5 Things You Should Know about PPP Forgiveness

The SBA has released more information about PPP forgiveness.  Here are 5 things you should know:

1. The majority of PPP borrowers in the region are eligible for a simplified loan forgiveness application. Earlier in October, the SBA and Treasury released a simpler forgiveness application for PPP loans of $50,000 or less. 

2. The estimated time to complete the simplified PPP loan forgiveness form application (loans $50,000 or less) can be as little as 15 minutes. 

3. Businesses still need to document PPP loan money was spent on eligible expenses. Since a key part of forgiveness for PPP loans is using the money for eligible expenses, borrowers still need to provide documentation with the forgiveness application.

4. Borrowers apply for PPP loan forgiveness through their lender, not the SBA. Borrowers can download PPP loan forgiveness applications from https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection and submit those and other required information to the lender that provided them with a PPP loan. 

5. SBA Resource Partners are available to help borrowers through the forgiveness process. The SBA Resource Partner Network – which includes the Small Business Development Center, SCORE Mentors, and the Women’s Business Center – provide one-on-one business advising and technical assistance to small businesses at no- or low-cost.

The SBA is providing PPP Loan Forgiveness Overview and Q&A Webinars. 

October 26  |  11:00am CST  |  JOIN HERE
October 28  |  11:00am CST  |  JOIN HERE
October 30  |  11:00am CST  |  JOIN HERE

If you have additional questions, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Coaches are available for consultation at the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Office next Tuesday, November 3.  Email Chamber@ClearLakeArea.com to schedule your appointment.  

Texas Chamber of Commerce Week

Every year, for a week in October, an awareness campaign is conducted to highlight the achievements and role of local chambers of commerce. This year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott proclaimed that Texas Chamber of Commerce Week would be Monday, October 19 through Friday, October 23. Read the full proclamation below.

“Texas has become an economic power thanks to the ingenuity and hard work of its residents, who are entrepreneurs and innovators seeking to carve out better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. In many cases, Texans’ dreams become reality due to the help of local chambers of commerce.

Local chambers of commerce distinguish themselves through their promotion of local communities, projects, and small businesses. By promoting local businesses, chambers of commerce help foster job creation, improve education, and develop local infrastructure. These organizations have laid the foundation of economic success and prosperity for many communities, and their work continues to build a better future for all Texans.

Every year, for a week in October, an awareness campaign is conducted to highlight the achievements and role of local chambers of commerce. I encourage all Texans to join me in recognizing and commending these hardworking individuals for their many contributions to the Lone Star State.

Therefore, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim October 19-23, 2020, to be, Chamber of Commerce Week.”

The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce was able to celebrate Texas Chamber of Commerce Week with a surprise visit from Senator Larry Taylor at our Board of Directors meeting as he presented this proclamation to our Chairman of the Board and Leadership team.

We at the chamber want to thank all of our members. Your constant support and partnership with this chamber is one of the many ways we are able to continuing to serve you and this community. Together we are ‘Champions for Business Success and Quality of Life in our Community’.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

Interested in learning more about the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and our work in the community or becoming a member of the Chamber? Visit us online at www.ClearLakeArea.com.

Leadership Clear Lake Class #4

As Leadership Clear Lake Class #4 prepares to embark on a life-changing journey, please consider investing in yourself or an employee by applying today.

“There are so many great leaders in our country helping to run businesses, non-profits, faith-based organizations, youth sports leagues and so many more endeavors that are integral to creating a quality of life that our founding fathers could only dream of.  Yet as we approach another major federal election, I can’t help but wonder why some of these amazing leaders don’t rise to the top positions of our government.

That said, I’ve always taken comfort in the fact that, regardless of who sits in Congress or the Oval Office, no one has more control over my future than I do.  And while my ability to affect change at the federal level is somewhat limited, to say the least, I have been fortunate enough to see how outstanding leaders – both past and present – have worked together to make the Clear Lake community one of the finest on the planet.

