Category: COVID-19

High-Demand For Plasma

DHR Health Institute for Research and Development is facilitating the donation of plasma from recovered and suspected COVID-19 patients. Due to the critical increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Rio Grande Valley, donated plasma will be used to treat patients in local hospitals who are fighting severe and life-threatening COVID-19 infections.

All eligible donors will undergo an antibody test during screening to determine the presence of antibodies in their blood. These results will be shared with the participant.

There is no cost to participate, and if eligible, you will be provided with compensation for your participation. If interested, please call (956) 215-3166 or (504) 444-2318.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Reopened

WASHINGTON – To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.

“The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact.  With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low-interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Since EIDL assistance due to the pandemic first became available to small businesses located in every state and territory, SBA has worked to provide the greatest amount of emergency economic relief possible.  To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit.  These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue.  EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.  Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance

  • The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.
  • These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses.  The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
  • In addition, small businesses and non-profits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000. The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.  This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.
  • SBA’s EIDL and EIDL Advance are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response.
  • The SBA is also assisting small businesses and non-profits with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently accepting applications until June 30, 2020.

For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit


Pharr Launches Business Impact Survey to Measure Impact of COVID-19 on Local Economy

Pharr, Texas – The City of Pharr in collaboration with the Pharr EDC and the Greater Pharr Chamber of Commerce announced that they have launched a Business Impact Survey to measure the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and the community.

“Our local businesses are the lifeline of our economy, and we rely on our local business community to provide us with goods, services, entertainment, and products that fulfill our needs, feed our families, and enhance our livelihood,” said Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D. “Many of our local businesses are suffering right now due to COVID-19 and although many have adapted to implement the current orders and social distancing initiatives, there are still many who have had to completely shut down their operations or switch to online or other delivery methods,” Hernandez continued. “Through this survey, we hope to gauge the needs of our community so that we can work together to assess the impact, prepare for recovery, and plan for the future,” he added.

The online survey has been sent to local businesses to ensure that the city has an accurate reflection of how businesses are coping, how hard they have been impacted, if they have the means to recover and continue operations, and to measure others issues that have come up as a result of adjusting business operations.


“Pharr has been proactive since the start of COVID-19, and we have been working closely with our local, state, and federal legislators on all levels, including keeping our local businesses informed of any economic assistance that may be available,” stated Victor Perez, Pharr EDC Executive Director.  “This is an especially tough situation for many businesses as they have had to change their normal operations, while also tending to the personal and financial impact caused to their employees and business,” he added. “As we continue to gather information from our local business leaders, we will be analyzing information and data collected to help guide future policy decisions and relief efforts,” said Perez.

City officials are doing all they can to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the community and urge Pharr residents and businesses to heed the guidance of federal, state, and local authorities to continue practice social distancing as we all work to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Pharr is a resilient community and we want our residents and businesses to know that we are all in this together, and we will get through this together,” added Mayor Hernandez. “We will continue to fight this invisible enemy, while also continuing to fight for more resources, funding, and assistance to ensure that our community remains safe and that our local businesses and economy will continue to thrive,” he said.

The City of Pharr will use data collected from the survey to analyze the impacts on the local economy and to continue advocating for more assistance to help local businesses get back to business.