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Visit San Antonio: Legislative Affairs, April 2020

During the month of April, our Government Relations team actively engaged in monitoring the funding and regulatory actions of the federal, state, and local governments to combat the spread of Covid-19.  Significant efforts were made to support U.S. Travel Association and other partner organizations as they advocated for multiple economic and regulatory relief efforts to maximize Covid-19 socio-economic recovery for the hospitality industry.

Working with our federal partners, we participated in securing the adoption and dissemination of critical information related to the CARES Act and its various programs providing economic relief to small businesses and individuals during both rounds of funding by the federal government.  This included information from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL).  Complete information from the SBA can be found at the following link:  https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.

At the state level, we monitored the multiple Executive Orders issued by Governor Gregg Abbott addressing statewide initiatives to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic and provided critical updates and key information on state actions regularly to members and partners.  This included the most recent Executive Order (GA 17) creating the “Strike Force” to Open Texas.  The following link provides extensive information about the efforts to open Texas back up for business: https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas.

Daily, we monitored Mayor Ron Nirenberg’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 critical information concerning the impacts of local regulations to travel related businesses and our regional tourism economy.  We provided weekly updates to our members, partners, and key allies regarding the multiple Emergency Health Declarations, including the length of each order, the requirements of social distancing, “Stay Home/Work Safe” and mandatory face coverings.  The following link provides information about the activities taken by the City of San Antonio to combat Covid-19, including the Mayor’s Emergency Health Declarations: https://www.sanantonio.gov/Health/News/Alerts/CoronaVirus.

There is no doubt that Covid-19 has changed the way we live our daily lives and the way we conduct business.  As our government and business leaders act to find strategies and solutions to get our city, state, and nation back to what many are calling the new “normal”, we will continue to monitor and report on these activities and seek out your thoughts and feedback.