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New Market Tax Credit Map
The red and yellow areas are eligible for New Market Tax Credits.
New Market Tax Credits

Created in 2000, New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) are a federal program promoting investment in low income or distressed areas by attracting private investors to create community impact, such as job creation/retention, improved access to goods and services (education, healthcare, fresh food), minority-owned businesses financing, renewable energy, services, and amenities (such as community centers). To date, the program, administered by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), a division of the U.S. Treasury and the IRS, has awarded 836 NMTCs totaling $40 billion. Under the program, investors receive federal income tax credits equivalent to 39% of the investment (loan) over a seven year period. For more information on New Markets Tax Credits, please see the presentation delivered to the GCEDD by Lewis Gissel and Yasmin Huebinger at our July 10 quarterly meeting. 

Fred Hartman Bridge
Baytown-West Chambers County Update
Baytown and West Chambers County are experiencing significant expansion of employment, particularly in the petrochemical sector. These new employment opportunities are driving population and housing growth in the area, which is creating growth in the number of retail and entertainment establishments. There has been a 10% increase in the number of jobs since 2009 in the area (for a total of 54,157 jobs). Employment in the area pays well, the average earnings per job in 2014 was $73,634, well above the national average of $53,571.The top employers include Exxon Mobil & Chemical, Chevron Phillips, and Bayer. Several smaller companies also have facilities in the area, such as Targa Resources, Jindal Steel, Calpine, Wal-Mart (with a 4 million square foot distribution center) and The Home Depot. For more information, please see the presentation delivered to the GCEDD by BJ Simon at our July 10 quarterly meeting.
H-GALDC LogoHouston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation (H-GALDC)
The Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation (H-GALDC) is a certified development company (CDC) created in the early 1980s by the Houston-Galveston Area Council to promote economic development and job creation throughout the 13-county Upper Gulf Coast Region of Texas. This is primarily accomplished through the servicing of U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loans, offering lower, fixed interest rates and longer, 20-year repayment terms. The SBA 504 Loan Program use both bank and SBA loans to finance up to 90 percent (50 percent bank loans, 40 percent from the SBA) which means a borrower may only need a 10 percent down payment (cash or project equity). The program is designed to help for-profit businesses buy or build owner-occupied real estate and/or purchase capital equipment.  Projects typically range from $500,000 up to $10 million in size. The low, fixed rate allows lenders to be more competitive and offer a unique funding opportunity in the market.
HB 1949
The City of Waller originated a bill in the 2015 Texas Legislature to give more annexation flexibility to general law (under 5,000 population) cities in Texas. Waller has several industrial properties on city utilities, with owners interested in annexation when the City becomes contiguous. However, under the previous law, the properties could not be annexed because they were not yet contiguous and intermediate property owners did not want to be annexed. The new flexibility allows the general law city to annex, without petition, any public right-of-way that would establish contiguity between the developing property and the current city limits. Since a property owner still has to voluntarily petition for annexation, there are no new or additional restrictions on any owner who does not want annexation. By having the flexibility to annex properties already on city utilities and whose owners were willing to petition for annexation, City of Waller will increase its property tax base by approximately 55%.
Spotlight on Community Development Lendingspotlight

NEUTEX LED Lighting

Based in Houston, Texas, NEUTEX LED Lighting designs, manufactures and sells LED lighting solutions. The NEUTEX LED Lighting family of indoor and outdoor LED lighting solutions offers architects, lighting designers and building managers the most advanced LED products for today's application. The NEUTEX team of industry experts continuously explores new and innovative ways to produce lighting products that revolutionize the LED lighting industry. When NEUTEX needed capital to expand, it got low-interest financing from the Business Loan Fund.

The Business Loan Fund offers low-interest loans to business owners to purchase fixed assets, buildings, inventory, supplies, fixtures, furniture, and equipment. Business owners may also use these funds for working capital. Loan amounts can range from $100,000 to $300,000, with terms of up to 10 years, at a minimum 4% fixed interest rate.
Regional Growth Forecastforecast
Screen Shot of Regional Land Use Information System
The Regional Land Use Information application  allows users to view forecasted land use for the 8-county H-GAC region.
Second Quarter Update Available

The Regional Growth Forecast is updated by H-GAC on a quarterly basis for the 8-county region; the Forecast for the second quarter of 2015 is available now. You can view summary charts, summary maps, and interactive maps, as well as download Excel tables and GIS data.

 

The current release incorporates newly announced developments and plats processed during 2015 Q1.Together, they account for 17-million-square-feet (MSF) of non-residential space, 19,500 single-family homes, and 5,500 multi-family units. The 2015 Q2 release includes population and employment data down to the Transportation Analysis Zone (TAZ) and Census Tract level.
Regional Economic Trendstrends
Arrow above bar chart - illustrating trends
Regional Economic Indicators
The Gulf Coast Economic Development District is committed to providing you with the economic data you need to promote economic development in your jurisdiction. Workforce Solutions offers Labor Market Information for the region, including the following data: Occupations in Demand, Economic & Employment Data, Gulf Coast Regional Data, Economic Profiles and Monthly/Quarterly Reports by County and Metropolitan Statistical Area, Regional Unemployment Rates, and Historic Employment Data.

If you would like to suggest other data to include in this report, please contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
The Economic Development Digest is published quarterly by the
Gulf Coast Economic Development District.