Economic Development Digest
Economic Development News
Bringing Back Main Street
Bringing Back Main Street
Join H-GAC for the next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 25, 2022. At this workshop, we will explore Building Downtowns from Scratch and discuss how to strategically plan for and implement downtown gathering spaces. Jeff Taebel, FAICP, Director of Community and Environmental Planning at H-GAC, and Rick Leisner, AICP, Principal at Norris Design, will share information about the benefits of building a downtown and strategies for getting started. Both presenters will take questions from the audience during an Ask the Expert Roundtable, so bring your questions, challenges, and success stories to share. For more information, contact Sarah Torresen. Register here.
Expansion of Qualified Private Activity Bond Categories Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act amends the tax-exempt bond provisions of the Internal Revenue Code to enhance the financing options available to state and local governments to address the highlighted infrastructure needs. Specifically, the package adds two new categories of exempt facility private activity bonds (PABs) and additional volume cap for transportation PABs. Learn more. 
International Economic Development Council Webinar Series 
Join the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) throughout 2022 for a year's worth of online professional development on emerging topics and trends from the profession's leading voices. IEDC's 2022 webinar series offers 12 webinars on a broad range of topics, including outdoor recreation, multimedia production, partnerships, innovation, rural attraction, and more. Register here. 
Equity in Economic Development Fellowship Program
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), with the goal of continuing to invest in and elevate the field of economic development, announces the launch of the Equity in Economic Development Fellowship Program in 2022. IEDC invites applications from Economic Development Organizations to participate in this new and purposeful 10-week program to host fellows between May and August of 2022.  Register here.
Funding Opportunities
Community Development Partnership Program 
Deadline: January 31, 2021 
The Community Development Partnership Program (CDPP) from the Lower Colorado River Authority accepts applications for community improvement capital projects for organizations in all or part of Austin, Colorado, Harris, Matagorda, Waller, and Wharton counties in the H-GAC region. CDPP grants are awarded twice a year for capital projects for volunteer fire departments, emergency responders, cities and counties, schools, libraries, civic groups, museums, and other nonprofit organizations. The projects must benefit or be available to an entire community and must improve the value of a capital asset by building, renovating, or purchasing equipment. Learn more. 

Multi-Family Housing Non-Profit Transfer Technical Assistance Grant Program 
Deadline: February 8, 2022 
US Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) published a Notice of Funding Availability in the Federal Register on December 10, 2021, announcing $3 million in grant funding for technical assistance to facilitate the transfer and preservation of existing Section 515 Rural Rental Housing. Grantees will assist non-profits and public housing agencies seeking to acquire and preserve Rural Development Multi-Family Housing projects. Register here
Agricultural Water Conservation Grants Program 
Deadline: February 9, 2022 
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2022 Agricultural Water Conservation Grants. Up to $1,200,000 in grant funding is available to eligible political subdivisions and state agencies for agricultural water conservation projects that improve irrigation efficiency, enhance resilience to weather extremes and climate variability, and promote innovation in agriculture. Learn more. 

USDA ReConnect Program Broadband Funding Opportunity 
Deadline: February 22, 2022 
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the FY 2022 Rural eConnectivity Program (the ReConnect Program). This program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. USDA plans to make available up to $200 million in ReConnect Program loans, up to $250 million in loan/grant combinations, up to $350 million in grants with a matching requirement, and up to $350 million in grants with no matching requirement for projects in tribal and socially vulnerable communities. Learn more. 
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. 
USDA Rural Energy for America Program 
Deadline: January 31, 2022, and 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 are October 31, 2021, and March 31, 2022. Applications for technical assistance grants are due in January. 31, 2022. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. 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
A new facility is planned to be built in the southwest Houston area. The 100,000 square-feet facility will serve a vertical farming company and create at least 40 jobs. It is expected to open January 2023. 
A facility has broken ground at the Houston Spaceport. The 110,000 square-feet, $40 million lunar operation center is expected to be completed by the end of next year. 
A mixed-use development is planned for the corner of State Highway 36 and Interstate 69 in Rosenberg. The project will include a four-story apartment complex with 312 units, retail and restaurant space. The 37-acre development is expected to be completed at the end of 2023. 
An active-adult apartment complex is planned within the Cypress Creek Lakes master-planned community. The complex, named 55 Resort at Cypress Creek Lakes, will be located at 20510 at Cypress Plaza Parkway. The apartment complex will consist of 182 units and it is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2023. 
Champions Park has broken ground on Antoine Road. The 242,021 square-feet industrial project is expected to open later this year. 
Development has been approved for 240 acres of vacant land near the Grand Parkway and Rocky Road east of State Highway. 249. Development would include 3.3 million SF of industrial buildings and 3,000 square-feet of retail space. It is expected this project will create 1,300 jobs. 
A residential facility for youth transitioning out of the foster care system will be located at 3131 Gulf Freeway. The $35 million, 41,000 square-feet campus will include 50 units. The campus is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

Upcoming Events
January 26 | How to Attract Big Talent to Small Cities by Promoting Quality of Life | TEDC

January 31 - February 1 | IEDC | Coachella Valley, Calif.

February 16 - February 18 | 2022 Winter Conference | TEDC
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Gulf Coast Economic Development District | 713-627-3200

The Economic Development Digest is published monthly by the