Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly 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 - Weekly Update to help our local partners stay on top of new funding opportunities. Subscribers to the monthly Regional Economic Development Digest will receive the weekly 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
Loans up to $50,000 Available Through COVID-19 Small Business Relief & Recovery Loan Program
The Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation (H-GALDC) is making loans of up to $50,000 available to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Funds are available for projects in Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton counties. More eligibility information and application requirements are available on the H-GALDC website.
Grants Up to $15,000 Available Through HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program Opening October 22
Main Street America written with stylized street light above
The second round of the HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program will open at 11 a.m. Thursday, October 22. The program offers grants between $5,000 and $15,000 to brick-and-mortar small businesses in commercial districts entering the next phases of reopening. Eligible expenses include physical improvements to business space to meet COVID-19 requirements; equipment to comply with public health and safety guidelines; fees associated with expanding the business to e-commerce sales; other professional services such as business plan modifications, rent, and payroll; and other operating expenses. Awards are made on a competitive and first-come, first-served basis. The previous round of funding was obligated within five days of opening in early August. Applications are due October 29, 2020.
Applications Opening October 26 for Another Round of LISC Small Business Relief Grants
LISC logo
On October 26, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation will open another round of the Rural Relief Small Business grant program for small businesses in a rural community facing immediate financial pressure due to COVID-19. Rural communities are defined as having a population of 50,000 or less. Applicants can be awarded between $5,000 and $20,000 for expenses including rent and utilities, payroll, debt payments, and other immediate operational costs. The application opens on Monday, October 26 and closes on Monday, November 2, 2020. See more grant information and frequently asked questions
EDA Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology Challenge Announced
Sprint Challenge printed under stylized carat
On October 14, the Economic Development Administration launched the Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge. Funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the SPRINT Challenge will make investments of up to $750,000 over 18 months and $500,000 over 12 months in organizations working to rapidly address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation. More information on eligibility and program information is available in the notice of funding opportunity. Applications are due December 3, 2020
Small Business Administration Simplifies Loan Forgiveness Applications for Paycheck Protection Program Loans of $50,000 or Less
SBA with red and blue box around letters
The Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury have jointly posted a new rule affecting the forgiveness and loan review processes for borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program loans of $50,000 or less. These borrowers are now exempt from any reduction in forgiveness based on the reduction in the number of FTE employees or employee salaries or wages. They can also use the simplified SBA Form 3508S to apply for forgiveness, unless the borrower and its business affiliates received loans totaling $2 million or more. View instructions for completing the simpler loan forgiveness application.
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. 
Federal Funding for All Communities
For construction or non-construction projects that prepare for or respond to economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, create jobs, and/or generate private investment.

Seed funding (up to $100,000) for research and development that has a commercial potential.

Community Connect Grants (December 23, 2020)
Funding up to $3 million to construct facilities used to deploy broadband services to residents, businesses, and essential community facilities (schools, libraries, fire stations etc.) or to cover the cost of providing broadband service to community facilities for two years.

The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program and the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster mitigation program provide states, local communities, tribes, and territories funding for eligible mitigation activities.
Non-Federal Funding Opportunities
Grants available to educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and programs conducted by municipal, county, state or federal government entities to be dedicated towards community development, education, and safety initiatives. Grant amount requested must be $5,000 or more.
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
October 20 | Community Connect Program – FY2021 | U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
USDA staff will provide an overview of the funding opportunity announcement, eligibility and regulatory requirements, the application process, and guidance on how to submit a successful application. Participants can ask specific questions about the Community Connect program and the new application process.

October 20 | Manufacturing Bonds for Disaster Response | Council of Development Finance Agencies
Industrial Development Bonds (IBDs), or Manufacturing Bonds, are the most frequently used bond tool for financing the manufacturing sector. Learn how IDBs act as a resilient economic driver by financing the manufacturing facilities that stabilize local economies during crises.

October 20 | Rethinking Workforce & Attraction | Golden Shovel
Learn how remote working, entrepreneurship, and the gig economy are changing workforce and attraction strategies. Hear specific examples of organizations rethinking their strategies and how small businesses in your community can positively affect strategies long-term.

As part of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s Net Inclusion conference, this one-hour webinar will feature both a presentation and question and answer portion.

Learn how communities are helping students get connected, assisting parents and caregivers gain the skills to help their children navigate online learning environments, and transitioning educators to online teaching.

October 21, 23, 26, 28, 30 | Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness | Small Business Development Center Texas Gulf Coast Network
This webinar will cover new terms/definitions unique to the new application process, documentation needed to support the application process, key details about spending Paycheck Protection Program funds, and what to expect after the forgiveness application is submitted.

October 22 | Speaker Series Session IV Economic Crises: Workforce, Small Business and Broadband, Part 2 Continuing the Conversation | International Economic Development Council, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 6
Panelists will discuss: 1) barriers and disparities in rural, underserved, and tribal communities; 2) opportunities for economic development focusing on adaptation, sustainability, retention and growth in the COVID-19 environment; and 3) unprecedented demand for broadband and disparities that COVID-19 has revealed.
Meeting ID: 160 394 2737 
Passcode: 475654

Learn how to prioritize health in community planning and development, from transportation and mobility to public spaces. Hear ideas for rethinking the approach to planning for and providing access to mobility and healthcare in the post-pandemic future.

October 22 | EIDL Loans and Main Street Lending Program | Small Business Development Center Texas Gulf Coast Network
Presenter Rebecca Schultz will walk participants through the EIDL Loan Application and the Main Street Lending Program. There will be a live Q&A and participants will receive updates about both programs as changes occur. 

October 27 | Funding Your Entrepreneurial Ecosystem | International Economic Development Council
Learn how to work with a diverse set of funding sources – from the CARES act and public-private partnerships to family foundations and large philanthropic organizations – to build and grow an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in your region.

October 28 | Building Resilience through Innovation: EDA’s SPRINT Challenge | Economic Development Administration
This webinar will provide a strategic overview of the SPRINT Challenge for prospective applicants. Attendance is encouraged for applicants new to EDA’s application procedures or those who are unfamiliar with the requirements under EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance program, such as Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy alignment, grant rates, and economic distress. 
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

The Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update is published by the