City Allows Temporary Signage for Restaurant and Retail
The installation of “Temporary Bandit Signs” will be allowed up to the expiration of the declaration of the state of local disaster. Once the declaration expires or is terminated, all bandit signs shall be removed.
“Bandit signs” are signs on stakes that can be placed anywhere there’s soft enough ground to secure the stake, as long as they do not interfere with the site distance of vehicular traffic. They consist of the stake, and long lasting, weather-proof 4-mil corrugated plastic, a light weight polypropylene plastic material. Bandit signs such as, but not limited to, “business name”, “phone number”, “curb side service”, or “drive through open only”, etc. are allowed. Maximum size shall be 3 sq. ft. bandit sign configuration is an 18” by 24” corrugated plastic sign mounted on a 10” x 30” metal stake.
Each business is allowed no more than 3 bandit signs along the frontage of any business, 2 bandit signs on each side yard of any business and 2 located at the rear yard of any business. Off-site bandit signs may be allowed as long as the location of the restaurants or retail business is contiguous within the development. Permission of the property owner or the management company is required when signs are placed off-site of the establishment.
No permit and/or fee is required by the City of Highland Village during the declaration of the state of local disaster. The City of Highland Village Code Enforcement will monitor bandit sign placement throughout Highland Village. If you have any questions Code Enforcement can be reached at 972-899-5092.
On April 27, Governor Abbott announced Order GA-16 (Stay at Home Mandate) will be allowed to expire on April 30. He also issued Order GA-18, which takes effect Friday, May 1, at 12:01 a.m. The order outlines Phase 1 of the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas, which allows additional businesses to re-open with minimum standard health protocols as long as the COVID-19 spread can be contained. See the "Phase 1" flyer which summarizes the Phase 1 information.
How do you determine what is 25% of your permitted occupancy?
When businesses received their certificate of occupancy most of them have the maximum permitted occupancy included on the document. Calculate 25% of that number to determine your Phase 1 occupancy limit. If your certificate of occupancy does not have a permitted occupancy number, please complete this form and staff will provide you the maximum permitted occupancy number for your records.
Retail To Go
Pursuant to Executive Order GA-16, issued on Friday, April 17, 2020, by Governor Greg Abbott, and effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, some retail businesses classified as "non-essential" in the original Stay-at-Home order will be able to provide "to-go" services with some restrictions. See the "Retail to Go" flyer for the details. The Texas Department of State Health Services provided guidance for employers, employees, and customers of reopened retail services.
COVID-19 Safety Concerns
Guidance from the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) for both public and private employers. On March 21, 2020, the CDC published interim guidance for all employers that provides best practices to plan for and respond to COVID‑19. The CDC also published interim guidance specifically for employers providing “essential” services , which outlines best practices when an asymptomatic employee suspects exposure to COVID-19, such as monitoring for infections, requiring PPE, maintaining social distance, and disinfecting the workplace.
Though the CDC guidance is not binding, Texas’s statewide order directs employers to follow the guidance, and the practices set out by the CDC as the “standard of care”.
Guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) also impacts private and public employers. OSHA has published general guidance on “Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” and it also published a poster containing 10 steps to reduce workplace exposure. Texas public employers should also read the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”) recommendations for “Texas Businesses Remaining Open,” as well as DSHS’s “Letter to Texas Employers.”
Employers should also be aware of various reporting requirements that may be triggered when an employee contracts COVID‑19. For private employers, OSHA has published interim guidance for recording employee COVID‑19 illnesses under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements when the illness (1) is confirmed as COVID‑19; (2) is work-related as defined by 29 C.F.R. § 1904.5; and (3) involves one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 C.F.R. § 1904.7.
National Response and Resources
The following is a list of the more well-known programs providing financial assistance to businesses; however, it is recommended that businesses also check with their particular business associations (i.e. National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, etc.), as a variety of new grant programs have recently been established in an effort to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 "Business for All" Grants: To ensure "Business for All," Hello Alice with the support of Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, Ebay and others, is offering $10,000 emergency COVID-19 "Business for All" Grants that will be immediately distributed to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. More information can be found at https://businessforall.helloalice.com/.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The PPP (through the SBA and Dept. of Treasury) provides small businesses with a loan to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, and individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards. These loans can be forgiven if businesses maintain payroll for eight weeks at employees’ normal salary levels and use the loan proceeds for qualifying expenses. With an exceedingly large number of applications submitted for the Paycheck Protection Program, it is anticipated that additional funds will be allocated to continue funding the high-demand program. More information can be found at PPP or in the frequently asked questions document. The loan application form can be accessed here and should be submitted to a businesses’ SBA Participating Lender.
Specific to Texas businesses, Governor Abbott, Goldman Sachs, LiftFund and other community development financial institutions (CDFIs), are partnering to provide $50 million in loans to small business in Texas. Business owners can access these fund through application for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan. More information can be found online.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Loan Advance: The EIDL Grant (through the SBA) provides an emergency loan advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. These loans can reach $2 million at a 3.75 percent rate over as many as 30 years with one-year payment deferral. More information can be found at EIDL.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Express Bridge Loans: The SBA Express Bridge Loan enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan. More information can be found at SBA Express Bridge Loans.
SBA Debt Relief: The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during COVID-19, with the SBA paying the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. The SBA will also provide this same relief on any new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020. More information can be found at SBA Debt Relief.
Employee Retention Tax Credit: The Employee Retention Tax Credit (through the IRS) program provides a 50% tax credit for businesses that is applied against your portion of payroll taxes. It is for businesses that have had to partially suspend their operations and/or experienced a decline in gross receipts by more than 50% in a quarter. More information can be found at Employee Retention Tax Credit.