Visit San Antonio: Legislative Update, May 2020
During May, the Government Relations team focused on monitoring the funding and regulatory actions of the federal, state and local governments to combat the spread of COVID-19 and provide relief to health-care workers, first responders, local governments, small businesses and workers.
Visit San Antonio has been working with our federal delegation to secure eligibility of 501c(6) non-profit organizations for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We obtained support from Congressman Henry Cuellar and Congressman Chip Roy for H.R. 6697, the Local Chamber, Tourism, and 501 (c)(6) Protection Act. This piece of legislation, if adopted, would expand PPP eligibility to include 501c(6) organizations and DMOs with 300 or fewer employees and give them access to PPP funding. Visit San Antonio helped lead the submission of letters to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives leadership requesting support of the U.S. Congress for inclusion of language for 501c(6) non-profit organizations to participate in and have access to PPP funding.
Additionally, Visit San Antonio partnered with other San Antonio-based 501c(6) organizations including the Greater, North, South and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce; ABC South Texas Chapter; Centro San Antonio; the Real Estate Council of San Antonio; San Antonio Board of Realtors; San Antonio Economic Development Corporation; San Antonio Manufacturing Association; San Antonio Mobility Coalition; and the San Antonio Restaurant Association in this letter writing campaign. A copy of the letters can be found here.
On May 18, Governor Greg Abbott announced additional businesses may open as part of his phased-in approached. The Governor stressed that the use of facemasks, hand washing/disinfecting and social distancing must continue and be practiced by all Texans. Listed below, with hyperlinks, are the business categories that may open by specified dates and guidelines for operations. It is important to note that essential businesses currently operating under Executive Order GA-18 can open to 50% of capacity, up from 25%. Those businesses noted as “NEW” may open at 25% of capacity.
Effective May 18
- Gyms / Exercise Facilities (Updated May 18)
- Gym / Exercise Facility Patrons (Updated May 18)
- Manufacturers (Updated May 18)
- Office-Based Employers (Updated May 18)
- Office-Based Employees (Updated May 18)
New, Now in Effect as of May 18
- Child Care Centers
- Child Care Families
- Massage and Personal-Care, Beauty Services
- Massage and Personal-Care, Beauty Service Customers
- Youth Clubs
- Youth Club Participants
- Youth Sports Operators
- Youth Sports Families
New, In Effect May 22
- Bar Patrons
- Bowling Alleys, Bingo Halls, Simulcasting, Skating Rinks
- Bowling, Bingo, Simulcasting, Skating Customers
- Rodeo / Equestrian Events
- Zoos, Aquariums, Natural Caverns
- Zoo, Aquarium, Natural Cavern Visitors
New, In Effect May 31
- Day Youth Camp Operators
- Day Youth Camp Families
- Overnight Youth Camp Operators
- Overnight Youth Camp Families
- Professional Sports Without In-Person Spectators
More information about these businesses and Governor’s Abbott’s reopening plan can be found on the Open Texas webpage.
Visit San Antonio is working with Governor Abbott’s Economic Development & Tourism Office to seek inclusion of language and guidelines for large gatherings and conventions. The Governor’s recent Executive Orders did not provide clear direction for these types of activities as essential and “non-essential” businesses begin their phased-in openings.
We continue to monitor the City of San Antonio’s COVID-19 Emergency Health Declarations and their impacts on travel and tourism in San Antonio. The Government Relations team met with the Mayor, council members and their staffs and city professional staff to provide up-to-date information concerning the impacts of local COVID-19 regulations to travel-related businesses and the regional tourism economy. We provided weekly updates to our members, partners and key allies regarding the multiple Emergency Health Declarations. The City of San Antonio’s COVID-19 webpage contains valuable information regarding local efforts to reduce COVID-19’s impacts on San Antonio.