Leadership development has always been critical for communities, businesses, churches and non-profit organizations; but it has perhaps never been as important as it is now.  Whether facing the Great Depression, World Wars, hurricanes or global pandemics; the fundamentals of leadership remain the same.

When I was asked several years ago to help create a curriculum for what is now known as Leadership Clear Lake, I was no expert in leadership.  I had not written any books.  I did not manage a team at work.  I had never even taken a leadership class.  But through life experiences, particularly those learned on the soccer field (I’m a soccer nerd in case you didn’t know), I knew many of the principles of leadership – teamwork, leading by example, sacrifice for others, etc.

With the help of the Chamber staff and so many wonderful volunteers, we kicked off the first Leadership Clear Lake class in 2014.  Ron Klinger, our facilitator, helped the inaugural class reflect on our previous life experiences, our personality types and our principles to realize a unique leadership style that will help us not only improve our own lots in life, but more importantly, to help others achieve success.  Helping others is how communities prosper.  A rising tide lifts all boats, and how appropriate is that adage for a community that boasts one of the largest recreational marine industries in the nation?

Leadership Clear Lake was created to ensure that our fine community has a pipeline of leaders ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.  This fits in well with the Chamber’s mission to be “champions of business success and quality of life in our community.” 

As Leadership Clear Lake Class #4 prepares to embark on a life-changing journey, please consider investing in yourself or an employee by applying today.”

Yours in leadership,

J.P. Morris, Dean of Leadership Clear Lake | Texas Citizens Bank

Interested in learning more? Visit the Leadership Clear Lake page.

Breaking the Cycle!

In honor of National Savings Day, we recruited the help of a local financial advisor and member, Scott Stillman with LPL Financial, to share some tips to help you save for your future.

“78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck – CareerBuilder Jan 11, 2019

“Poor people try to figure out where their money went. Wealthy people tell their money where to go.” -author unknown.

Budgeting is not a dirty word. Budgeting is not cutting back. Budgeting is telling your money where to go; 2-3 minutes a day, 20-30 minutes a month, thousands of little decisions a year with intention. Most millionaires do a monthly budget.

Why are you reading this? Do you want to break the cycle? Get out of debt? Save emergency cash?

Where are you?

Start by evaluating where you are now by tracking your current income and expenses. Writing down your monthly income and expenses helps you visualize where your money is going. Include a line item for discretionary purchases. Just writing it down may help you pause when deciding whether to buy those extras. Determine your net worth by subtracting your liabilities (what you owe) from your assets (what you own).

Make Changes

Set some goals that will help you achieve better financial health. Make them realistic and hold yourself accountable. For example, if you have more credit card debt than you’d like, set a goal of paying it off by a certain date. If your savings are slim, set a goal of saving enough money to cover six months’ worth of expenses within three years. Check your progress six months from now. If you’re on track, give yourself a small reward. If you are not progressing as fast as you’d hoped, make the necessary changes.

The key to change is becoming aware of where change is needed. Whether you need to pay off debt, save for emergencies or build up your retirement savings, you should make it a habit to save regularly. If you pay yourself first by contributing to your 401(k) plan or a savings account, you may be less tempted to spend on unnecessary purchases. Visualize your goal; that will encourage you to keep saving.

Keep Going

It can be hard to change habits. With proper motivation and periodic progress reviews, though, you can do it. Can you drive your car a year or two longer? Can you dine out less often? As you see your savings build with your thoughtful spending choices, you’ll be encouraged to continue.

My favorite budgeting app is (you need a budget) YNAB.com. Whatever you use, do something! There is just something that happens to most people psychologically when they budget. Most people end up having a better standard of living and spending less money. 

Remember, you are ultimately in control of your financial health. Make it happen.”

Scott Stillman, CFP®, CLU®  | Scottsplan.com

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC

If you need help planning for your financial future, we have several financial advisors that are members of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Here is our online directory with more information.

From the desk of 2020/2021 Chairman of the Board: Bob Davee

“This is certainly a strange time to be writing to the Chamber membership as your new Chairman of the Board. 

