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 Announces Challenges for $3 Billion in American Rescue Plan Act Funds  
On July 22, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the Investing in America’s Communities program to equitably invest the $3 billion received from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. Funds are available through six distinct challenges, with separate goals and application processes/deadlines for each. The EDA is hosting webinars to introduce the program on July 27 and July 29
Investing in America’s Communities, includes six Notices of Funding Opportunity: 
  • Build Back Better Regional Challenge ($1 billion) program will invest in regional coalitions to implement a collection of three to eight 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. 
  • Good Jobs Challenge ($500 million) program will 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 ($500 million) program grants will help communities plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. 
  • Indigenous Communities ($100 million) program will work with 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 ($750 million) program will focus on revitalizing the hard-hit travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries and accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on these sectors.   
  • Statewide Planning, Research & Networks ($90 million) program grants include funding for state planning efforts and grants to build Communities of Practice to extend technical assistance to support EDA’s work with grantees.   
August 10 Webinar – What to Know About the EDA Funding Challenges 
Join the Gulf Coast Economic Development District and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) at 2 p.m. on August 10 to learn about the new funding opportunities and how to prepare an application for the Investing in America’s Communities challenges. The webinar will be led by Jason Wilson, Economic Development Representative for the EDA Austin Regional Office, and allow time for questions and answers. Registration is required. For more information, contact Jillian Donatto
June 2021 Gulf Coast Labor Report from Workforce Solutions
In June, the Houston-Galveston region's unemployment rate increased to 7.4% from 6.7% in May 2021. The Houston area saw 6,500 new jobs added last month, mostly in Leisure & Hospitality which hired 13,700 people. Partially offsetting gains this month were expected seasonal job losses in public education along with declines in Mining and Logging and Construction.  
Parker Harvey, an economist with Workforce Solutions said, “the region has gained back approximately 55% of the jobs lost during the shutdown last year with some sectors like Leisure & Hospitality recovering nearly all jobs lost over March and April 2020. This suggests people are more comfortable dining out, participating in recreation, and traveling.” Read the full report
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. 

Grants to Organizations (August 12, 2021)  
National Endowment for the Arts grants to local arts agencies for day-to-day business expenses/operating costs. Cost share/matching funds are not required. 

Emergency Connectivity Fund (August 13, 2021)  
Federal Communication Commission grants to help schools and libraries provide tools and services for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period. 

Broadband Infrastructure Program (August 17, 2021
U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration grants for covered partnerships between political subdivisions of a state and providers of fixed broadband service to deploy broadband infrastructure. 
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
Join this webinar to learn how the latest location data can show wider COVID recovery and its effects on retail, tourism, and work. Presenters will examine key trends driving success and will look at the opportunities and risks facing economic development groups across the country. 
July 27 | EDA 101 and America Rescue Plan Overview | Economic Development Administration 
The Economic Development Administration will introduce the Investing in America’s Communities program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.  
July 27 – 28 | CARES Act Virtual Conference 2021 | U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 
This two-day CARES Act Virtual Conference 2021 is a joint venture between Emergency Solutions Grants Coronavirus, Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS Coronavirus, and Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus with topics ranging from the national objectives to working with homeless populations and everything in between. 
July 28, 29 | Connecting Minority Communities Session 4a, 4b | National Telecommunications and Information Administration 
Join National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) staff to hear more about NTIA's Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. 
July 29 Broadband Solutions for Rural and Underserved Communities | International Economic Development Council 
Changing workplace and home dynamics due to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the need for reliable broadband for communities and magnified the digital divide between various populations and rural communities. Join IEDC for this webinar on how communities can best incorporate broadband into underserved communities and hear from economic development professionals who are leading broadband initiatives. 

July 29 | EDA 101 and America Rescue Plan Overview | Economic Development Administration 
The Economic Development Administration will introduce the Investing in America’s Communities program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. 
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