Abbott: Seven reasons to shop small on Saturday

Published 3:00 p.m. CT Nov. 23, 2017


By Gov. Greg Abbott

Amidst the challenges faced in communities across Texas these past few months, there have been small blessings from which we can gain strength—including a renewed sense of community. We now know the incalculable value of neighbors helping neighbors.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, and kick off the Christmas shopping season, I encourage you to shop small and shop local this Saturday—in your neighborhood and beyond.

Small businesses are big in Texas, representing 9 in 10 of all businesses in the Lone Star State and employing nearly half of all Texans in the workforce. And I’m proud that Texas continues to rank among the top for small-business friendliness, for women-owned businesses and for veteran-owned businesses, because Texas needs small businesses to succeed.

Homegrown small businesses like the venture started by entrepreneur Pilar Gonzalez of Mission who was recently honored with a Governor’s Small Business Award. Using a favorite family recipe, she developed a line of all-natural gourmet yogurt dips now available at HEB under the brand Dip It, making shopping small in your neighborhood an option every day of the year.

And we now know that our neighbors are not always just next door or down the street. They may come from a county or more away. That is one of the lessons learned following Hurricane Harvey.

For example, Governor’s Small Business Award winner Jenn Cain and Shalen Cain, her husband and co-owner of Rita’s Ice in Corpus Christi, lost power during the storm, and then lost all of the shop’s inventory. Resupplied and back open in just days, they sent a mobile truck to Rockport giving out free Italian Ice and frozen drinks to residents and volunteers. Because that’s what neighbors do.

So this Saturday, I invite you to shop small. Here are seven reasons why.

Small businesses create jobs in your community. Money you spend at the corner coffee shop or Main Street retailer supports families in your neighborhood, jobs in your community and even other local independent businesses down the street.

Shopping local keeps your tax dollars in your community, helping to fund local public services on which you and your family rely.

Small businesses make your community unique. When you shop small, you are investing in the vibrancy of your community, what makes it appealing to your family.

Small businesses give back to your community. They are the mom-and-pop shops that sponsor the local soccer team, the school fundraiser and community events.

Small businesses are likely to be family owned. And what drives many family-owned businesses is the sense of connection with the community and the customers whose names they know.

Small businesses offer more unique products. Where else can you find one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, locally sourced foods and affordable regional artwork—all on the same block?

Small businesses are the heart and soul of Texas. Men and women willing to take a risk, to dig deep into their own pockets and stake their future on an idea, have long written the story of Texas. That pioneering spirit in our small town downtowns to our big city centers still fuels our shared prosperity.

Shop small and shop local this Saturday. Then consider a short trip to the Coastal Bend communities still recovering from the storm. Spend a day and a few dollars at the small businesses there. The return on your investment may come back to you one day as the hand of neighbor reaching out to help you.


Shop Small November 25th!

Shop Local on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is November 25th this year (two days after Thanksgiving). Have you made plans to shop at your local small businesses that day and throughout the holiday season? And if you are the owner of a local small business, have you ordered your Shop Small® Kit yet? If not, you’ll need to hurry, as the deadline is tomorrow (November 10th)!

According to the Small Business Administration 2017 Small Business Profile, small businesses account for 99.9% of all US businesses, employ 47.8% of all US employees, and represent 97.7% of the businesses that export goods to other countries. Not only are small businesses vital to the national economy, they also benefit the communities in which they operate, both economically and socially. Small businesses often support local organizations (such as youth sports), contribute to local charities, and sponsor or take part in local events.

In an effort to help small businesses capture a chunk of the holiday shopping dollars, American Express founded the first Small Business Saturday in 2010. The event has continued each year, and by last year (2016) an estimated $15.4 billion dollars were spent by US shoppers at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.

Get Ready to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday

For business owners, American Express has provided digital tools, in addition to the physical Shop Small® Kit noted above. The American Express Shop Small® website also includes an interactive map with markers for small business locations. To get your small business added to the map start at the Small Business Owners FAQ page.

Those of you who plan to support local small businesses on Small Business Saturday, throughout the holiday season and beyond, can start making plans with the Shop Small Map. You can either allow the map to grab your location, or you can enter your city or zip code. You can also filter the results by business type, and immediately see hours and directions to any business on the map.

So, get out there and support your local small businesses this holiday season and beyond. And who knows… you might even discover a new favorite restaurant or gift shop.

19th Annual GIS Day of the Coastal Bend Professional Track: How GIS Can Help Your Business

Presenter Title Organization Time Track
Dr. Phillip Davis Advantages and benefits of joining the Texas URISA chapter Texas – Urban & Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) 9:00am to 9:45am 1
Billy Delgado Utilizing GIS and UAS During Disaster and Relief Efforts City of Corpus Christi – Emergency Management – Fire Department 9:00am to 9:45am 2
Xavier Sandoval / Dr. James Ochoa Surveying Projects; Utilizing UAS for surveying your land XDS Surveying and Mapping 9:45am to 10:30am 1
Andrew Holstead Tracking the rate of growth of cotton over a summer with UAV Texas A&M – AgriLife 9:45am to 10:30am 2
Lydia Saucedo SCAUG Tie In Education and Careers South Central Arc Users Group (SCAUG) 10:30am to 11:15am 1
Dr. Michael Starek Assessing 3D Point Cloud Fidelity of UAS‐SfM Software Solutions Over Varying Terrain TAMUCC 10:30am to 11:15am 2
John Metz “How GIS was used during Hurricane Harvey” National Weather Service 11:15am to 12:00pm 1
John Ford Cloud Based 2D and 3D imagery Nearmap 11:15am to 12:00pm 2
Jose Mata Integrating GIS, remote sensing, and drones into livestock and wildlife habitat management Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville 1:00pm to 1:45pm 1
Thomas Brown ArcGIS Platform overview with focus on ArcGIS Online.  Empowering organizations to drive data driven decisions. ESRI – Sales Team Lead for Local Governments 1:00pm to 1:45pm 2
Tracy Lamb FAA’s UAS Updates and Regulations for Drone Pilots VP, Regulatory and Safety Affairs & Chief Pilot – Association for Unmanned Vehicles International (AUVSI) 2:00pm to 2:45pm 1
Tiffany Kline Using GIS for Business Analysis: How to Use GIS to Assist in Business Start-Ups and Expansions Del Mar College SBDC 2:00pm to 2:45pm 2
Dr. Mike Dvorak Custom map Tiles from High-Resolution Weather Data Using Open Source GIS Solutions Weather Tactics 3:00pm to 3:45pm 1

