Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update
The Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Gulf Coast Economic Development District stand ready to assist the 13-county region in pursuing strategies to restore local economies. We will be issuing this Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update to help our local partners stay on top of new funding opportunities.  Subscribers to the monthly Regional Economic Development Digest will receive the weekly update automatically. We hope to make it easier for you to secure the resources you need to recover quickly.

Please e-mail Josh Owens or call 832-681-2613 to discuss economic recovery needs you may have.

Upcoming Webinar Will Feature the GCEDD's Economic Resilience Plan
The Houston-Galveston Area Council will be one of two regional organizations featured in the National Association of Development Organization's (NADO) upcoming webinar for work incorporating resilience into transportation and economic development planning. Joshua Owens will present on the Gulf Coast Economic Development District's 2018  Regional Economic Resilience Plan, which analyzed threats and proposed solutions to help regional and county economies bounce back more quickly from disruptions. The plan created an economic profile for each of the region's 13 counties, detailing land use and demographics, housing, and commute patterns.
LISC logo Applications to Open Again on July 27 for LISC Small Business Relief Grants
For businesses facing immediate financial pressure due to COVID-19, LISC Small Business Relief Grants offer $5,000 to $20,000 to pay rent and utilities, meet payroll, pay outstanding debt to vendors, and other immediate operational costs. See more grant information and frequently asked questions and register to be notified when the next round opens on July 27.
$41 Million in Federal COVID-19 Emergency Funding to Go to Local Governments Across Texas
Governor Greg Abbott announced on July 15 that his Public Safety Office will provide $41 million in federal funds to local governments for first responder overtime and hazard pay; equipment and supplies supporting teleworking technologies, social distancing and personal protective gear; county jail costs associated with the medical needs of inmates as well as reimbursement for holding inmates awaiting transfer. The first round of awards, totaling $7 million, was distributed last week. A list of jurisdictions that have received an award will be updated as awards are released. Local governments interested in learning more about this program can  e-mail the Public Safety Office or call 512-463-1919.
June 2020 Gulf Coast Labor Market Analysis
Employers in the Houston-Galveston region added 55,000 jobs in June 2020. Over half of the monthly gains were in Leisure and Hospitality. "The phased reopening of Houston area businesses in early May permitted bars to operate at 50% capacity by June 3 and restaurants at 75% by June 12. These events likely contributed to the strong job gains observed in the Leisure and Hospitality sector for the month of June," noted Workforce Solutions Economist, Parker Harvey. "However, the strength of gains going forward is now in question given the reversion back to 50% capacity for restaurants and the re-closure of bars at the end of June." In June, the unemployment rate fell to 9.9%, down from May's unemployment rate of 13.9%. The additional $600 weekly unemployment compensation from the CARES Act is scheduled to end effective July 25, 2020. Read the full report.

Economic Development Administration CARES Act Funding
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) continues to accept applications for CARES Act supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Funds are available through the 2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity (FY20 PWEAA NOFO, see page 46). The Gulf Coast Economic Development District will provide technical assistance to applicants. E-mail Josh Owens with any questions.

Federal Funding For Rural Communities 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.   Current USDA funding opportunities:
  • Business & Industry CARES Act Guaranteed Loan Program (September 15, 2021) 
    Loan guarantees to lenders supporting rural businesses and agricultural producers to supplement their working capital to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus.
  • Community Facilities (Ongoing)
    Grants and loans to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities in rural areas.

Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars 
July 21 | Financing Small Business Recovery After COVID-19 | Council of Development Finance Agencies
The nation's small businesses have been facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the coronavirus. Now more than ever, access to capital for this sector is critical to the survival and rebuilding of our small business ecosystem. During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, panelists will discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on access to capital and how finance tools have evolved to meet the growing needs of small businesses as the nation works towards economic recovery.
July 21 | Economy Series: Mid-Year Review | Greater Houston Partnership
Greater Houston Partnership Senior Vice President of Research Patrick Jankowski will deliver his monthly analysis on Houston's economy by taking a look back at the first six months of 2020.

