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.

Federal Reserve's Main Street Lending Program Expanded
The Main Street Lending Program, offering business loans to help eligible small and medium-sized companies through the COVID-19 pandemic, has recently been expanded to allow more business to receive support. Changes included lowering the minimum loan amount, raising the maximum loan limit, adjusting the principal repayment schedule, and extending the term to provide borrowers with greater flexibility in repayment. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is administering the program, and more program eligibility information, frequently asked questions, and the Main Street Lender Portal are available on the Federal Reserve's website.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Reopened
Small Business Administration Logo On June 15, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced  a reopening of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. Loans may be used to pay debts, for payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

Texas COVID Relief Fund Offering Grants up to $150,000
OneStar Foundation announced the availability of $500,000 in grant funding to support organizations across the state working to ensure the economic recovery of communities in Texas. Grants between $20,000 to $150,000 will support projects that address the unmet needs of vulnerable populations and underserved communities in the areas of community and economic development, healthcare, and education. 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to apply. Additional funding criteria for prioritization of applicants are outlined on the OneStar Foundation Texas COVID Relief Fund webpage. The deadline to apply is this Thursday, June 25.

Greater Houston Partnership June Economy at a Glance
The June edition of Houston: The Economy at a Glance offers insight into local unemployment reports, the economic effects of phased reopening, the state of the energy industry, and population trends in the Houston-Galveston area. Key updates include: 
  • The National Bureau of Economic Research has formally declared  the United States entered a recession in February. The bureau offered no insight into the expected depth or duration of the recession.
  • The nine-county Metro Houston area has lost 330,100 jobs since the economy shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Partnership calculations based on Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) data. The data likely understates the extent of the losses; any layoffs since mid-April do not appear in TWC's report.
May 2020 Gulf Coast Labor Market Analysis
Texas Workforce Solutions logo
A slow reopening of non-essential businesses led to a slight rise in employment in May. Unemployment in May fell to 13.9% in the region, which is down from 14.3% last month. The 13.9% unemployment rate represents 463,133 people looking for a new job. Most of the 73,800 jobs added last month were in the Leisure and Hospitality sector, said Workforce Solutions economist Parker Harvey, "Hiring, or re-hiring in this case, was almost exclusively in the realm of restaurants and bars, which added 37,400 workers."  The  Texas Workforce Commission announced  earlier this week that beginning July 6, Texans receiving unemployment benefits will need to begin looking for work to continue receiving their weekly payment. Unemployment beneficiaries must register with the state-operated job database, For more on the labor market in May, read the full report from Workforce Solutions.

EDA Finalizing Details of Coronavirus Entrepreneurship and Innovation Challenge with CARES Act Funding
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) intends to release an entrepreneurship and innovation competition with approximately $25 million from the CARES Act. A June 9 webinar from State Science and Technology Institute outlines current EDA funding opportunities, announces the new competition, and includes a lengthy Q&A. Potential applicants must address the unique operating environment necessitated by the coronavirus to support one or more of the following areas of interest:
  • Biotech/health security/supply chain innovation
  • Regional, national, and government connectivity
  • Innovation & entrepreneurship
  • Access to Capital 
The 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 or view the GCEDD EDA CARES Act webinar.

Department of Defense Accepts Proposals for  "Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program" Funding Opportunity 
The Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) released a notice of funding opportunity for the new Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program. Funded projects must come from regional consortia, include connections to Defense manufacturing institutes, and work to strengthen technological or manufacturing supply chains. Proposals are due July 12. The OEA will invite the consortia with the best  applications to compete for up to $5 million in funding. Potential applicants can view a recorded pre-proposal webinar.

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:

Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars 

June 23 | COVID-19 Business Forum - Economic Update | Greater Houston Partnership
Patrick Jankowski, the Greater Houston Partnership's Senior Vice President of Research, will provide an economic update on the state of Houston's economy during the COVID-19 outbreak.

