We hope you have been taking advantage of the resources we’ve shared on the http://HOUimpact.com app, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook. We’re doing our best to keep you updated and prepared for whatever comes next. As a global network, we are lucky to have the infrastructure in place to cooperate and act around the world. All Impact Hubs are implementing health and security protocols to support their local communities. We are also leveraging our virtual platform with a group dedicated to all things COVID-19, providing a safe space for open sharing of questions, assets, and best practices that we can then share with you.
To continue serving you locally through the coronavirus COVID-19 sequestering, we’re working to move our events, resources and support online, and are postponing any major celebrations. Our team will reassess policies on a weekly basis and share updates via newsletter, our Global and Local apps, and social media.
While we scale back on in-person meetings, we plan to scale UP on knowledge exchange and resource sharing online. Since Day 1, we’ve been dedicated to meeting people where they are, and practicing radical collaboration, inclusion, and equitable entrepreneurial support. Now, more than ever, we are committed to helping you access the resources and opportunities you need to survive this and thrive beyond it. If you’d like to be the first to know about new resources or updates as they evolve, please join us on http://HOUimpact.com — we are offering this app for FREE to the Greater Houston community to connect and collaborate! (* Impact Hub Members: You get a private group for special mentoring sessions, and still receive free access to any of our virtual workshops! *)
To stay safe, informed, and get help in the Greater Houston area:
- Houston Public Media has a dedicated coronavirus page for live updates, 24/7: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/coronavirus/. It includes a guide from PBS on ways to talk to children about the outbreak, and bilingual information from the CDC.
- The Houston Health Department has opened up a hotline for questions about COVID-19. Call 832-393-4220 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Staff can answer questions in English and Spanish; follow up in other languages; and will return voice messages left after hours.
- The SBA is working with states to provide targeted, low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and non-profits severely impacted by the coronavirus.
- Affected artists and performers may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assitance (DUA). Self-employed artists are also eligible. You just need a contract, 1099, or W-2: https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/disaster-unemployment-assistance
- Please continue to follow the protocols set by the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. While no actions can completely eliminate the possibility of illness, please wash your hands frequently; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If you have to travel: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.
- If you or your neighbors need help getting food, go to https://www.houstonfoodbank.org/covid19/for food-access information and a map of Houston Food Bank partners near you who can help.
- Finally, here’s a continuously updated list of conference cancellations or postponements: http://bit.ly/covidconfcancellations
We believe that this crisis offers our city and community the opportunity to focus resources towards solving not just for the pandemic, but also for some of Houston’s already-existing issues, from public health and wellness to learning and resource accessibility to mobility disparity to entrepreneurial funding and support. To that end, we’re adding special programs and making vital resources available online for you to continue connecting, ideating, and developing your solution and business through this time…and beyond:
For Our Members and Community:
- Tools to help you remote work and/or deliver your services online: https://techagainstcoronavirus.com/
- Just because we can’t be together in person, doesn’t mean we can’t continue to connect: Check our calendar for upcoming virtual workshops and events: https://houston.impacthub.net/calendar/
- If you offer solutions or tools that can help with health, business support, communications, etc., challenges world-wide, please contact us so we can connect you with our global network.
- If you think you can benefit from being a part of Impact Hub Houston and our global network, please join us at https://houston.impacthub.net/membership.
- To support our work and help us continue providing these resources to our region’s diverse community, please contribute here: https://houston.impacthub.net/donate
For Our Members:
- We will continue to work with you to make sure that you are leveraging your benefits to address current challenges and minimize any disruption to your business. Please search your inbox for the invitation to the private Impact Hub Houston Members Group on http://houimpact.com, or contact us directly if you need specific help.
- Regarding work spaces: Please try to reschedule or move any non-essential office visits online; and avoid the spaces entirely if you feel ill. If you still need a space to meet IRL, please contact Michelle. Help keep our community safe and healthy so we can all keep doing the work we love!
If you know of any resources and opportunities that we can help share for entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits, creatives and freelancers to maintain their work, livelihood, and mission from the safety of home, please post it in http://HOUimpact.com or send it to us at [email protected]
It has always been Impact Hub’s vision to catalyze collective action for a better world. Now, more than ever, we must unite through compassionate leadership and collaborative action to strengthen and support our communities. Please take care of yourselves, your neighbors, and your local businesses and entrepreneurs. When Hurricane Harvey hit, we came through it together. Together, we’ll survive this, too! #HoustonStrong
Here for you and wishing you well,
Grace, Michelle, and the Impact Hub Houston community
P.S. Make a little “me-time” to give your body and mind a break from the stress. Pick a moment to meditate. Stretch it out with some home-office yoga. Do a hair toss and dance it off. Or grab a good book to get your mind off of things — I recommend “Love in the Time of Cholera”: https://amzn.to/2WpZIaq (link benefits Impact Hub Houston!)