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
$10,000 Small Business Grants Funded by Verizon Close TOMORROW 
Verizon has made $10 million available in grants for small businesses with the Verizon Big Concert for Small Business grant program through the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Grants of $10,000 will be made to eligible small businesses across the United States, particularly in historically underserved communities hit hard by the pandemic. Eligible expenses include paying rent and utilities, meeting payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors, upgrading technology infrastructure, and other immediate operational costs. Applications must be submitted online by February 9 at 11:59 p.m. 
Texas Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program Accepting Applications  
The Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CDBG-CV) program, administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), is designed to help Texans respond to and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. TDHCA is making $69.6 million available to cities, counties, and local or regional nonprofits to provide mortgage assistance in their jurisdictions or service areas through a competitive application process. Through the Texas Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program's competitive process, local service providers will be awarded funds to assist homeowners at or below 80% of the Area Medium Income who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 to help provide housing stability during the pandemic. Intent to apply is due March 5. The application deadline is April 12. Read the Notice of Funding Availability
Citizens Institute on Rural Design Accepting Applications for Design Learning Cohort 
The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is accepting applications through March 12 for an opportunity to participate in four local design workshops that address specific community challenges, and an online Design Learning Cohort program for up to 15 communities. All rural communities of 50,000 or less are eligible to apply for the CIRD local Design Workshop and Design Learning Cohort opportunities. Workshops should plan to follow local health safety guidelines and virtual options are available. CIRD encourages applications from nonprofits, municipal governments, regional planning organizations, and other community partners. An informational webinar will be held on February 9Learn more
Main Street Resiliency Grant Program for Main Street America Members  
The Main Street Resiliency Grant Program will provide 10 members of the Main Street America Network $8,500 each to fund innovative revitalization efforts to address the current and/or legacy impacts of COVID-19. This grant program is available only to Accredited Main Street America programs and state, county, and city Main Street America Coordinating Programs. To be eligible, entrants must complete the entire application and review the program terms and conditions by February 19
Clean Water State Revolving Fund Recapitalized for 2021 
The Texas Water Development Board’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) was recently recapitalized with $72,632,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The CWSRF provides low-interest financing to eligible recipients, including municipalities or nonprofit groups that manage wastewater systems, nonpoint source pollution, or projects to improve water reuse or efficiency. Funds can be used for planning, acquisition, design, and construction of wastewater, reuse, and stormwater infrastructure. The CWSRF is available year-round, and the State Intended Use Plan details funding options available in 2021. 
Early Preparation Tips for EPA’s Brownfields Grant Programs 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grants available for cleaning up brownfields, or properties that have been contaminated by pollutants or hazardous waste. Grant solicitations for Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants are typically released in the fall each year, and applications are due 60 days following the publication of solicitation. The EPA has a guide for getting started early on Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. Any questions about the Brownfields Grant programs can be directed to the Region 6 EPA Brownfields staff
Small Business Resources
News, funding opportunities, and other support for small businesses in the Houston-Galveston region. 
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest Opens February 16  
The 9th annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest returns on February 16. Small business can apply to win up to $50,000 to help their businesses recover and grow. Past winners have used funds to develop websites, purchase new equipment, hire employees, and expand into new spaces. Learn more about contest entry and prizes. 
Small Business Administration Continues Accepting Applications for EIDL Loans 
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is accepting new 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. On February 11 at 9 a.m. SBA’s Houston District Office will host a webinar on the EIDL basics, how to apply, steps for reconsideration and who is eligible for a targeted advance grant. Join live on Microsoft Teams.  
Small Business Administration Launches COVID-19 Small Business Funding Portal 
The Small Business Administration provides a free list of thousands of private and public funding sources at the national, state, regional, and local levels designed to support small businesses in accessing capital to recover from COVID-19. The landing page displays programs that are available nationally; visitors can enter a ZIP code to see location-specific funding options. Explore the portal
Small Business Financing Opportunities through H-GALDC 
Serving as H-GAC’s small business financing arm, the Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation (H-GALDC) is able to help new or established small businesses access capital to purchase and develop real estate. With interest rates at all-time lows, now may be the time to move your business from a lease to a mortgage. H-GALDC also leverages funding from the Small Business Administration and the Economic Development Administration to offer a variety of loan products. Loans can range from $25,000 for working capital to over $5,000,000 for the purchase of land and new construction. For more information about H-GALDC and its resources, visit hgaldc.com or email loans@h-gac.com
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 public bodies or nonprofit housing and community development organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. 

Rural Energy for America Program (March 31, 2021
The Rural Energy for America Program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. 

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

The CARES Act Guaranteed Loan Program offers 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. 