We are all aware, that the Chamber, our membership, our local economy and our larger community have been living through a prolonged lockdown to arrest the spread of a virus none had heard of until early this year.  While it now appears that the Coronavirus may be in retreat and our local, state and national economy may be in various stages of re-opening, the effects of both remain.

For the past several weeks, I have had a unique view of those effects.  As part of the Chamber’s planning for the upcoming year, I have participated in meetings over the past several weeks with the Chamber staff and the chairs and co-chairs of our divisions and liaisons of our industry partners. The purpose of those meetings was to refine the program of work for our industry groups and liaisons and generate a corresponding and relevant annual plan for the Chamber and it’s operation. From aerospace to hospitality, from tourism to boats, that has provided a unique chance to hear how a prolonged shutdown has affected our diverse membership. As always, there are a few winners and many have learned lessons that will have value going forward, but many or our businesses have been hurt, some substantially.               

At heart, it is the Chamber’s mission to support all of our membership, as well as our local business economy and community.  We are, in fact, “Champions for Business Success and Quality of Life in Our Community” and we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate that in the coming months – to commit to collectively working together to insure we all recover from the economic effects of a prolonged business shutdown. It is my confident hope that the Clear Lake Area Chamber and it’s membership with our collective knowledge, experience and enthusiasm can lead the way.  We have done so before and can do so again.”

Thank you, Bob. We are excited to have you serve as Chairman of the Board for the 2020/2021 year.

A Final Thought from Our 2019/2020 Chairman of the Board: Shawn Bailey

“Every cloud has a silver lining” has been my mantra in 2020. It has helped me to refrain from going down the proverbial rabbit hole and has kept me focused on the positive things occurring around me. With that said, I want to close out my chairmanship with the chamber by highlighting some of the “silver linings” I have observed this past year:    

Adaptation / Evolution: While we have all been forced to adapt to the current environment, I would rather say we that we have evolved to being better organizations.  We have all made modifications, improved processes, enhanced services, learned new technology, etc. that have made us better than what we were. The chamber itself had it first virtual board meeting, membership luncheon, and new teachers’ luncheon this past year.  

Appreciation: In normal times, it is easy to take for granted our first responders. However, in times like these, you are easily reminded who the true heroes in our community are, our health care workers, law enforcement officers, and public servants. As a community, let us continue to support and show appreciation for those who take care of us, time and time again.    I will also note here that I also believe some parents in our community now have a greater appreciation for teachers and school administration after having their kids at home for most of 2020. 

Network: More than anything, this past year brought us all closer to our “core” network. I hope you were able to enjoy more time with your family during the “lockdown” periods. I, and the chamber, also used this time to expand my network via various social media platforms. Finally, I took inventory of my “core” business network as well and realized how thankful I am for all the connections the chamber has provided me.  

In closing, I will simply repeat: “Every cloud has a silver lining.”  

Thank you, Shawn for your service and leadership this past year with the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

Welcome New September Members!

The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome our newest members from this past September! We are proud to have you be a part of this community and together we can continue to be, ‘Champions for Business Success and Quality of Life in Our Community.’

Take a moment to connect with our new members below and support those that support our community.

Absolute Volleyball Academy (AVA)
Bay Area Elite Properties
Bay Area Elite Properties – Krystyna Fennelly
Bravo Party Shop
Brittain Enterprises
Case Files with Kat & Ashley
Centex Studies/C-1 Headlands LLC
Community Health Network
Direct Travel Houston
Emily T. Krone & Company, PLLC
exp Realty – Scott Crowhurst, REALTOR®
Global Life Family Heritage – Lisa Burgett
Grease Monkey
Grounds Control USA
Hartnett and Company
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
Muddy Lotus
Renewal By Andersen of Houston
State Farm – Matt Johnson
Urban Constructors, Inc.

These new members now have access to exclusive membership perks, business development seminars, advertising opportunities and more. Interested in joining the Chamber? Give us a call at 281.488.7676 or check out the application here.

