Governor Greg Abbott today held a listening session in San Antonio with construction workers, small business leaders, and advocates to discuss how Texas can better support small businesses and workers in the wake of COVID-19. Following the listening session, the Governor held a brief press conference to provide a summary of the discussion and outlined proposed legislative strategies to ensure a more prosperous future for the state of Texas.
During the listening session, Governor Abbott and participants discussed strategies on how to grow the Texas economy and help business owners and workers impacted by COVID-19. The Governor noted that he is working with the Legislature to provide civil liability protections for individuals and businesses, and review regulations suspended during the pandemic to cut unnecessary red tape. The listening session also highlighted the importance of broadband access for medicine, education, and business. The Governor said this session, Texas lawmakers must remove barriers that slow down and prevent broadband deployment to unserved Texans. Additionally, listening session participants discussed finding ways to reduce permit process delays for Texas businesses. They also discussed the COVID-19 rapid testing program for front line workers of small businesses, the Texas Enterprise Fund, and how the state of Texas can continue to develop a high quality workforce.
"Despite the challenges our state has faced over the past year, Texas remains the economic engine of America," said Governor Abbott. "Texas businesses have gone above and beyond to operate safely, and it is crucial that we continue to foster an environment that allows them to succeed. I look forward to working with the Legislature on these important issues, and continuing these conversations with business leaders and workers across the state to build a more prosperous future for every Texan."
The Governor was joined for the listening session by:
- State Representative Liz Campos
- Blaine Beckman - President, Associated General Contractors San Antonio
- Ed Berlanga - President, Greater San Antonio Builders Association
- Chase Botkin - Superintendent, Myers Concrete
- Matt De La Garza - Site Superintendent, RCO Construction
- Frank Fuentes - Chairman, Hispanic Contractors Association
- Lisa Fullterton - President/CEO of A Novel Idea (DBA Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, DBA Cinnabon)
- Leo Gomez - President & CEO, Brooks
- Mario Mejia - Equipment Operator & Carpenter, RCO Construction
- Patrick Richardson - Owner, Silo
- Annie Spilman - Texas State Director, National Federation of Independent Business
- Joshua Surface - Project Manager, J3 Company
- David Weaver - Assistant Superintendent, Stellar
- Mario Valdez - General Superintendent, J3 Company
- Stanislas Vilgrain - Founder & Chairman of the Board of Directors, Cuisine Solutions