Economic Recovery Resources - Biweekly 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 update to help our local partners stay on top of new funding opportunities. Subscribers to the monthly Regional Economic Development Digest will receive the 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
Texas Rent Relief Program Still Accepting Applications 
Qualifying Texans who have been struggling to pay rent and utility bills can apply for up to 15 months of rental assistance at TexasRentRelief.com. To qualify, households must have income at or below 80% of the area median income and prove their inability to pay rent is directly related to the pandemic, per federal guidelines. Landlords may also apply for unpaid or future rent on behalf of tenants. Priority will be given to tenants in lower-income brackets or who have one or more people unemployed in their household at the time of application. Applications will be accepted until program funds are expended. Applicants can submit an application online or by calling 1-833-989-7386. 
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Application Opens April 8
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program opens April 8 with $15 billion available for grants to shuttered venues. Eligible applicants—including museums, theaters and other live venue operators or promotors—may qualify for SVO grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with a $10 million maximum for a single grant award. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applicants with less than 50 full-time employees. Funds may be used for payroll expenses, rent, taxes, and worker protection expenditures, among other allowable costs. Learn more.  
Paycheck Protection Program Deadline Extended to May 31
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), previously set to expire on March 31, 2021, has been extended to the end of May. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will continue accepting applications for the PPP to help businesses keep their workforces employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past year, the PPP has issued 7.5 million loans totaling $687 billion to small businesses, according to data from the SBA. The Houston District Office of the SBA has published a list of area lendersLearn more
Small Business Administration Increases Lending Limit for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans 
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is accepting Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and private nonprofit organizations. The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. Starting the week of April 5, the SBA is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000. Questions about SBA COVID-19 EIDL and disaster loan payments can be emailed to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or directed to SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing). 
Texas Governments Receiving Relief Funding from American Rescue Plan Act Provision 
Through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), all cities, towns, and villages in the country are entitled to a federal grant from new Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. The National League of Cities has estimated local allocations however, Congress continues to refine the allocations. Further guidance is expected from the U.S. Treasury the coming weeks. Each Friday through April 23, the National League of Cities is hosting weekly, half-hour webinars with updates on ARPA relief for municipal governments.
USDA Announces ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to Distribute Resources More Equitably 
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is establishing new programs to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. Visit www.farmers.gov for more information. 
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. 

Funding to help non-entitlement units or general local government finance public infrastructure, housing rehabilitation, and numerous other activities through the Community Development Fund and Downtown Revitalization Program.

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
U.S. Economic Development Administration grants for construction or non-construction projects that will retain or create jobs and/or generate private investment. 

National Environmental Education Foundation grants for local governments, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions to help mobilize volunteer networks, pay for maintenance projects or accessibility improvements, or conserve public lands impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible applicants can apply for up to $2,500. 
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
April 6 The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant | Small Business Administration 
Applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant open April 8. This informational webinar will review guidelines issued to date including who can apply and how organizations can prepare. Join live at 3 p.m. 
 
April 7 | The New Reality of Economic Development | Texas Economic Development Council  
Presenters will explore how business retention, automation, remote working, and business expansion have all changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
Faced with the financial reality of job loss, business interruption, credit issues, and debt, disaster-affected Americans need support. In partnership with FEMA, Operation HOPE teams deploy in response to federally-declared disasters to serve as financial advocates for local residents and small business owners. This training will cover emergency small business budgeting, filing applications and appeals with the Small Business Administration, and more. Join the event on Zoom. Meeting ID: 160 782 8047 Passcode: 147282 
 
April 9, 23, May 7, 21 | SSBCI Briefing | Council of Development Finance Agencies 
The American Rescue Plan funded a second round of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to capitalize new and existing state programs. In the coming months, the application process for $10 billion in formula and competitively allocated funds will begin. Join biweekly briefings to learn more about this tool and its implementation at the local level. 
 
April 14, 15 Broadband Infrastructure Deployment Grants Program | National Telecommunications and Information Administration 
Learn about the new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Webinars on April 14 and April 15 will provide the same information on the Broadband Infrastructure Deployment Grants Program. 
  
April 21 | The Latest in Virtual Site Visits | Texas Economic Development Council  
The pandemic drove the rapid adoption of virtual site visits, which are now becoming a standard part of the site selection process for many companies and site selection consultants. Learn the five components of a comprehensive virtual site visit, the technologies enabling virtual site visits, and the requirements for hosting virtual site visits. 
  
April 21 | NTIA Grant Programs in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 Part 2 | National Telecommunications and Information Administration 
Participants will learn more about the Broadband Infrastructure Deployment Grants, Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grants, and the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program. A recording of Part 1 is available here
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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The Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update is published by the