Welcome New Members

We are happy to welcome 27 new members to the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Take a moment to check them out below!

On September 10 at 5:00PM, the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce wrapped up it’s 2020 Membership Campaign. We want to thank our team captains: Lauri Coppock, PrimeLending; Kat Clemons, Bay Area Turning Point; and Rita Garcia, Home Sweet Home Improvements for all of your hard work and determination to not only recruit some new members and encourage past members to renew their membership, but to also pump up your teams to participate.

Bravo Party Shop
Brittain Enterprises
Case Files with Kat & Ashley
Cloth & Cord
Community Health Network
Direct Travel Houston
Emily T. Krone & Company, PLLC
exp Realty – Scott Crowhurst, REALTOR®
Global Life Family Heritage – Lisa Burgett
Grease Monkey
Healthcare Consultants, Inc.
Houston Community ER at Clear lake
Kemah’s Corner Coop
Littler Mendelson
LoveWell Creative
Monument Chemical
Muddy Lotus
Prognust Systems
State Farm – Cynthia Beecher
State Farm – Matt Johnson
State Farm – Melinda Gardner
State Farm – Stephanie Lee
Twenty20 Vision Center
Unbound Houston
Urban Constructors, Inc.

These new members now have access to exclusive membership perks, business development seminars, advertising opportunities and more. Interested in joining the Chamber? Give us a call at 281.488.7676 or check out the application here.

Networking 101

Networking is an art and we want to make sure you are getting the most out of your networking efforts. Hear from Scott Blair of CertaPro Painters of League City as he helps us to create value and genuinely connect with potential clients.

“Networking is the first step in building mutually beneficial, give and take, win-win relationships. People will do business with and refer business to other people they know, like and trust. Building these relationships is not just about what you know but is about who you know, who knows you and knows what you do. This is your Sphere of Influence, where your actions create reactions.

Develop a Personal Benefit Statement. This a short, succinct, descriptive of about seven words that other people can repeat about you. “I show people how to…” or “I help people to…”. This is not your longer elevator speech.

When you’re at a networking event remember everyone is there to meet someone new. Don’t spend too much time with “old friends”. Say hello and move on, you can catch up with those folks at another time. A lot of people are to shy to be power networkers, help them get over their fear, you speak first. Sit at a table where you DON’T know other people. Offer a card, get a card. Try exchanging VCards.

Ask open ended, feel good questions about them. But, most importantly ask, “How can I know if someone I’m talking to is a good prospect for you?”. Don’t forget to follow up. Building your Spere of Influence requires work, persistence and a plan. Good Luck.”

Interested practicing these new skills? Then join us and register for Thursday, September 10 @ 3:30PM for our Virtual Speed Networking and Friday, September 11 @ 9:30AM for our Coffee Break Catch-Up.

54th Annual New Teachers’ Luncheon

On Wednesday, August 5th, the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce along with Clear Creek Independent School District hosted the 54th New Teachers’ Luncheon to 350 new teachers in the district. This year, however, there was a twist.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the luncheon was moved to a virtual setting. All of the teachers were brought together (with appropriate social distancing rules), served a prepared luncheon provided by Robinette & Caterers Company and were able to watch a live broadcast of the luncheon which was filmed at South Shore Harbour and Resort.

Teachers were able to hear Dr. Greg Smith, Superintendent, speak as well as continue on the tradition of winning a number of door prizes donated by the business community in the Bay Area.

The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to continue this tradition of welcoming the new teachers into the Bay Area and into the CCISD. We want to thank our Platinum Sponsors: Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union, Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital, Jacobs, and UTMB Health. We also want to thank all of our Gold, Silver, Bronze and Luncheon sponsors as well. A special thank you to Little Lens Media, for helping us with the live broadcast and to every person who took time out of their day to make teacher bags and lunch deliveries to every single school.

We will continue to support all of the hard work of the teachers who serve the great Bay Area. To see pictures from the event, visit the New Teachers’ Luncheon page here.