A Message from Texas Association of Fairs and Events President
Dear TAF&E Members,
As we continue to see the unfathomable COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout our state, nation and the world, it is difficult to understand, grasp and envision what lies ahead for our fairs, festivals, events, associate members and all people around the world. What is certain is that we will come out of this at some point in time. Over the past few weeks COVID-19 has invaded our country interrupting all our lives, devastating the industry we love and support, and leaving a solemn trail of immeasurable consequences to us all. Unfortunately, it appears that COVID-19 will continue to play havoc with every aspect of our lives during the coming months. As Americans we are the most resilient people in the world and will prevail and prosper again through our prayers and efforts.
The U.S. Congress is working on putting together a number of bills to provide financial assistance to businesses that are being impacted by COVID-19 and while there has been much press about financial assistance for the airlines (air based) and cruise lines (sea based), and small businesses such as bars and restaurants (land based) there is little being talked about our industry.
The true economic impact on our industry is difficult to quantify but I think the document below entitled “The Economic Devastation Due to COVID 19” provided by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions provides insight on its magnitude.
There are a few items that I would like to share with you today and encourage you to pursue:
The Small Business Administration will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. To obtain further information on this loan program click on this link https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources and locate the “Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program” section and select the “Click Here to Apply” located after the listing of all states that are eligible.
Reach out to your bankers and discuss your specific situation.As a former banker I know that the banking industry is currently strong, unlike in times past, and should be willing to work with you.Some banks actually work closely with the Small Business Administration and might be able to assist with your application for Disaster Loan funds.
Contact your U. S. Congressman and Senators and strongly recommend that they bring legislation for “Economic Relief for the Not-for Profit Fair & Festival Community and the Affiliated Mobile Outdoor Amusement Industry Sector”Please ask them to enact legislation such as that stated in the attached document entitled “Recommendation for Economic Relief”.
Don’t give up, as we will need each of you to stay strong as we will need you more than ever once we come out of this. Our faith in God will bring us through this as reflected in the attached picture that was taken by a member of the The Remnant Church in La Grange, Texas depicting the American Flag desperately clinging to the Cross, while the Christian Flag flies below it saying
“I’ve got you if you fall”.
In closing, my prayers are with each and every one of you, your family and your employees and should you have anything to enhance our efforts to bring calm and renewed vision to our membership, please share it with us.
Douglas R. Borchardt