Economic Development Digest
Economic Development News
Next Gulf Coast Economic Development District Quarterly Meeting on April 8
The Gulf Coast Economic Development District’s next quarterly board meeting will be Friday, April 8 at 10 a.m. The meeting will be presented in a hybrid format. Pre-registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendees.   

Visit the GCEDD webpage for previous meeting minutes, presentations, and information about upcoming GCEDD board meetings. 
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable - April 26 
HGAC on a field of red with Houston Galveston Area Council under the letters
Join H-GAC's Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable from 9:00 a.m. to noon on April 26 to discuss how cities can support new businesses and cultivate entrepreneurialism. 

The event will be in-person at the Civic Center in El Campo at 2350 N. Mechanic, El Campo, TX 77437. Register to attend.

Speakers will include: 

  • Carolyn Gibson, Executive Director, City Development Corporation of El Campo 
  • Courtney Sladek, City Manager, City of El Campo 
  • Amy Morales, small business marketing and lending at Kapeesh Marketing LLC 
  • Molli Bodungen, business owner and member of Women on Washington 

Registration and breakfast will begin at 9:00 a.m. Presentations and roundtable will be from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. We will take a walking tour of downtown El Campo following the roundtable portion of the event. 

H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables to help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economic revitalization of downtown areas. Learn more.
American Rescue Plan Act UPDATE – Applications For Remaining Grant Programs Due Next Thursday
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is accepting applications for its American Rescue Plan Act-funded “Investing in America’s Communities” program. The deadline for the remaining ARPA sub-awards, including the Economic Adjustment Assistance, Indigenous Communities, and Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation programs is rolling, but the EDA recommends competitive applications be submitted by March 31.

Due to a high volume of applications for EDA's American Rescue Plan programs, EDA strongly recommends any entities in the area actively working on an application to email Texas’ Economic Development Representative at EDA, Robert Peche, to discuss the availability of funds for the region. 
Existing COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program Borrowers to Receive an Additional 6-Month Deferment 
The U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced a deferment extension for all COVID-EIDL Loans. According to a March 15th press release, loans approved in the calendar years 2020, 2021, and 2022 now have a total deferment of 30 months from the date of the Note.  

Existing COVID EIDL Borrowers can find account balances and payment due dates in the SBA Capital Access Financial System (CAFS) and learn how to set up an account in the CAFS system by logging in at Capital Access Financial System (
Applications Now Open For 1st Annual Houston Section APA Awards 
Thinking of submitting a plan, project, program, tool, process, report or ordinance for the American Planning Association’s Texas Chapter or National Planning Awards? The APA is seeking nominations for a Houston Section Award, which gives communities and organizations in Texas APA’s Houston Section a chance to be recognized for their planning work in Southeast Texas.

Applications are due no later than April 30, 2022. For questions about the awards program, or to volunteer on the Houston Texas Section awards committee please contact Kris Carpenter. For detailed submission requirements, download the APA’s official application.
Funding Opportunities
USDA Rural Energy for America Program 
Deadline: March 31, 2022 
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems; and to make energy efficiency improvements, conduct energy audits and provide development assistance. Funds are being made available under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The deadlines to apply for grants is March 31, 2022. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. Learn more.

Partnership for Climate - Smart Commodities 
Deadline: April 8, 2022
USDA announced details of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities opportunity. Through this new program, USDA will finance partnerships to support the production and marketing of climate-smart commodities via a set of pilot projects lasting one to five years. Pilots will provide technical and financial assistance to producers who implement climate-smart practices on a voluntary basis on working lands; pilot innovative and cost-effective methods for quantification, monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas benefits; and market the resulting climate-smart commodities. Apply here.

EDA Public Works Grants  
Deadline: Ongoing 
US Economic Development Administration (EDA) supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States by fostering job creation and attracting private investment. These Public Works Grants help communities build the infrastructure they need to support job growth and private investment. If you have an economic development infrastructure need in your community, contact Darryl Briscoe. Learn more.  
USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program  
Deadline: Ongoing 
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development provides funding to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural communities can use these funds to build or modernize schools, health care clinics, libraries, and public safety facilities. Learn more.
EPA Brownfield Grants  
Deadline: Ongoing 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grants available for cleaning up brownfields in your community. Brownfields are properties that have been contaminated by pollutants or hazardous waste. The EPA offers Area-Wide Planning Grants, Assessment Grants, Revolving Loan Fund Grants, Cleanup Grants, Multipurpose Grants, and Job Training Grants. Learn more. 
Regional Economic Trends
H-GAC has compiled regional economic indicators for the 13-county region, including monthly and yearly changes in unemployment rates, single and multi-family permits, and sales tax receipts. Download the PDF.

For more regional economic data visit:
Upcoming Developments
Houston Methodist will break ground on a hospital in Cypress. Construction on Houston Methodist Cypress Hospital will begin construction later this year on the east side of the Northwest Freeway between Barker-Cypress and Skinner roads. The new 400-bed hospital is expected to open early 2025. 
Kingsland Park, a four-story, 198-unit mixed-income complex, opened last month. The $31.4 million senior housing-complex is at 23430 Kingsland Boulevard.  
A 900,000-square-foot distribution is underway for Macy’s Inc. at Interchange 249, a business park underway at 1400 Boudreaux Road. Macy’s is moving is distribution operation from its current facility at 2103 Ernestine Street in the East End. Interchange 249 will be located west of Highway 249, the 240-acre site will include about 3.3 million square feet of distribution and industrial space and create about 1,300 jobs. 
Fidelis completed its first apartment Fidelis Cypresswood on East Cypresswood Drive between Interstate 45 and the Hardy Toll Road. The three-story, 287-unit complex is on a 12-acre property. Fidelis is currently working on three other apartment projects including: 317-unit project known as Grand Central in Conroe, a 278-unit complex within Westlake Marketplace in Atascosita, and a 350-unit complex at Fry Road and Longenbaugh Drive in Cypress.  
Construction on The Canals of Taylor Lake is underway at the intersection of NASA Parkway and Kirby Boulevard. The $90 million, 27-acre mixed use development will include 112 condos, 41 town homes, 34 single-family homes, a hotel, 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant, and 10,000 square feet of office space. The project is estimated to be complete in 2023.  
A six-story multifamily project has broken ground in the City Park neighborhood. The $32 million project, named Frame Almeda Genoa, will consist of 216 units. It is expected to be completed within the next year. 
Compiled from information in Community Impact Newspapers, the Houston Business Journal, Texas A&M University Real Estate Research Center. 
Upcoming Events
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