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TWC Approves Restaurant Recovery Initiative to Help Businesses Adapt to Pandemic
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has approved an initiative to help restaurants in the Lone Star State respond to the pandemic through new strategies to open and operate safely in an era of social distancing. The Restaurant Recovery Initiative provides for a series of videos that will share best practices to assist employers in adapting jobs to remote and contactless operations and in taking advantage of new service delivery trends. Additionally, this initiative sets aside up to $500,000 for course instruction and testing for food handler permits and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) certifications. For more information please visit https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/twc-approves-restaurant-recovery-initiative-help-businesses-adapt-pandemic
TWC UI Fraud Reporting
If TWC determines that your information has been potentially compromised, TWC will contact you. Businesses or individuals who receive correspondence from TWC when no claim has been filed should report it through our fraud submission portal: https://mft.twc.state.tx.us/form/UIfraudENG If you encounter difficulties with the portal email TWC.firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at the TWC Fraud Hotline at 800-252-3642
If you are self-employed, a contract worker or previously worked in a position that did not report wages, you may qualify for unemployment and can apply for UI benefits!
If you need to file, please go online to ui.texasworkforce.org or call 1-800-939-6631 to start the process. You will be notified you do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits and be enrolled in disaster unemployment benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
During the application process, when UBS asks non-traditional workers the reason for their job separation, they should select “reduced hours.” If their reduced hours are a result of COVID-19, they should also select “COVID-19” under the disaster impact section. The system will then display questions they need to answer to complete their claim.
After completion, the system will first review the claim for regular unemployment insurance eligibility, which will result in a denial for regular unemployment benefits only. Subsequently, TWC will automatically enroll these applicants in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The initial denial for unemployment insurance may cause confusion but does not affect the PUA eligibility.
For more information visit https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/self-employed-texans-and-cares-act
If you have to close your business either temporarily or permanently and need to lay off employees, you may be able to submit a mass claim for unemployment benefits on their behalf. The Mass Claims program streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs.
To submit a Mass Claim Request: https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-employers
Need to Reduce Employee Hours? Check out TWC’s Shared Work Program
If your business has slowed down due to the pandemic and you need to reduce employee working hours, you may be able to avoid laying off employees by submitting a shared work plan. The Shared Work program provides Texas employers with an alternative to layoffs. TWC developed this voluntary program to help Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business.
Shared Work allows employers to:
- Supplement their employees’ wages lost because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits.
- Reduce normal weekly work hours for employees in an affected unit by at least 10 percent but not more than 40 percent; the reduction must affect at least 10 percent of the employees in that unit.
Shared Work unemployment benefits are payable to employees who qualify for and participate in an approved Shared Work Plan. Workers may choose not to participate. Employees who qualify will receive both wages and Shared Work unemployment benefits.
To apply for benefits online, see Unemployment Benefits Services: https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-services
For more information, see TWC’s Shared Work web page.
Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas can assist with customized proactive outplacement services or layoff aversion strategies at no cost. Rapid Response provides early business-focused intervention assistance designed to transition affected workers to their next employment. Our services are tailored to each company, based on the needs of the affected employees. For more information regarding Rapid Response, please email email@example.com.
If you are currently hiring and would like to have your openings added to our WorkInTexas.com job portal, please contact our Employer Solutions Representative Contact by calling 1-877-834-5627 to take advantage of the following services:
- Assistance to post your Job opening
- Prescreening your applicants
- Design your Customized Virtual Hiring Event
Employer Work Refusal Documentation
Employee Refused Return-to-Work Offer? If you offered any of your employees a chance to return to work and they refused, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) needs to know. Please report each individual who refused to return to work on our online Employer Work Refusal Documentation form.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Note: The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is still available. The application deadline is Dec. 31, 2021. The EIDL Advance is no longer available.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.
- For Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 EIDL Loans: click here
- SBA COVID-19 Guidance & Disaster Loan Assistance: click here.
- SBA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Relating to COVID-19 for Texas Businesses: click here.
- SBA The Three Step Process for Disaster Loans: click here.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed.
SBA is currently offering PPP loans originated only by participating community financial institutions including Certified Development Companies (CDCs), SBA Microlenders, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) until May 31, 2021 or until remaining funds are exhausted. Please note that not all community financial institutions are participating in PPP. For more information visit
SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is accepting applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
The dedicated SBA website, www.sba.gov/svogrant, which includes frequently asked questions, video tutorials and other SVOG details, is the best source for information for those looking to apply for a grant. Potential applicants should also get registered in the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM.gov), as this is required for an entity to receive an SVOG, and reference the preliminary application checklist and eligibility requirements.
SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund
This Small Business Administration (SBA) program provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19. The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
For more information, visit the SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund page.
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – https://www.sbdc.uh.edu/sbdc/COVID-19.asp
- Beaumont Chamber of Commerce – bmtecon.org/business-and-employee-resources
- Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation – setedf.org/coronavirus-aid-information-and-updates.aspx
- Orange County Economic Development Corporation – https://orangecountyedc.com/business-resources/covid-19-business-resources
- Port Arthur Chamber – portarthurtexas.com
- Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) COVID-19 Resources for Employers: click here.
- TWC Unemployment Benefit Claims Help & Resources for Employers: click here.
- TWC Claimants Guide to Filing for UI Benefits (In English/Spanish): click here.