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 email Cheryl Mergo or call 713-993-4520 to discuss economic recovery needs you may have.
News and Updates
Small Business Administration Loan Program Updates
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), designed to incentivize small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll, will close for applications on August 8. Eligible small businesses can still work with an approved lender to apply. This spring 52,150 loans worth more than $150,000 were awarded to Texas businesses and nonprofits. The Houston-Galveston Area Council has published data on the number of PPP loans given by zip code in the region. 

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, designed to provide long-term, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations impacted by the coronavirus, is no longer granting advances. All available funding has been obligated, although the Small Business Administration is still processing applications. 
Open Funding for Small Cities and Rural Communities through Texas Community Development Block Grants
Texas Community Development Block Grants (TxCDBG) remain open to non-entitlement cities with populations under 50,000 and non-entitlement counties that have a non-metropolitan population under 200,000 (and are not eligible for direct CDBG funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). Applications for the following grant funding programs are due September 1, 2020: 

Micro-Grants for Female Entrepreneurs through the Red Backpack Fund
The Red Backpack Fund, a partnership between the Sara Blakely Foundation and GlobalGiving, is making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits in the U.S. and its territories with annual revenues less than $5 million, at least one paid employee, and with fewer than 50 individuals on staff are eligible to apply. The application portal opens August 3 and closes August 10. 
Economic Development Administration CARES Act Funding
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 Cheryl Mergo with any questions.
Federal Funding for Rural Communities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America. 
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
Community Development Financial Institutions are mission-driven lenders that serve those small businesses that may not have access to financing programs delivered through banks, including people of color, returning veterans, new citizens, and more. This workshop will cover the roles CDFI’s can play in supporting entrepreneurs and advancing equity and how policymakers, investors, philanthropy, and others can support the work of CDFIs.
August 5 | Business Strategies for an Evolving Future | Office of the Governor, Economic Development
Join the Governor's Small Business Team for a webinar focused on helping small businesses adapt their strategies. This webinar will help guide business owners and entrepreneurs in e-commerce and online strategies to maximize business resiliency during COVID-19.
August 6 | How Counties Are Using CARES Act Dollars to Support Local Economies and Workforce | National Association of Counties (NACo)
With the help of funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), counties across the country have created new program to support jobs and workforce training to help address the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. Join NACo for a webinar to hear from county leaders about their CRF plans that work toward supporting those impacts by the pandemic to obtain and maintain long-term and sustainable employment.
August 6 | Economic Systems After COVID-19: Towards a More Resilient, Sustainable, and Inclusive Recovery | International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
The pandemic has triggered the most severe recession in nearly a century – with the retail, travel, and restaurant industries, among others, in tatters. Similar to the 2008 global financial crisis, which disproportionately hurt lower-income households, COVID-19 hit lower-wage workers first and hardest. Join for a discussion among economists and economic development professionals about how to be proactive toward an inclusive recovery.
August 11 | The Great Reset #3: Race and The Role of Economic Development to Foster Equity | International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
This IEDC-supported installment of the Great Reset webinar series addresses how racial disparity has manifested during the pandemic. Join to discuss the role of economic developers in creating social equity and opportunity and dismantling racism.
Census Bureau’s subject matter experts will provide practical ways to use business data from economic programs to dive into business expansions and contractions. This webinar will include a segment on available resources and data tools with the opportunity to ask questions.
August 13 | Responding to Crisis in the Latino Population with an Equity Lens | National Association of Counties (NACo)
Learn from UnidosUS about the issues Latino communities are facing and the emerging strategies that their affiliates across the country are employing during this pandemic.
August 14, 28 | Economic Development Sales Tax Workshop | Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC)
Designed for EDC Board Members and local elected officials, this workshop includes information about economic and community development in general and changes to the Economic Development Sales Tax Law. On August 14, 2020, registrants will have access to a Dropbox file that will contain reference materials and copies of the presentations. On August 28, TEDC will host a live Q&A session via Zoom.
August 17 | COVID-19 Webinar: A New Perspective on Special Economic Zones | International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
Special Economic Zones including Foreign Trade Zones and Opportunity Zones can help local economies recover in the wake of crises. Speakers will review how to make the most of the zones, as well as how lawmakers should protect, and possibly expand, the benefit of these zones.
August 19 | How Counties are Investing CARES Act Dollars in Social Safety Net Services | National Association of Counties (NACo)
Each year, counties invest $58 billion in federal, state and local dollars on human services while serving as the frontline social safety net. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, counties are investing in critical public assistance services and programs to better support residents and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Partner Resources
Visit the GCEDD 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 (GHBRC), 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 Coronavirus Response webpage provides information on the IEDC's COVID-19 webinar series, COVID-19 resources, and frequently updated situational reports.
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. 
Gulf Coast Economic Development District

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