Restoration & Resilience COVID Recovery Fund (April 1, 2021 and June 1, 2021
Local governments, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions can apply for up to $2,500 to help mobilize volunteer networks, pay for maintenance projects or accessibility improvements, or conserve public lands impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

U.S. Department of agriculture loan guarantees up to $250 million to assist in the development, construction and retrofitting of new and emerging biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased product technologies.  
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
February 9, 16 | Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants Webinar Series | Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 
Each webinar will provide an overview of the FY 2020 Fire Prevention & Safety grant program. Presentations will outline important information about cost share requirements, program priorities, eligible costs, how to navigate the grant application, and tips for preparing an application. 
 
February 9 FY 2021 Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) Funding Opportunity | U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Join USDA to learn about Fiscal Year 2021 Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) funding. This webinar will introduce attendees to the Innovation Center, provide an overview of Farm Bill changes to SECD and highlight the application requirements and process. 
 
February 9 Restoring Local Economies with Federal Partners | Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA)
The first installment of the 2021 CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series will cover the various forms of financing programs available to state and local governments through Treasury, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Economic Development Administration for restoring local economies.  

February 9 Update on SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant | Office of the Governor  
The Governor's Office of Small Business Assistance, in partnership with the Texas Music Office, will provide an update on the Shuttered Venue Operator’s (SVO) Grant. The webinar will focus on the information required for small businesses to get ready to apply for the new grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). 

February 9 | Federal Resources for Creative Community Development | National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations 
This webinar is designed to help you access federal funds and harness the power of arts and culture for community development. Speakers will feature the new Creative Placemaking Public Resources Guide and discuss a curated selection of federal funding sources that can be used to advance equitable community development, examples of initiatives that have transformed community development through create partnerships, and practical tips on accessing federal grant programs. 
 
February 11 Cybersecurity 101 | National Rural Transit Assistance Program 
This webinar will include an overview of cybercrime and ways to protect your organization. A second webinar that focuses on transit-specific data security concerns will be scheduled later in the spring. 
 
Businesses can learn how to create and manage a Business Profile on Google from start to finish.  
 
February 12 Future of Texas: Featuring Speaker of the Texas House Dade Phelan | Greater Houston Partnership  
Welcome Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan in a fireside chat with the Greater Houston Partnership's Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy, Lindsay Munoz, discussing priorities for session and their impacts on the greater Houston region. 
 
February 16 Rural Broadband and Telehealth Financing | Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA)
During this webinar, experts will explain how rural communities can embrace the challenges of financing high-speed internet for the economic and societal gains provided by broadband. 

February 16 Restoring the Hospitality Industry | Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) 
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, speakers will explore the landscape of the hospitality industry (large and small) and what is being done to ensure the industry recovers from the deceleration of travel and large gatherings. 
 
February 16 | Supporting Minority Business Enterprise Supply and Procurement Chains | International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 
Minority business enterprises, or MBEs, account for more than eight million firms and nearly $1.4 trillion in revenues in the United States. This webinar will explore what this assistance looks like to generate equality and economic inclusion for MBE’s. 
 
This two-part webinar dives deep on COVID-19's impact on supply chains and the wake-up call for reshoring. Part 2 will be on February 23.
 
February 17 Data as the Foundation for Broadband Planning | National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
Join BroadbandUSA to gain a fuller understanding of the US government’s datasets cataloguing broadband availability and how to use data to strengthen your broadband planning efforts. 

February 17 | Money Smart for Small Business Train-the-Trainer Workshop | Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 
Money Smart for Small Business is an educational program that will help individuals and small businesses enhance their financial skills and create positive banking relationships. This event will be the launch of the Region VI Economic Event Series, which will address economic issues and recovery. Staff of organizations that offer small business development services; financial institutions that have small business customers; and local, state and federal government organizations that provide resources and information to organizations or entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend.

February 18 Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Webinar | U.S. Department of Agriculture 
USDA is seeking grant applications for projects to improve housing, community facilities, and community and economic development in rural areas. This webinar is intended for potential applicants.  
 
Part two of this webinar series dives deep on COVID-19's impact on supply chains and the wake-up call for reshoring. Speakers will discuss how businesses can benefit economically from reshoring, evaluating products prime for reshoring and how to find and sell to new customers looking for new product supply chains. Part one is on February 16. 
 
February 25 | Economy Series: Demographics and the Economy | Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) 
Patrick Jankowski, the Greater Houston Partnership's Senior Vice President of Research, provides a monthly economic update on the current state of Houston’s economy in the Economy Series. For this webinar, he will explore demographics and their impacts on our economy. 
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
713-627-3200

The Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update is published by the