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
American Rescue Plan Act - Build Back Better Challenge Deadline Approaching 
The U.S. Economic Development Administration is accepting applications under its American Rescue Plan Act-funded “Investing in America’s Communities” program. For phase 1 of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, regionally competitive applications should be submitted no later than October 1. The final deadline for Phase 1 is October 19. Contact Jillian Donatto or call 631-897-3817 for technical assistance. 
USDA’s Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program Opens September 23
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program provides grants to food processors, distributors, farmers markets, and producers to respond to coronavirus, including measures to protect workers against COVID-19. Approximately $650 million is available to fund applications through the PRS grants program, with awards ranging from $1,500 to $20,000. The first round of funding will be reserved for small businesses primarily in small scale specialty crop production. Once satisfied, the second round may expand eligibility to larger firms not covered by the first round. The PRS grant program opens September 23. Learn More.
$30 Million Harris County Small Business Recovery Program Now Open 
Houston area small businesses still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for funding. The grant program will disburse awards of between $5,000 and $25,000 to up to 2,000 Harris County businesses for COVID relief. Applicants must be businesses registered in Harris County with 30 or fewer employees. Applicants must have annual revenue of less than $500,000 in 2019 and 2020, and the business must have been in operation before March 11, 2020. Applications are due by October 4. Join an informational webinar on September 23Learn more.
USDA Launches Resource Guide to Help Rural Communities Seeking Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Assistance
As part of National Preparedness Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a 16-page resource guide to help rural communities seeking disaster resiliency and recovery assistance. The guide outlines USDA Rural Development programs and services aimed at supporting long-term planning and recovery efforts, including community and economic development planning, infrastructure financing, local business development, and more. Information about technical assistance providers and other support resources for rural communities seeking disaster assistance. Learn More.
National League of Cities Guide to Implementation of Local Recovery Funds from American Rescue Plan Act
The American Rescue Plan Act package includes the groundbreaking Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), a $350 billion grant program to aid every level of government, including all 50 states, 3,000+ counties, and 19,000+ municipalities. The National League of Cities has developed a guide with nine benchmarks to help local governments of all sizes to process allocated SLFRF grant dollars. 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. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture grants to broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities.

Build Back Better Regional Challenge (Phase 1: October 19, 2021 | 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. 

Statewide Planning, Research & Networks (October 31, 2021, applications reviewed on a rolling basis) 
U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding for state planning efforts and grants to build Communities of Practice to extend technical assistance to support EDA’s work with grantees. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program for small specialty crop producers, distributors, processors, and farmers markets to enact measures that protect workers against the coronavirus. 

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. 
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
This webinar will look at different strategies for creating themed virtual tours to attract investment, support workforce attraction, profile target industry sectors, attract film and video production, and highlight tourism in your region. 
September 23 | Future of Work, Communities of Color, and COVID-19 | International Economic Development Council  
Learn about the International Economic Development Council’s new report on preparing communities of color for the future of work. Inclusive strategies for upskilling/reskilling workers and fostering entrepreneurship will be discussed. 
September 29 Leveraging Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds for Lasting Impact | Texas Economic Development Council 
This webinar will share ideas for optimizing federal funding to achieve economic development aspirations around business growth, infrastructure, workforce alignment, and other critical topics. The session will provide examples of ways to deploy American Rescue Plan Act funds to generate long-term value for your community. 

October 6 | Bringing Back Downtown Retail After COVID-19 | American Downtown Revitalization Review and the University of Wisconsin Madison – Extension
The American Downtown Revitalization Review is partnering with the University of Wisconsin Madison – Extension to host a discussion on retail in a post-COVID world. This webinar will focus on downtown and main street districts in communities under 75,000 in population, with discussions led by three nationally known experts in retail development. 
In-Person Events:  
October 29 Resiliency and Recovery Workshop, South Texas - Don't Mess With Texas | Texas Economic Development Council 
Join the Texas Economic Development Council, in partnership with the International Sustainable Resiliency Center to learn how to navigate disasters of all kinds, to learn the best practices for business continuity, and to learn where to access resources to aid in economic recovery. 
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