July 21 |  US COVID-19 Mapping: Bridging Data with Historical Context   | National Association of Counties
Learn about the importance of social and economic data in understanding COVID-19's impact with County Health Rankings & Roadmaps' Data and Community Transformation Teams.
July 21 | Information Session for the Rural Tech Project  | Department of Education
The Rural Tech Project , with a total cash prize pool of $600,000, invites high schools and local educational agencies to develop competency-based distance learning programs. Rural high schools and local educational agencies interested in entering the challenge should  submit a proposal  by October 8, 2020. Learn more and ask questions at the virtual information session.
July 22|  Toolkit for a Resilient Recovery   | Global Resilient Cities Network
Global Resilient Cities Network is collaborating with its member cities to develop a toolkit to support local authorities in integrating best practices and resilience principles into their recovery plans and investment portfolios. Join to hear from cities and partners on how they are responding to the COVID-19 challenge and how their lessons learned are captured in the Toolkit for a Resilient Recovery.
July 23 |  Seeking Forgiveness for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan   | Nonprofit Quarterly
In early June, Congress approved the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Bill, which authorized key changes including extending the PPP and the rehiring deadline to December 31, 2020, and expanding the covered period for loan use from eight weeks to twenty-four weeks. This webinar will share detailed guidance for nonprofit leaders.
July 28 | COVID-19 Recovery Strategies for Small Business Districts - Session 1 | US Department of Housing and Urban Development
The next topic area of the Responding to COVID-19 webinar series is economic development. Presenters will provide a broad range of resources relevant for small, distressed local governments. The series will be of special interest to city managers or mayors, finance directors or treasurers, community planning/development directors, and economic development directors. During the webinar, presenters will poll participants to determine the topic for the second session.
July 29 | Regional Resilience for Transportation and Economic Development | National Association of Development Organizations
Join RPO America and the NADO Research Foundation's  National Regional Transportation Conference for a discussion of resiliency as a framework to prepare communities and regions for an uncertain future. The Houston-Galveston Area Council will be one of two regional organizations featured in this webinar for work incorporating resilience into transportation and economic development planning.
July 31 | Federal Recovery Resources from the SBA | Council of Development Finance Agencies
Small businesses are critical economic development drivers in urban centers, suburban enclaves, and rural cities, yet COVID-19 has left many struggling to identify and obtain the necessary capital to sustain the workforce and pay bills. During this webinar, administrators from the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide a year-end analysis of its COVID-19 relief programs and discuss what can be learned about providing small businesses with access to capital.

August 13 |  Responding to Crisis in the Latino Population with an Equity Lens   | National Association of Counties
Learn from UnidosUS about the issues Latino communities are facing and the emerging strategies that their affiliates across the country are employing during this pandemic to address them.

Partner Resources 

Visit our website for information and links to local, regional, and partner organizations that have additional resources and information on economic recovery. A select list is presented below.

The Greater Houston Partnership has established the Greater Houston Business Recovery Center, which will provide guidance on policy and financing related to recovery programs.

RestoreYourEconomy is your resource for up-to-date information related to COVID-19 and its economic impacts.

The Texas Economic Development Council COVID-19 webpage catalogs COVID-19 resources, updated, and links. It includes webinars, small business program examples, research white papers, resources for businesses, Texas Workforce Commission resources, and advice for retailers.

The National Association of Development Organizations COVID-19 resource center provides advocacy resources, upcoming virtual events and training, federal agency COVID-19 resources, member response resources, national partner organizations response resources, Office of Management and Budget guidance, state-by-state workforce guidelines, philanthropic resources for communities, and economic resilience resources.

The International Economic Development Council Corona Virus Response webpage provides information on the Council's COVID-19 webinar series, COVID-19 resources, and frequently updated situational reports.

Main Street Forward provides a wide range of free resources for Main Street leaders, including recovery planning tools, research, advocacy efforts, and best practices and examples from around the Main Street Network.
The Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update is published by the