June 24 | Post-COVID-19: How Global Supply Chain Strategies Are Changing | Texas Economic Development Council
Rosemary Coates, Executive Director of the Reshoring Institute, will speak on how companies must become responsive and resilient to the next pandemic, the next trade war, and global climate changes. Learn how to understand the changes to global supply chain flows and how these will affect business locations. Learn how supply chains can turn crises into opportunities through fast response, rapid retooling, and tracking demand.

June 24 | How COVID-19 is Changing the Business Continuity Landscape | Disaster Recovery Journal
This webinar will cover business continuity lessons learned from COVID-19; adapting to the changing landscape of business continuity; the importance of accessible business continuity plans and efficient communication; and implementing plan testing to uncover gaps ahead of an incident.

June 24 | Business Beyond Borders: Global Supply Chain | Greater Houston Partnership
Business Beyond Borders will explore the impact of COVID-19 and the downturn in Oil & Gas on global supply chains and the related effects on Houston's economy. This event is exclusive to partnership members.

June 24 | Maximizing Value on Every Public Dollar During & After COVID-19 | National Association of Counties
The National Association of Counties, NACo Financial Services Corporation, and Three + One will show counties how to use liquidity analyses and data to maximize the value on current tax dollars and any CARES Act funding received. 

June 25 | From Farmers to Grocers to Servers, Food Systems Are Changing | International Economic Development Council
COVID-19 has disrupted food supply chains in America and around the globe. As schools, restaurants, and other major consumers of food products closed, demand dried up, leaving farmers with excess crops. At the same time, food banks around the United States saw more clients as unemployment soared. In this webinar, we will consider how economic developers can address food issues in their own communities and what to anticipate as supply chains return.

June 30 | Tapping Into Hidden Capital for COVID-19 Recovery | Texas Economic Development Council
Governments and institutions are starving for capital to keep revenue growing. Economic developers must provide adaptive financial sourcing in response to the massive disruption of COVID-19. During this webinar, learn how you can tap into "hidden capital" to fund struggling local governments, universities, and health care facilities and safeguard the fiscal well-being of your communities.

July 8 | Access to Capital and Community Facilities | Council of Development Finance Agencies
Part of the Council of Development Finance Agencies-Alliance for Rural Impact Rural Finance Webinar Series, presenters will discuss community facilities resources and other accessible capital for rural community development. Access to healthcare services is critical for communities of all sizes, and COVID-19 has shown us just how great the need for these and other community facilities is in much of rural America. Although community facilities are challenging to finance, there are a variety of capital and investment sources for these projects available.

July 9 | What Worries Your Municipal Advisor | Council of Development Finance Agencies
If you could attend one of their staff meetings, you might hear municipal advisors debating about market stability, smartest choices for reinvesting bond proceeds, evaluating strength of the local tax base, how many different financing tools can you leverage into one deal. What should issuers, underwriters, and advisors know about working with their team of professionals to complete a bond deal during times of crisis? This interview style discussion will feature a round robin of advisors divulging the capital markets trends they're following and offer some best practices on how to deal with them.

July 9 | Resetting the Local Economy after COVID-19 | Institute for Local Government
Learn how to quickly and strategically retool local economies in response to COVID-19 impacts on retail, hotels, tourism, industrial, and residential markets. Understand the evolving shifts in land use and occupancy, identify sectors that will come back first, and learn how to select and implement effective programs that can accomplish recovery in the near term and achieve resiliency over the long term. View other webinars from the Institute for Local Government.

July 9 | Analyzing Employer Demand Data to Support Economic Recovery | National Association of Development Organizations
The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the world economy. In response, Burning Glass Technologies is using its database of more than a billion current and historical job postings to measure the economic shock and how it affects the job market. Staff at Burning Glass will share observations and analyses derived through real-time employer demand data on impacted industries and occupations and discuss factors influencing economic recovery.

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.
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