Local Business Resources & Support

Due to the economic impact of this pandemic, we are gathering resources and information that may be of use to partners across Waco and McLennan County. Our partners are working hard to identify resources, check with them individually for the most updated information.

If you are a business that is struggling during this time, it is recommended that you start with your local chamber of commerce.

Greater Waco Chamber 'Waco Supporting Waco' - Small Businesses

Waco Helping Waco's page is updated consistently to keep you apprised of resources, policy updates and how you can help as information comes available.

Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Chambers of Commerce Small Business Emergency Loan Checklist

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

Start Up Waco

Help for Waco businesses, Startup Waco is mobilizing local mentors and experts to support our business community, so that we can all get through this together.

Make it In Waco (for locally-owned businesses and artists)

Make It In Waco is your chance to support local artists...and buy cool stuff! This platform is quick and free to use for artists and arts businesses, and an easy way to discover, commission, stream, and support our creative community long after COVID-19 is over.

Waco Delivers (for Waco area restaurants)

Support your local businesses by ordering directly from one of our participating merchants, let us handle the delivery free of charge so you can continue to follow city ordinances and help flatten the curve, and in turn take care of those that are still helping others in this time of need.

Waco TX Jobs (for local businesses that are hiring)

Part of Waco Supporting Waco, a place for all local businesses currently hiring in Waco for various positions.

Operational Toolkit for Businesses Reopening or Expanding

Guidance for Employers, Employees & Customers of Reopened Retail Services

(From the Texas Department of State Health and Human Services)

I am an Employee of a retail business re-opening. What should I do to keep myself and our customers safe?

  • All employees must be trained on environmental cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
  • All employees must be screened before coming into the business for new or worsening cough; shortness of breath; sore throat; loss of taste or smell; feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit; or known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. Any employee who meets any of these criteria should be sent home.
  • Upon entering the business, employees must wash or sanitize hands.
  • All employees must wear face coverings.
  • Employees must maintain at least 6 feet separation from one another.

I am a Customer. How do I purchase and obtain goods from a retail store that has just re-opened?

  • Customers may purchase items from a retail location for pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep, but may not enter the premises.
  • Retail to-go:
    • All payments should be done over the phone or internet if possible, and contact should be minimized if remote payment is not available.
    • Purchased items should be delivered by the employee to the backseat or trunk of the customer’s vehicle whenever possible to minimize physical contact with the customer.
    • Employees must wash or sanitize their hands after each interaction with a customer, and whenever possible, must disinfect any item that came into contact with the customer.
    • Retail delivery to customer’s doorstep:
      • All payments should be done over the phone or internet if possible, and contact should be minimized if remote payment is not available.
      • Purchased items should be delivered by an employee or third-party carrier and delivered to the customer’s doorstep. The employee or third-party carrier may not enter the customer’s house or business.
    • Retail delivery by mail:
      • All payments must be done over the phone or internet.
        • Purchased items should be delivered by mail without customer contact.
      • The customer should wash or sanitize their hands after the transaction.

Texas Unemployment Resources

Texas Workers

If your employment has been affected by COVID-19, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) encourages you to apply for benefits by utilizing the online claim portal, or by calling the Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

About calling:
Effective immediately, TWC asks that Texans use their area code on the website to find their proposed call and access times to help ease the call wait times.

Texans will not be penalized for a delay due to call or user volume. Claims for individuals affected by COVID-19 are eligible to be backdated. Staggering claims will provide help to reduce frustrations for many Texans and provide better access to needed services.

Call and Access Times

Texas Small Businesses

COVID-19 UPDATE: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) granted Texas’ Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance declaration, making loans available statewide to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Small businesses who believe they may be eligible for an SBA EIDL, should visit the SBA’s website where they can directly apply for assistance. The online application is the fastest method to receive a decision about loan eligibility.

Shared Work Program (TWC)

The Shared Work program provides Texas employers with an alternative to layoffsTWC developed this voluntary program to help Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business.

More on this program

Shared Work Program Info from Greater Waco Chamber

Tourism-Related Businesses

The U.S. Travel Association has some excellent information about the Federal “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES) and how you, as a tourism-related business, can access some assistance.

Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now.

When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office, which you can locate here.

More information

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Paycheck Protection Program

This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program.

Learn more

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EIDL Loan Advance

This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.

Learn more

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SBA Express Bridge Loans

Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

Learn more

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SBA Debt Relief

The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more