In an effort to inform small business owners in Texas County about unique financial options available during the COVID-19 crisis, City of Houston economic development director Rob Harrington conducted a “Go To Meeting” webinar on Thursday.

In his presentation, “Pandemic Programs for Small Businesses,” Harrington spoke about Small Business Administration programs like the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as well as other topics like Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (which is even available to contractors and self-employed individuals).

Other people in financially-related positions were also involved in the presentation, including Darci Malam of the South Central Council of Governments (SCOCOG), Heather Fisher and Ila Sloan of the Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI), Darrell Hampston of the Missouri State University Small Business Development Center, Cynthia Ramsey of Progressive Ozark Bank and Shannon Smith of The Bank of Houston.

Some of the monetary programs now available to small businesses are due to the federal government’s “’Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act). 

“The point of the meeting was to make sure that our small businesses have the information they need to find the necessary financial help they may need,” Harrington said. “The COVID-19 closures have taken a toll on small businesses, not only in Texas County but also across the world, and the programs that are available in the CARES Act are a huge tool to stop the hurt and begin the recovery.

“The financial resources we discussed in the meeting are huge opportunities for the businesses within Texas County to use. If there are any questions regarding these programs, and/or you missed the online presentation, please feel free to contact me and I will talk to you one on one about the programs and how or who to talk to in order to apply.”

Harrington called on all local residents to be a part of the recovery process.

“Today’s presentation is just a small part of what I can do to help these businesses recover,” he said. “We need to do more, and I am imploring the residents of Texas County to do just that. When the shelter-in-place order is lifted on Monday, go out and get a meal from a local restaurant. Walk back into the small shops that you once visited and purchase something. These small business owners are there every time our community needs something, whether it be money for our school sports programs, or donations for a charity auction.

“Now is the time we step up as a community and give them the help they need. Together we will make it through this and see that better days are just ahead.”

Harrington can be reached by phone at 417-967-3348 or by email at

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