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
The U.S. Economic Development Administration to Hold 'Office Hours’ for Good Jobs Challenge
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) invites those preparing applications for the Good Jobs Challenge to join a public Office Hours session, where EDA program staff will provide an overview of program requirements, discuss resources for technical assistance, and address questions about the program and application process. Please submit questions to GoodJobsChallenge@eda.gov using the subject line “Good Jobs Office Hours” to guide the discussion. Office hours will be held on Thursday, November 18 at 2 p.m. Register here.

The EDA’s American Rescue Plan $500 million Good Jobs Challenge aims to connect Americans with the training opportunities they need to develop in-demand skills that lead to good jobs and long-term careers. The deadline to submit applications for the Good Jobs Challenge is January 26, 2022. Learn more. 
Texas Community Resiliency Program Community Development Block Grant Deadline Approaching 
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced the release of $38 million in Community Development Block Grant CARES Act funds for the Texas Community Resiliency Program. The program is for non-entitlement cities and counties to create, expand, or enhance public facilities that provide medical care, social services, and/or emergency housing and increase the community’s long-term resiliency and ability to mitigate future coronavirus outbreaks. The minimum request amount per project is $500,000, and the maximum is $5,000,000. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. November 30. Contact CRP@tdhca.state.tx.us with questions about this program. Learn more.
Small Grants Available for Underrepresented Small Business Owners 
As small businesses continue to feel the impact of the pandemic, many still need support to keep their doors open. American Express is partnering with Main Street America to launch a $1.65M year-round grant program called Inclusive Backing. More than 250 grants of $5,000 each will be awarded in four cycles over 12 months to small business owners in older or historic commercial districts across the country, with priority given to businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The first grant cycle will provide grants to both small business owners with disabilities and/or those who identify as Asian, Asian American, and/or Pacific Islander. Applications open November 18 and close November 29. Future grant cycles will be announced in early 2022. Learn more.
The U.S. Department of Commerce Creates New Job Quality Initiative to Help Ensure that Economic Recovery is Built on Quality Jobs
On September 29, the U.S. Department of Commerce launched its new Job Quality Initiative. The initiative is aimed at helping American employers become more competitive by providing their workers with high quality jobs. The U.S. Department of Commerce will be seeking input from a diverse range of experts to ensure that the Job Quality Initiative reflects the latest research and standards about what constitutes quality employment, which will ultimately be used to guide organizations that wish to attract and retain top talent. Learn more.
Texas Workforce Commission Approves $2.45 Billion in One-Time Funds to Aid Child Care Providers in Texas
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recently approved $2.45 billion in direct support for the Texas child care industry. The one-time funds, made available through federal child care stimulus dollars, are intended to help child care providers address the impacts of COVID, and will be awarded to regulated child care centers and homes beginning in January 2022. The new funds, combined with $775 million that was previously approved in direct support for child care programs, help strengthen a vital industry to the state’s workforce. Learn more.

If you applied for Child Care Relief Funds before July 31, 2021, be sure to request reimbursement by November 30, 2021. Free business coaching is also available to all regulated child care programs in Texas. 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. 

Inclusive Backing (November 29, 2021) 
American Express is partnering with Main Street America to launch a $1.65M year-round grant program of more than 250 grants of $5,000 each for small business owners in older or historic commercial districts across the country, with priority given to businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The first grant cycle will provide grants to both small business owners with disabilities and/or those who identify as Asian, Asian American, and/or Pacific Islander.

Community Resiliency Program (November 30, 2021) 
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs grants to create, expand, or enhance public facilities that provide medical care, social services, and/or non-congregate housing in response to both the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics.

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. 

Build Back Better Regional Challenge (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. 
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is hosting a series of online courses throughout November on inclusive economic recovery. The Whole Community Inclusive Economic Recovery course will introduce economic development districts, civic, community, and economic leaders to economic recovery planning using a whole community approach.

The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia are hosting a webinar series focused on supporting inclusive economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on post-COVID-19 real estate and the pandemic’s effect on renters. This webinar will examine what can be learned from the administration of emergency rental relief and evaluate universal vouchers as a long-term solution for increasing housing security among renters. 

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is hosting two webinars designed for applicants of the Connecting Minority Communities Program to get all last-minute questions answered. NTIA staff will review commonly asked questions and take live questions from the audience during each webinar. Attendees are asked to read the Frequently Asked Questions before attending. 

November 18 | Good Jobs Challenge Office Hours | EDA 
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) invites those preparing applications for the Good Jobs Challenge to join a public Office Hours session, where EDA program staff will provide an overview of program requirements, discuss resources for technical assistance, and address questions about the program and application process. Please submit questions to GoodJobsChallenge@eda.gov in advance to guide the discussion using the subject line “Good Jobs Office Hours”. 

December 2 | Planning for Economic Recovery | ICMA 
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the International City/County Manager Association (ICMA) have developed a new training course in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The course, designed for government administrators and economic development professionals, will help participants gain the knowledge they need to update communities’ economic recovery plans. Planning for Economic Recovery is a free, interactive webinar filled with examples of successful economic recovery strategies. Participants will have opportunities for small group discussions and peer learning. 

In-Person Events:  
 
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
713-627-3200

The Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update is published by the