Economic Recovery Resources - Biweekly Update
The Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Gulf Coast Economic Development District issue this Economic Recovery Resources Biweekly Update to help our local partners secure the resources they need to recover from economic disruption. Subscribers to the monthly Regional Economic Development Digest will receive the update automatically.

Please email Jillian Donatto or call 631-897-3817 to discuss economic recovery needs you may have.
News and Updates
EDA American Rescue Plan Program UPDATE - Application Review Has Begun
The U.S. Economic Development Administration is reviewing applications received for the following American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) awards on a rolling basis:

Applications for these awards received by November 1 are tentatively scheduled to be reviewed at the end of the November by the EDA’s Investment Review Committee. The EDA is still accepting applications for all ARPA sub-awards, including Phase 1 applications for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The final deadline for Phase 1 is October 19. Contact Jillian Donatto or call 631-897-3817 for technical assistance.
USDA’s Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program Now Open
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program provides grants to food processors, distributors, farmers markets, and producers to respond to coronavirus, including measures to protect workers against COVID-19. Approximately $650 million is available to fund applications through the PRS grants program, with awards ranging from $1,500 to $20,000. The first round of funding will be reserved for small businesses primarily in small scale specialty crop production. Once satisfied, the second round may expand eligibility to larger firms not covered by the first round. The deadline to apply for the USDA’s PRS Grant Program is November 7. Learn More.
SBA Raises COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Cap to $2M, Makes Other Highly-Anticipated Changes
In response to challenges presented by the COVID-19 Delta Variant, the U.S. Small Business Administration has announced major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. Key changes include an increase in the COVID EIDL Cap from $500,000 to $2 million, the implementation of a deferred payment period, an expansion of eligible use of funds, and a greater simplification of application requirements. The deadline to apply for the EIDL program is December 31. Learn more.
Texas Workforce Commission Offers 12-Months of Child Care for Service Industry Parents Through the Service Industry Recovery Child Care Program
To address the impacts of COVID-19 and to support Texas’ continued economic recovery, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) approved funding to support a new child care program to help workers in TWC-specified service industries. To be eligible for child care support, at least one parent must be employed or entering employment in one of the TWC-specified service industries. The TWC Service Industry Recovery Child Care Program allows Texas parents to receive 12 months of child care assistance without a Parent Share of Cost. Learn more.
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.

Loans and grants to a non-profit entity or institution of higher education to establish revolving loan funds for rural micro-loan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs, or to provide training and technical assistance to micro entrepreneurs.  
Federal Funding for All Communities
U.S. Economic Development Administration grants for construction or non-construction projects that will retain or create jobs and/or generate private investment. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture grants to broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities.

Build Back Better Regional Challenge (Phase 1: October 19, 2021 | Phase 2: March 15, 2022
U.S. Economic Development Administration funding for regional coalitions to implement a collection of 3 to 8 distinct but related projects, in coordination with industry and community partners, and aligned around a holistic vision to build and scale a strategic industry cluster. 

Statewide Planning, Research & Networks (October 31, 2021, applications reviewed on a rolling basis) 
U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding for state planning efforts and grants to build Communities of Practice to extend technical assistance to support EDA’s work with grantees. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program for small specialty crop producers, distributors, processors, and farmers markets to enact measures that protect workers against the coronavirus. 

Federal Transit Administration grants to eligible recipients of Urbanized Area Formula funds or Rural Area Formula funds that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, require additional assistance for costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, and sanitation combatting the spread of pathogens on transit systems, and debt service payments incurred to maintain operations and avoid layoffs and furloughs.

Connecting Minority Communities Program (December 1, 2021)  
National Telecommunications and Information Administration grants to eligible Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), minority-serving institutions (MSIs), and consortia led by an HBCU, TCU, or MSI that also include a minority business enterprise or tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization to expand broadband access. 

Federal Emergency Management Agency grants to support community capacity building and resilience strengthening in direct response to the growing hazards associated with climate change.

Good Jobs Challenge (January 26, 2022
U.S. Economic Development Administration grants to develop and strengthen regional workforce training systems and sector-based partnerships with a focus on programs for women, people of color, and historically underserved communities. 
Economic Adjustment Assistance (March 15, 2022, applications reviewed on a rolling basis)  
U.S. Economic Development Administration grants to help communities plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.  

Indigenous Communities (March 15, 2022, applications reviewed on a rolling basis
U.S. Economic Development Administration funding for Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities to develop and execute economic development projects they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future.  
Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation (March 15, 2022, applications reviewed on a rolling basis
U.S. Economic Development Administration investments to revitalize the hard-hit travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries and accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on these sectors. 
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
October 6 | Bringing Back Downtown Retail After COVID-19 | American Downtown Revitalization Review and the University of Wisconsin Madison – Extension
The American Downtown Revitalization Review is partnering with the University of Wisconsin Madison – Extension to host a discussion on retail in a post-COVID world. This webinar will focus on downtown and main street districts in communities under 75,000 in population, with discussions led by three nationally known experts in retail development. 

Hosted by the National League of Cities, join EDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy for an overview of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) opportunities, with a special focus on the Build Back Better Regional Challenge ($1 billion) and the Good Jobs Challenge ($500 million), which can help cities build their workforce and economies.

This webinar is for city officials and staff who are primarily responsible for managing their city’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund grant, and will cover everything from payment and cash management, to close-out and reporting requirements associated with the grant.

October 15 | Leveraging City and Community Partnerships to Address COVID-19 | National League of Cities
Join the National League of Cities as they share information about specific opportunities and resources available to address challenges and remove barriers that inhibit vaccine confidence and access. The Metropolitan Group (a public affairs firm) will be joining to debut a new communications toolkit to support city leaders and local stakeholders in improving vaccine confidence and uptake.

October 13 | 2021 BRIC and FMA Program Webinar Series | Federal Emergency Management Agency
Join the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the 2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program Webinar series. Ryan Janda, Hazard Mitigation Assistance Non-Disaster Grants Implementation Branch Chief, will lead a federal panel discussion on the importance of partnerships for FEMA's grant programs. These webinars are bringing FEMA subject-matter experts and partners together to provide technical information, best practices, tools, and resources regarding these grant programs.

October 27 | Economy Series: October Economic Update | Greater Houston Partnership
Greater Houston Partnership is hosting the October edition of their monthly Economic Series to present the most current data on the region and what the data tells us about the local economy. This webinar will look back at what factors influenced Houston’s recovery in 2021 and provide a peek into where the economy is headed in 2022.
In-Person Events:  
October 29 Resiliency and Recovery Workshop, South Texas - Don't Mess With Texas | Texas Economic Development Council 
Join the Texas Economic Development Council, in partnership with the International Sustainable Resiliency Center to learn how to navigate disasters of all kinds, to learn the best practices for business continuity, and to learn where to access resources to aid in economic recovery. 
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.

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

The Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update is published by the