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 Jillian Donatto or call 631-897-3817 to discuss economic recovery needs you may have.
News and Updates
Nonprofits, Schools Can Receive Free AT&T Wireless Internet Service and Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots for At-Risk Students
Connected Nation recently launched an online application for the AT&T K-12 Connected Learning Program, which is focused on closing the homework gap for at-risk students by providing free AT&T wireless internet service and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots to students nationwide. Nonprofit organizations and schools that serve at-risk youth nationwide are invited to apply. Applications are due January 11, 2021. Awardees will be announced in February 2021. Visit the application website for more eligibility information and answers to frequently asked questions.
Application Closing on Wednesday for Small Business Relief Grants
LISC logo
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation has opened another round of the Rural Relief Small Business grant program for small businesses in a rural community facing immediate financial pressure due to COVID-19. Rural communities are defined as having a population of 50,000 or less. Applicants can be awarded between $5,000 and $20,000 for expenses including rent and utilities, payroll, debt payments, and other immediate operational costs. The application deadline is December 2, 2020. Additional application windows will be December 29, 2020 - January 5, 2021 and January 26 - February 2, 2021. See more grant information and frequently asked questions. 
Fall Planning Workshop: Responsible Revitalization
Join the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Fall Planning Workshop this Friday, December 4, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. This annual half-day workshop for local governments will focus on Responsible Revitalization and build on last year’s workshop theme “Building Equity into Planning.” This year, hear best planning practices for ensuring equitable housing, equitable jobs, and equitable transportation. Registration is required. For more information, contact Cheryl Mergo at 713-993-4520.
Webinar Series Begins This Week on Bolstering Growth in Opportunity Zones: Leveraging Public and Private Resources
The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are hosting a webinar series for local economic development leaders and stakeholders in communities with designated Opportunity Zones (OZs). Public officials, community development professionals, nonprofit organizations, civic leaders, and other local economic development stakeholders are encouraged to attend. On December 3, join to Understand the Current Environment and Align Place-Based Assets. On December 8, join to learn how to Establish Policy Tools and Incentives, Develop Partnerships, and Measure Impacts. On December 15, learn how to Develop Your OZ Action Plan to Build or Strengthen Your Local OZ Ecosystem.
Small Business Resources
News, funding opportunities, and other support for small businesses in the Houston-Galveston region. 
SCORE Houston Events and Workshops Continue Into 2021
Houston's local SCORE chapter is offering free virtual events and workshops for small businesses and small business support organizations. Upcoming in December, they will offer workshops on Planning for the Disaster, the SBA 7(a) Loan Program, Planning for Recovery and SBA disaster loans, and much more.
Small Business Development Centers Offer Variety of Webinars for Small Business Owners
The University of Houston Texas Gulf Coast Small Business Development Centers offer free access to pre-recorded webinars for small businesses and a wide selection of upcoming webinars. In the month of December, learn about digital marketing, creating a budget, futurizing your business for 2021, and defining a marketplace in the new economy, among other topics.
Federal Funding for Rural Communities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’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. 
Grants and loans to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities in rural areas.

For non-entitlement units of general local government, the Community Development Fund; Colonia Fund: Construction Program; and Downtown Revitalization Program can finance public infrastructure, housing rehabilitation, and numerous other activities.

Loan guarantees to lenders supporting rural businesses and agricultural producers to supplement their working capital to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus.
Federal Funding for All Communities
For construction or non-construction projects that prepare for or respond to economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, create jobs, and/or generate private investment.

Investments of up to $750,000 over 18 months and $500,000 over 12 months in organizations working to rapidly address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation.

Community Connect Grants (December 23, 2020)
Funding up to $3 million to construct facilities used to deploy broadband services to residents, businesses, and essential community facilities (schools, libraries, fire stations etc.) or to cover the cost of providing broadband service to community facilities for two years.
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
Join this webinar to hear from county leaders about how they are using CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars to support local public health entities in preparation for the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine.

December 3 | PPP Loan Forgiveness Overview and Q&A | Small Business Administration
Participants will walk step-by-step through the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application. No registration required; join live at 2 p.m. on December 3.

December 7-11 | The 2021 Legislative Session Virtual Symposium | The Texas Tribune
The Texas Tribune’s weeklong virtual symposium will preview the top legislative priorities for the 2021 legislative session, including the impact of COVID-19 on the state budget and how redistricting will affect the state’s political future.

December 16 | Financing Local Food Systems Development | Texas Economic Development Council and the Council of Development Finance Agencies
Explore the variety of financing tools for local food systems development and best practices for investing in resilient local food economies. Development finance experts from Texas (and beyond) will share details of various financing programs and project investments that have contributed to building a successful, local food system. 
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 webinars, small business program examples, research white papers, 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 trainings, federal agency COVID-19 resources, national partner organizations response resources, Office of Management and Budget guidance, state-by-state workforce guidelines, and philanthropic resources for communities.

The International Economic Development Council Coronavirus Response webpage provides information on the IEDC's COVID-19 webinar series and frequently updated situational reports.

A wide range of free resources for Main Street leaders, including recovery planning tools, research, and best practices and examples from around the Main Street Network. 
Gulf Coast Economic Development District

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