News & Press: Member Update

ACEC Texas Member Update - April 28, 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020  
Posted by: Michael Hancock
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ACEC Texas

April 28, 2020

Governor Abbott Announces New Details for Reopening Businesses

Governor Greg Abbott on Monday announced that Texas will begin implementing a phased-in process for reopening Texas businesses. Included in his new Executive Orders, the Governor announced “Phase I” to allow all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, libraries and shopping malls to reopen on May 1st but at a limited 25% occupancy and requiring strict social distancing measures. The Governor also eliminated the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for individuals traveling from Louisiana. However, the mandated 14-day quarantine for those traveling from certain COVID-19 hotspots in the United States will remain in effect. Gov. Abbott made it clear that his Executive Orders supersede any conflicting local orders relating to essential services or businesses reopening.

Important to Texas engineering firms and businesses already deemed essential:
The procedures and restrictions for “reopened services” outlined in the new Executive Order do not apply to “essential services.” Executive Order GA-18 specifically states:

“In providing or obtaining essential services or reopened services, people and businesses should follow the minimum standard of health protocols recommended by DSHS, found at, and should implement social distancing, work from home if possible, and practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation. This includes also following, to the extent not inconsistent with the DSHS minimum standards, the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, as well as other CDC recommendations. Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate coverings, but no jurisdiction can impose a civil or criminal penalty for failure to wear a face covering.”

“This executive order shall supersede any conflicting order issued by local official in response to the COVID-19 disaster, but only to the extent that such a local order restricts essential services or reopened services allowed by this executive order…”

Executive Order GA-18 remains in effect until 11:59 p.m., on May 15, 2020.

The Governor referenced a new report from his “Strike Force to Open Texas” that provides detailed guidance for individuals and businesses:
Texans Helping Texans Report. Governor Abbott said that following “Phase I” and after reviewing new COVID-19 medical data, there may be an opportunity to open additional businesses and allow certain business capacities to increase to 50% in mid-May. For further details on the Governor’s new Executive Orders, please click on the following link: Gov. Abbott Executive Orders – April 27, 2020

Apply Today! Paycheck Protection Program Resumes

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced they have resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications as of Monday, April 27th. This comes after Congress approved an additional $484 billion last week in additional COVID-19 relief funding, with $321 billion going towards PPP loans. PPP loans are designed for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Please apply through any financial institution participating in the PPP. For more information on who can apply, loan details and forgiveness, and lender forms and guidance, please click on the following link: SBA PPP Information


PLEASE take a few minutes to COMPLETE the MEMBERSHIP SURVEY that was e-mailed to you last week (you should be receiving an e-mailed reminder this week). ACEC Texas is in the process of developing a strategic plan and the survey will be an important tool in helping us plan and improve our programs and services. The responses will provide valuable input into the board’s discussions and will help establish priorities that will make the biggest difference for you and our member firms.

The survey should not take more than 15 minutes, and respondents will be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 Amazon gift cards and one of five ACEC Texas baseball caps.

ACEC National Business Impact Survey Results – Wave 5

ACEC National has released the fifth wave of results from their Business Impact Survey. The surveys are designed to gather information and hear from member firms on how COVID-19 is affecting their businesses. The new wave of survey results show that more than 8 out of 10 firms (84%) applied for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Among those firms who applied, almost three-fourths (74%) were approved (although 16% do not yet know). Among the firms whose applications were approved, 70% have received the funds in their bank account. The results also show many more member firms plan to apply for a PPP loan now that the program has resumed. Also included in the results are the protocols and precautions for reopening businesses. To view the complete results of the survey, please click on the following link: Wave 5 Survey Results.

ACEC National Message Regarding Dues

As you may know, ACEC Texas held its annual meeting on March 30th and adopted the same dues structure it had last year. The result being that there is no increase in the ACEC Texas dues structure for this fiscal year, which began April 1st.

ACEC National held its annual meeting, virtually, this past Saturday, April 25th. After careful consideration, the board decided to forgo a previously scheduled CPI dues adjustment for its FY 21 that begins in July, so there will also be no increase in ACEC National dues structure this year.

ACEC National Complimentary Webinars For This Week

ACEC National continues to offer members free online classes and roundtable opportunities as we continue to work through COVID-19. This week’s webinars available to register for are below:

TWDB Request for Information – Interregional Water Supply Projects

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) reached out to ACEC Texas regarding their request for information (RFI) on interregional water supply projects. This RFI is intended to collect stakeholder ideas of projects that benefit multiple water planning regions that could be considered for funding at a later date. The solicitation is currently open, and responses are due on July 1st. To view the RFI posting, please click on the following link: RFI Posting.

For regular industry news and updates regarding COVID-19,
please visit the ACEC Texas and ACEC National
webpages by clicking on the following:

ACEC Texas: COVID-19

ACEC National: COVID-19 Resource Center

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ACEC San Antonio Chapter Meeting-08/19/20