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BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Calling all manufacturing companies in the Rio Grande Valley.

The South Texas Manufacturers Association and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation want to hear from you if you have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus.

The two nonprofit groups are working together to collate information on which manufacturers have lost business or employees as a result of the pandemic.

They want to better gauge what is happening in the industrial sector so they can reach out to the federal and state government for financial assistance.

Teresa Hernandez

“Mario and I want to hear from all our manufacturers. Have their businesses been affected by the virus? We want to help,” said Teresa Hernandez, executive director of STMA.

“The Small Business Administration can help through its economic injury disaster loans. We want to connect them. We want to make sure our local manufactures get the help they need.”

The “Mario” that Hernandez was talking about is Mario Lozoya, executive director of GBIC.

“We are currently in the space of the unknown. By getting feedback from local manufacturers, we can help,” Lozoya said.

“If a local manufacturer is cutting a line or having some sort of stoppage, we want to know why. Is it because people are not coming to work? Is it because the supply chain is down, is it because their customer has cancelled an order? We want to know.”

Asked what STMA and GBIC will do with the information they collate, Lozoya said: “I can make a call to the congressman, I can make a call to the governor.”

Mario Lozoya

Asked if GBIC is looking for information from manufacturers beyond the city limits of Brownsville, Lozoya said:

“Definitely. The supply chains are not specific to Brownsville. Everybody around the Valley, if you have some sore of disruption, let us know what the root cause is. Is it personnel? God forbid it is the virus.

“Is it that people are not coming into work? Is it because the supply chain has been disrupted, that people do not have the parts to run a line? Is demand down?

“We can then start aggregating information so we can better support our manufacturers. Right now we are in an unknown space and we do not know how to better support our manufacturing companies.”

STMA’s Hernandez said she was just on the phone with one of her organization’s newest members. “They are based in Donna and their employees are still coming in to work, which is good news. But we know our economy is going to suffer from the virus. I was at the Good Day McAllen event last week and was sitting with some of the hotel chains. They were getting cancellations, as of last week. It is affecting everyone.”

Hernandez said the last email her group sent out showed only two members, both in the distribution sector, had been affected by the coronavirus. “They did have some issues. They were having difficulty with produce coming back and forth,” she said.

GBIC’s Lozoya said his organization has been calling the major manufacturers in Brownsville, such as CK Technologies, Electric Coil, SATA Group, and Keppel Amfels.

“We are asking them to share information with us on a daily basis. Not everybody wants to do it, for whatever reason, but the more information we get, the more we can assist.”

Lozoya said he would also like to hear from the two major maquiladora trade groups in the region, INDEX Reynosa and INDEX Matamoros. “What happens in Reynosa and Matamoros affects the Valley and what happens in the Valley affects those two cities. Diseases do not respect international boundaries. We are all in this together.”

The leader at INDEX Reynosa is Enrique Castro. The leader at INDEX Matamoros is Roberto Mattus.

Manufacturers can reach STMA’s Hernandez at: [email protected]

Manufacturers can reach GBIC’s Lozoya at: [email protected]

SBA response


Angela R. Burton, district director of the Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office of the Small Business Administration, has written to local economic development corporations on the ways SBA can help local businesses – not just manufacturers – during the current crisis.

Burton wrote:

Please know SBA continues to assist small businesses with accessing federal resources, such as working capital and counseling, government contracting opportunities as well as navigating their disaster preparedness plans.

On Friday, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration for all 254 counties. SBA is working closely with state officials to gather data for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration. Once the SBA EIDL declaration is issued and accepted the SBA will begin to receive applications from small businesses in the State of Texas. Please understand this is a process and everyone is doing their best to work through it.

What is an  Economic Injury Disaster Loan? Economic Injury Disaster Loans cover vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Not for potential losses. And the borrower must not have access to “credit elsewhere”.

In the meantime, if you have businesses that may meet the criteria above and have been impacted please ask them to contact our office as we are helping gather impact data to submit to our Office of Disaster and Emergency management Officials. POC is Josh Patton, Lender Relations Specialist, 956-427-8533 Ext. 225 or email to [email protected].

For support with guidance for businesses and employers please see Small Business Guidance and response to COVID-19.

Lastly, in anticipation of a EIDL application, small business can begin gathering the information below.

FOR ALL APPLICATIONS THE FOLLOWING ITEMS MUST BE SUBMITTED.

  • Loan application (SBA Form 5), completed and signed (this is electronic/online in the portal)
  • Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506-T), completed and signed by each applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member; and, for any owner who has more than 50 percent ownership in an affiliate business. Affiliates include, but are not limited to, business parents, subsidiaries, and/or other businesses with common ownership or management
  • Complete copies, including all schedules, of the most recently filed Federal income tax returns for the applicant business; an explanation if not available
  • Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413) completed, signed, and dated by the applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, and each general partner or managing member
  • Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202 may be used)

All of these forms are available in the Disaster Loan Application Portal.

The Disaster Loan Application Portal is at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

I will provide updates as I receive them. Please feel free to call me if you have questions.

Onward,

Angela R. Burton
District Director
Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office

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