DALLAS - Governor Greg Abbott held a roundtable discussion with small business owners in Dallas.
The governor is promising the state is going to do all it can to support and promote small business development.
Gov. Abbott used Ruibals Plants of Texas on Thursday as the landscape to talk about fostering business growth, calling small businesses the backbone of the Texas economy.
"Nine out of ten businesses in Texas are small, and small businesses employ about half of all the employees in the entire state of Texas," he said.
The state leads the nation in corporate relocations and expansions and, in 2020, commercial real estate development.
"Today, Texas, if it were its own country, now has the ninth-largest economy in the world," Abbott said. "So we're growing internationally."
It’s an economy that’s taken a punch from this pandemic.
"We know there are businesses that need to get back to work," Abbott said. "There are employees who have bills to pay. There are jobs that must be open."
The governor told the group of small business owners that they could expect an increase in the economy soon because numbers related to COVID-19 are trending down.
"As of yesterday, we had the lowest number of hospitalizations that we’ve had in exactly two months," he said. "It was Dec. 11 that we had this low number of hospitalizations. We had the lowest positivity rate since November, and so all the numbers are moving in the right direction."
The state is working on strategies to accelerate the process for teachers taking vaccines.
"A key component of getting Texas back open and getting people back to work is making sure that all of our schools are fully open," Abbott said. "It’s important for the workforce but more important for the students the students need to be back in the classroom."
Community vaccination centers coming through FEMA later this month will increase the number of people getting vaccines by 10,000 per day.
"And that will lead to an announcement that hopefully will be coming soon that we’ll be opening Texas even more," Abbott said.
The governor says the legislature this session is working on measures to ease regulations to give business room to grow while protecting those who've worked through the pandemic. He is looking at passing a civil liability protection bill to block what he called frivolous lawsuits.