 501(c)4 so that it could be involved in non-partisan political issues. Working with the neighborhoods and Fort Worth City Government offices for the betterment of East Fort Worth sometimes leads to involvement in the political arena.


Monthly Meetings

Meetings at
MEADOWBROOK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
3900 Meadowbrook Drive
Fort Worth 76103
– Fellowship Hall –
at North end of church complex, closest to Meadowbrook Dr.

Doors Open 11:30, meeting at 11:45 a.m.

Join Early!
2020 Membership Special!

Renew or Join before March 2020:

Membership and Lunch for $200.00, save $25.

RSVP & PAY TODAY!

SKIP THE LINE! Pay online.

Lunch: $15 members • $20 non-members
Prepaid lunches are your RSVP.

Single Lunch & RSVP

Lunch

March 2020:
Tarrant County District Attorney
Sharen Wilson

Sharen Wilson, DA

Sharen Wilson took office as the Criminal District Attorney of Tarrant County in January 2015. As the leader of Tarrant County's largest "law firm", Sharen has modernized the office by reorganizing its resources and creating new specialized units to meet the changing criminal justice needs of the nation's 15th most populous county. She created the first special units for the prosecution of Intimate Partner Violence and Elder Financial Fraud, two increasingly prevalent crimes in Tarrant County. In the spirit of her commitment to equal justice for all, she also created the county's first Conviction Integrity Unit, which has quickly earned a national reputation for its innovative, integrated approach.

Among her achievements, Sharen has led the way statewide in ensuring accountability and transparency in the criminal justice system. She has developed comprehensive Discovery Compliance protocols for law enforcement agencies and crime labs – the first such policies in Texas – which have been adopted by DA's offices around the state. In its most recent session, the Texas Legislature passed recommendations for district attorneys statewide regarding how to manage jailhouse informants, which were modeled after procedures created and implemented by Sharen in Tarrant County. A fiscal conservative, she has managed the office to a budget surplus each year, and was featured by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association for compiling the first Annual Report to Tarrant County residents on the status of the Criminal District Attorney's office, which she has released each year of her tenure.

Sharen Wilson took office as the Criminal District Attorney of Tarrant County in January 2015. As the leader of Tarrant County's largest "law firm", Sharen has modernized the office by reorganizing its resources and creating new specialized units to meet the changing criminal justice needs of the nation's 15th most populous county. She created the first special units for the prosecution of Intimate Partner Violence and Elder Financial Fraud, two increasingly prevalent crimes in Tarrant County. In the spirit of her commitment to equal justice for all, she also created the county's first Conviction Integrity Unit, which has quickly earned a national reputation for its innovative, integrated approach.

Among her achievements, Sharen has led the way statewide in ensuring accountability and transparency in the criminal justice system. She has developed comprehensive Discovery Compliance protocols for law enforcement agencies and crime labs – the first such policies in Texas – which have been adopted by DA's offices around the state. In its most recent session, the Texas Legislature passed recommendations for district attorneys statewide regarding how to manage jailhouse informants, which were modeled after procedures created and implemented by Sharen in Tarrant County. A fiscal conservative, she has managed the office to a budget surplus each year, and was featured by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association for compiling the first Annual Report to Tarrant County residents on the status of the Criminal District Attorney's office, which she has released each year of her tenure.

(Slideshow: picture advances every 3 seconds.)

March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020 March 2020

Thank you for the Door Prizes!

We want to thank these members for their Door Prize donations:

mexican inn cafe logo

and East Fort Worth Business Association Partnership

 original location

When the original Mexican Inn building on East Lancaster began sliding down the hill in the back, Chris Carrol, owner of the Mexican Inns and Spring Creek Barbeque restaurants, made a wonderful decision for East Fort Worth. He would build a new facility on the same property after demolishing the old building.

My son Jim and I owned and published the Greater Meadowbrook News at the time, and Jim decided we had to have an interview and pictures before the demolition took place. Those of us who have been here for some time loved the beautiful old tiles and atmosphere of the original building and Jim wanted to preserve as much as we could.

Chris Carroll was delighted to meet with Jim and the pictures were made and the history shared.

big money check

When the new building was completed and a grand opening date was decided on, Becky Carroll came to our Oakland office to determine how we could form a partnership for the good of East Fort Worth. Becky and I decided on a Spirit Night where East Fort Worth Business Association would get the people there and Mexican Inn would share the proceeds from the evening with us. That was in April of 2006 and we have been partnering twice a year since. No restrictions were put on the use of those dollars. The partnership has meant $28,000 over the years which East Fort Worth Business Association has used mostly for educational projects!

East Fort Worth Business Association has been an organization involved with economic and neighborhood issues for more than 45 years. We advocate for local businesses and support the neighborhoods in quality of life issues. Our focus in the past few years has been to make East Fort Worth an "Education Destination". We give student monetary gifts to help with school necessities, and we have bought books for nine elementary schools which feed into Eastern Hills High School.

Our partnership with Mexican Inn, thanks to Jim Conlin, has been strong and fruitful for East Fort Worth Business Association and for Mexican Inn. Check the photographs on the wall at the East Lancaster location for examples of Jim's work.

Wanda


Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events

50th Spaghetti Supper
Jazz
Spirit night at Mexican Inn is May 12, 2020