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
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Opening May 12 
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is mobilizing organizations to help share important consumer information on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. The FCC has released an outreach partner toolkit with flyers and posters, social media posts, a fact sheet, a slide deck, and consumer handouts in multiple languages.

The EBB is a temporary program that provides a discount of up to $50/month on a qualifying households’ internet bill. For eligible households there is the potential for a discount of up to $100 towards the purchase of a tablet, laptop or desktop computer from a participating provider. On May 12, eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org
Current Small Business Administration Programs for COVID-19 Relief  
  • Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is now accepting applications. Details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide, available in English at www.sba.gov/restaurants or in Spanish at www.sba.gov/restaurantes
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations can apply for EIDL until December 31, 2021.  
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – The SBA is offering PPP loans until May 31, 2021. For business that have not received a PPP loan, First Draw PPP loans are available. Certain businesses are eligible for a Second Draw PPP loan. Borrowers may also be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness. 
  • Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG) – Eligible applicants may qualify for SVOG grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with a $10 million maximum for a single grant award. Funds may be used for payroll expenses, rent, taxes, and worker protection expenditures, among other allowable costs. The application portal reopened on April 26.   
  • Cross-Program Eligibility – The Small Business Administration has put together a chart depicting which applicants can apply for one or more of the available COVID-19 relief programs. 
EDA Seeks Applications for Targeted Pre-Development Technical Assistance to Distressed Small, Rural, and Underserved Communities 
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is accepting applications for National Technical Assistance cooperative agreements to provide guidance and direct technical assistance to distressed small, rural, and underserved communities in pre-development activities associated with accessing EDA programs and services. Any questions regarding this opportunity should be sent to RNTA@eda.gov. Examples of successful past projects are listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Applications are due June 1. Learn more
Community Navigator Program Announced 
On April 30, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the Community Navigator Pilot Program, which aims to strengthen targeted outreach to underserved businesses. The grant funding opportunity is open to proposals from SBA resource partners, states, units of local governments, and other nonprofit organizations. Learn more
Local Relief Funding from American Rescue Plan Act 
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 for local governments and answered frequently asked questions. Further guidance is expected from the U.S. Treasury before May 10.  
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
May 4, 5 | Restaurant Revitalization Fund | Small Business Administration 
This webinar will cover program details, eligibility, how to apply, set asides, funding amounts, allowable use of funds, and resources to get additional help. Join live on May 4 at 2 p.m. The same program will be available in Spanish on May 5 at 2 p.m. 
 
May 5 | Weaving Digital Inclusion into Existing Community and Government Programs | National Digital Inclusion Alliance 
The Net Inclusion Conference has been a staple in the Digital Inclusion community since 2016, bringing hundreds of practitioners, advocates, academics, internet service providers, and policymakers together to share their knowledge. 
 
This webinar will explore a cross-section of projects that have participated in the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank’s Advance Together program. The goal of the program is to help Texas communities build partnerships for equitable recovery. 
 
May 5, 6 | Connecting Minority Communities | National Telecommunications and Information Administration 
Learn more the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program, established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The webinar will offered on May 5 and 6. 

May 11 Fostering Resiliency: Helping Your Retail and Hospitality Sector Rebound after COVID | International Economic Development Council  
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for the retail and hospitality industries. Join this webinar to hear practical examples of ways that economic developers can support your local business owners and steps you can take now to encourage new growth after the pandemic. 
 
May 18 – 19 | Global Forum on Economic Recovery | U.S. Chamber of Commerce 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will convene its inaugural Global Forum on Economic Recovery on May 18 and 19 led by U.S. Chamber CEO and President Suzanne Clark. The forum will bring together government leaders and business executives to discuss the opportunities and impediments to a dynamic global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
May 20 | Planning for Economic Recovery | International City/County Management Association and International Economic Development Council  
The International City/County Management Association and the International Economic Development Council have developed a new training course in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency: “Planning for Economic Recovery.” Some of the strategies covered in the free four-hour course are engaging small businesses in pre-disaster planning and preparedness, utilizing financial tools and resources for mitigation and recovery, and updating your economic recovery plan. 

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

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