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Empower Entrepreneurship text only Resources for Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs
On October 6, the Gulf Coast Economic Development District (GCEDD) held a forum to highlight best practices and regional resources available to support start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.
C. Kim Morris, Director of the Bay Area Houston Advanced Technology Consortium (BayTech), presented on the efforts they have undertaken to promote entrepreneurship and start-up businesses in the Bay Area of Greater Houston and how they leverage NASA's Johnson Space Center to stimulate innovation.   
Susan Dixon, Account Liaison with Workforce Solutions, presented on the resources available for employers to help train new employees, and other technical assistance and resources Workforce Solutions can provide to assist entrepreneurs.  
La Tisha Venters, SBA Program Manager for the Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation, presented on financing offered through the SBA 504 Loan Program. She also highlighted the GCEDD's Business Loan Fund as an option for financing new businesses.
Marlon Mitchell, Director of Houston Business Development Inc.'s (HBDi), presented on what HBDi can do to assist entrepreneurs and the financing that they provide, including small business loans, fast track loans, start-up business loans, and a SBA 504 Loans. 
Lisa Mutchler, Program Director with Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, presented on the services offered to start-up businesses, including skills training, business process analysis, regulation-required training, supply chain development, and product innovation. She also presented a list of Hurricane Harvey business recovery resources.
Marco Ruiz, a Business Advisor with the University of Houston Fort Bend County Small Business Development Center, presented on the center's one-on-one business consulting, workshops and seminars, and business and market research. 
IEDC Offers Technical Assistance to Harvey Impacted Communities
The International Economic Development Council, through a grant from the Economic Development Administration, is providing volunteer Hurricane Harvey recovery assistance. The volunteers are senior-level and executive economic development professionals. Many are experienced in disaster recovery and have provided advisory services to members. To request assistance, complete this form to apply.        
Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable
H-GAC hosted its latest Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable on October 24 in Angleton. Participants heard from the Texas Historical Commission about their new online tool, The tool is an online building inventory for Texas downtowns featuring historic property listings. The goal is to increase and influence the market exposure of available historic properties in downtowns across Texas. The next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable will be January 23, 2018. 
Economic Development Administration logo
Economic Development Administration Funding Available
Is there a job generation project in a distressed area of your jurisdiction in need of additional funding? If you have a project that is in need, reach out to Robert Peche, the Economic Development Administration's Economic Development Representative for the region, at 512-568-7732.
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Actions

The following articles highlight actions underway or available for the region to advance the strategies and actions in the GCEDD Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS).

Greater Houston Freight System Map
Federally designated Primary Highway Freight System and Tier One _ Tier Two of the Greater Houston Freight System

Freight Mobility
The Greater Houston Freight Committee held a meeting on September 27. The meeting began with an update of the Greater Houston Freight System, followed by a status update on the Ports Area Mobility Study

Staff also provided updates on the schedule of the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan, along with the vision, goals, and strategies. 

The committee co-chairs led a discussion of the freight project criteria and performance measures and the effects of Hurricance Harvey on freight mobility and operations.  

SUEZ Water & Process Technologies to Relocate to Tomball Business and Technology Park
SUEZ Water & Process Technologies recently broke ground on a new facility in the Tomball Business and Technology Park. The project, located on 5.5 acres, will consist of a 45,000-square-foot laboratory and office facility expected to house 95 employees. The facility will conduct research and development activities in the oil and gas industry focusing on global upstream and downstream applications. The facility will also include a North American customer analytical services laboratory providing industrial water, oil, microbiological, deposit, and metallurgical failure testing. In addition, the site will be a technical training center for the company's engineers and scientists. The company anticipates that the facility will be completed in the fall of 2018.
Upcoming Events

Funding Opportunities
TDA Texas Capital Fund Infrastructure and Real Estate Program
The 2017 application and guide are now available for the Texas Department of Agriculture's (TDA) Texas Capital Fund Infrastructure Development and Real Estate programs. The programs are economic development tools designed to provide financial resources to non-entitlement communities. Funds from the infrastructure program can be used for public infrastructure needed to assist a business that commits to create and/or retain permanent jobs, primarily for low- and moderate- income people. Funds from the real estate program must be used for real estate development to assist a business that commits to create and/or retain permanent jobs, primarily for low- and moderate- income people. The real estate and/or improvements must be owned by the community and leased to the business. These programs encourage new business development and expansions. Applications are due on the 20th of each month.

EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is accepting grant applications to provide investments that support construction, nonconstruction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA's Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to forward economic prosperity in distressed communities. There are no submission deadlines under this opportunity. Proposals and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the publication of a new funding opportunity notice.

The SBA 504 Loan Program provides long-term business expansion financing for real estate, construction, and equipment purchases.  

The EDA Business Loan Fund assists qualified businesses with low-interest loans.  

The EDA Government Loan Fund assists governments making qualified purchases with low-interest loans.
Upcoming Developments
CHI St. Luke's Health will be the first health care tenant at Vivacity - a 186-acre medical district in New Caney's master-planned community Valley Ranch at the intersection of U.S. 59 and the Grand Parkway. Vivacity will feature more than 2.5 million square feet, including a hospital, wellness and life facilities, and retail.
An 87,000-square-foot H-E-B will anchor Mont Belvieu Marketplace at the corner of IH 10 and FM 3180/Eagle Drive. H-E-B is expected to open early next year in the 200,000-square-foot shopping center. 
The Tradition-Buffalo Speedway, a 316-unit senior living facility, is being built at 9393 Buffalo Speedway. The project will include independent and memory care units and is expected to open in late 2018.
UPS plans to build a $17 million 260,000 square foot distribution center in Northwest Houston, at 11770 N. Gessner.
Houston-based Pontikes Development has broken ground on a 3 million-square-foot warehouse and distribution park near the Port of Houston. Port 10 Logistics Center, located on 246 acres at Interstate 10 and Thompson Road, will deliver its first phase in late 2018.
The first of six planned multifamily projects at the Valley Ranch development will break ground early next year. The Pointe at Valley Ranch Town Center will have 550 units, including 330 units in the first phase. The project will be on the western edge of the Valley Ranch Town Center.
Odyssey Park, a mixed-use development in Webster, expects to be more than one million square feet at build-out. The project is located northwest of Gulf Freeway and NASA Parkway.
FedEx Freight entered a lease for a new distribution service center in Conroe Park North. The new facility will be approximately 78,000 square feet and sit on more than 45 acres in the industrial park. An estimated 96 full-time jobs and more than 30 part-time jobs will be created when the service center opens. The capital investment of the project is estimated to be nearly $21 million. 

Compiled from reports in the BisNow, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, Houston Community Impact Newspaper, and company websites.
The Economic Development Digest is published quarterly by the
Gulf Coast Economic Development District.  

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