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.

Gov. Abbott Limits Reopening of Certain Businesses and Services as COVID-19 Cases Increase in Texas 
On June 26, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order limiting the reopening of certain businesses and services linked to the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state. These businesses include bars, which may remain open for take-out and delivery, and restaurants, which may remain open at under 50% capacity for dine-in service. 

Texas Workforce Commission Expands Skills Development Fund
Skills Development fund logo beside Texas star The Texas Workforce Commission took action to expand the eligibility for Skills Development Fund COVID-19 training to include publicly funded hospitals, small business owners, and sole proprietors operating in-demand sections. Texas Workforce Commission's Skills Development Fund provides local, customized training opportunities for Texas businesses and workers. The Fund pays for the training through partnerships with eligible applicants: public community and technical colleges, Workforce Development Boards and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).

Studies Show the Coronavirus Pandemic's Toll on Small Businesses, Nonprofits found that the sectors most affected by the coronavirus and least financially resilient include 1.7 million small businesses, employ 20 million workers, and earn 12% of U.S. business revenue. The report noted that with their roles as employers, economic multipliers, and community hubs, small businesses need interventions that provide more than immediate relief and help build longer-term resilience. Additional research from JPMorgan Chase & Co. found that small business revenues dropped as much as 50%, and cash balances dropped 12.7% through April 2020, with Black and Asian-owned businesses suffering larger declines than white-owned businesses. Read more analysis of the two reports on the State Science & Technology Institute blog.

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.

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.

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 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 1 | Optimizing the PPP Loan: An Update on Loan Forgiveness & Terms | Texas Economic Development and Texas Workforce Commission
This webinar will address changes to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan terms and explain how to calculate the potential forgiveness of a loan. The webinar will also provide small business owners and entrepreneurs with guidance on available state and federal resources and information on both financial and non-financial support.

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.

July 9 | Preserving Manufacturing in the COVID-19 Economy | Brookings Institute
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the manufacturing sector. In conjunction with the economic downturn, it has altered operations, supply chains, and output. Governance Studies at Brookings will host a webinar on the manufacturing landscape and what lies ahead. Panelists will examine ways to revitalize and renew growth amid the health and economic crisis.

July 13 | Preparing for the Next Wave of Investment: Re-shoring and FDI | International Economic Development Council
Ramifications of supply chain disruption are causing US-based companies to consider re-shoring functions, such as manufacturing and research and development. Foreign companies with a heavy presence in North America will also be considering building new locations to better serve their customers. This webinar will provide guidance from experts in site-selection, re-shoring and FDI, and global business. Attendees will learn about how COVID-19 has changed the practices of re-shoring and FDI and how to position their communities for new investment.

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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