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.


April 2020 Gulf Coast Labor Market Analysis
Closures of non-essential businesses due to the coronavirus and decline in oil prices led to a loss of 312,100 jobs in the Houston-Galveston region in April 2020. More than 452,000 Houston-area workers are now unemployed. "Not surprisingly, customer-facing industries were the hardest hit," said Parker Harvey regional economist at Workforce Solutions. "Leisure and Hospitality, which includes restaurants, bars, and hotels, accounted for one out of every three jobs lost in April." Not-seasonally adjusted unemployment jumped nearly nine points from March (5.5 percent) to an all-time high 14.2 percent. Read the full report.

Trends from the Greater Houston Partnership's "The Future of Houston's Global Economy" Event
The Future of Houston's Global Economy event on May 27 highlighted macro level shifts in the Houston-Galveston regional economy. Patrick Jankowski, Senior Vice President of Research at the Greater Houston Partnership, and Carlos Gutierrez, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, discussed anticipated slow growth in the coming years, weak demand for exports, limited access to overseas markets, and limited travel. The regional economy, already trending toward a digital economy, will continue to transform; both public and private sector participation is essential to upskill the workforce to keep the region competitive. The Greater Houston Partnership will provide an economic update on the current state of Houston's economy during the COVID-19 outbreak on June 23.

$1.5 Billion in EDA CARES Act Grants Available
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. The funding is to help speed communities' economic recovery from the pandemic through implementing economic recovery activities, such as entrepreneurial support programs, infrastructure, and facilities construction to save or create jobs. 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 be working to provide technical assistance for applicants. E-mail Josh Owens with any questions.

H-GAC Offers EDA CARES Act Grant Webinar - June 18
Join H-GAC from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 18, for a webinar with the U.S. Economic Development Administration to learn how your community can access Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant funding for economic development.
Speakers include Jeffery Sjostrom of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership, Jason Wilson of the Economic Development Administration, and Joshua Owens of the Gulf Coast Economic Development District. Registration is required.

Applications Announced for Nearly $1.2 Billion in Mitigation Project Funding for Texas
The Texas General Land Office announced the opening of its Competition Applications for the Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) program. More information is available in the Application Guide, and the Application Portal can be found online. H-GAC is available to provide data and technical assistance to its members on their applications and in coordinating the development of projects involving multiple jurisdictions. Contact Justin Bower at 713-499-6653 or if you have any questions or would like to request assistance.

Federal Funding For Rural Communities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide organizing 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 2 | Restaurants in Recovery | Main Street America and UrbanMain
As restaurants look to reemerge from COVID-19 related closures, they'll need assistance and support from Main Street programs to manage the impacts and adjust to new operating realities. Join this webinar presented by Streetsense for an in-depth look at the concerns for your district's restaurants - from cash flow to messaging and social distancing guidelines. See other recorded webinars from Main Street America.

June 3 | Economic and Social Impact of COVID-19 on the Texas Travel and Tourism Industry | Texas Economic Development Council
Speakers will discuss the current state of the travel and tourism in Texas and the impacts that travel restrictions and social distancing due to COVID-19 are having on the travel industry. They will also offer insights into ways to mitigate economic losses in your community related to travel and tourism.

June 8 | 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. 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 10 | 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 additional webinars on COVID-19 recovery from the Institute for Local Government.

June 10 | Building the Road to Recovery | Council of Development Finance Agencies
Part of the CDFA-Alliance for Rural Impact Rural Finance Webinar Series, this webinar will discuss the development finance tools that can support rural economies as they rebuild to be more resilient and stronger than ever.

June 10 | Mitigating the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Rural Areas | The Brookings Institution
A panel of local leaders will discuss the role their organizations are playing in supporting struggling small businesses and connecting them to resources at the local, state, and federal levels. Panelists will discuss how they are laying the groundwork for recovery in the months and years to come and what further supports are still needed to ensure rural communities durably emerge from this crisis. 


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.
 
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