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Small business owners, make your voice heard!

The Del Mar College Small Business Development Center is partnering with the Federal Reserve on a Small Business Credit Survey for both pre-start and existing businesses, and we’d like you to participate. Your answers will help business service providers and lenders understand real-time business conditions. This short survey takes less than 9 minutes to complete. Individual responses are confidential and summary results will be shared with you.
Take the survey today!
If you have problems with the survey link above, copy and paste the following URL into a new browser window:

Hurricane Harvey – Disaster Recovery Assistance for Businesses and Individuals

Information compiled by the Del Mar College Small Business Development Center’s Business Advisors
September 12, 2017


Steps you can take NOW:

  1. Apply with FEMA THIS IS THE FIRST THING YOU MUST DO!!  (if you are in the affected region, even if you don’t think you need any assistance now, you may need it later, so register now):

If you have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers resources to help you recover.

Visit for trusted recovery information. To find and apply for assistance, visit

  1. Apply for SBA Disaster Loan Assistance (homeowners, renters, businesses of any size):

If you are in a declared disaster area and have suffered any disaster related damage you may be eligible for federal disaster assistance. Homeowners,  Renters, and Businesses must register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to obtain a FEMA Registration ID Number by calling 1-800-621-3362. Homeowners, renters, and businesses are encouraged to apply even if you are not sure you need or want a loan.

Apply here:

Phone: (800) 659-2955


Fact Sheet:

For those in the affected counties covered by Del Mar College SBDC: Nueces, San Patricio, Live Oak, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Kenedy, Brooks  please contact Del Mar College SBDC.

Del Mar College SBDC Advisors are available to assist you with your SBA Business Disaster Loan Assistance documents.  If you are already a client of the SBDC and seeking an SBA loan to assist with your business recovery, please contact your advisor directly for assistance with the application.  If you are not a current client of the SBDC, please register at  to become an SBDC client if you would like SBDC guidance.  When registering to be an SBDC client, please check the DISASTER RECOVERY box on the Area of Assistance page after the online signature page.   Del Mar College SBDC office (361) 698-1021 or

For those in the Port Aransas area you can visit the SBA Business Recovery Center at:

Port Aransas Community Center (next to the museum)

408 N. Alister St.

Port Aransas, TX 78373

Mondays – Fridays, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 For those in the affected counties covered by UHV SBDC: Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Refugio, Victoria  please contact UHV SBDC.

 University of Houston-Victoria SBDC Advisors are available to assist you with your SBA Business Disaster Loan Assistance documents. Contact your current Business Advisor or the SBDC office at (361) 485-4485 or

  1. Apply for Texas Workforce Disaster Unemployment Assistance for Employees and Self-Employed

TWC is accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) as a result of severe weather due to Hurricane Harvey. Under Presidential Disaster Declaration (FEMA 4332-DR [ ]) dated August 25, 2017, workers who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to damage sustained from Hurricane Harvey may be eligible for relief. Applications for DUA must be submitted by September 27, 2017.TWCs website contains more information about Disaster Unemployment Assistance [ ].Individuals can apply for disaster unemployment benefits online through Unemployment Benefit Services [ ]or by calling a TWC Tele-Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 800-939-6631.

  1. Additional Guides and Resources:

 Red Cross:

 The Texas Department of Insurance – Help after Harvey:

 Salvaging Wet Materials:

 OSHA Hurricane eMatrix for Response and Recovery:

SBP (St. Bernard Project):

Please click the links below for assistance in Hurricane Harvey Recovery for your business and home. SBP is a national nonprofit organization committed to helping residents and communities recover from disaster promptly and efficiently.

SBP is currently marshaling resources and we’ve committed to providing the following services to help support Harvey recovery efforts:

  • Boots on-the-ground – As soon as it is safe, SBP can deploy a team of AmeriCorps members and staff to support immediate recovery needs
  • Advisory to state and local leaders – SBP’s team can provide free advisory services to support decision-makers as they build long-term disaster recovery contracts and processes
  • Collaboration, best practice sharing and capacity building with local nonprofits
  • Mold remediation training
  • Damage assessment support – SBP can provide tools to conduct door-to-door damage assessment surveys, which collect valuable information on community needs
  • Rebuild homes, when the time is right

We also have free, downloadable guides and checklists on our Recovery Resource Page that can be shared to help impacted residents take control of their recovery, including:

For Contractors – Disaster Contracting Critical Things to Know:

Texas Association of Builders Resource Links:

Texas Association of Builders –

National Association of Home Builders Disaster Recovery Resources –

  1. Volunteer or Donate: