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
IEDC COVID-19 Research Project and Technical Assistance
International Economic Development Council logo with The Power of Knowledge and Leadership wordmark
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is seeking eight volunteer communities for a research project to understand how communities are recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. IEDC will work with each community, offering virtual technical assistance, over a 12- to 15-month period to learn from local efforts and further inform IEDC’s recovery and resilience work. At the conclusion of the project, IEDC will provide recommendations to the community’s corresponding economic development districts to help enhance the resiliency sections of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Apply online using their application form. For more information, please contact Emily Brown at [email protected]. Applications are due November 30, 2020.
Hazard Mitigation Assistance Applications Due to the Texas Water Development Board and Texas Division of Emergency Management by December 1
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program and the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities pre-disaster mitigation program provide states and local communities with funding for eligible mitigation activities. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is the State of Texas applicant for all Flood Mitigation Assistance projects. Communities must submit their sub-applications to the TWDB for review no later than December 1, 2020. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) is the State of Texas applicant for all Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities projects. Communities must submit their sub-applications to TEDM for review no later than December 1, 2020. TWDB and TDEM will package and submit all sub-applications to FEMA by January 29, 2021.
Fall Planning Workshop: Responsible Revitalization
Join the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Fall Planning Workshop on Friday, December 4 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. This annual half-day workshop for local governments will focus on Responsible Revitalization and build on last year’s workshop theme “Building Equity into Planning.” This year, hear best planning practices for ensuring equitable housing, equitable jobs, and equitable transportation. Registration is required. For more information, contact Cheryl Mergo at 713-993-4520.
Small Business Resources
News, funding opportunities, and other support for small businesses in the Houston-Galveston region. 
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Upcoming Rural Small Business Grants
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation will be opening at least three more rounds 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. Upcoming application windows are November 26 - December 2, 2020; December 29, 2020 - January 5, 2021; and January 26 - February 2, 2021.
Upcoming Business Information Session for Rural Entrepreneurs
The Small Business Administration will host a live information session for rural entrepreneurs at 10:30 a.m. on November 19. Join the conversation live; no advance registration required.
Upcoming Powering Rural Small Businesses Forum with the USDA and SBA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration Houston District Office will host a virtual forum at 10:00 a.m. on November 17 to inform entrepreneurs, small business owners, governments, and community organizations about the federal programs and services that are available in the Houston area. Topics will center on access to capital, contracting certifications, and counseling resources. Register in advance
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.

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

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
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.

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.

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.
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
November 17 | Financing Resilient Infrastructure | Council of Development Finance Agencies
Many Americans have felt the shockwave of the hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding that continue to impact our country. There is a demand for more reliable and resilient infrastructure to replace aging systems. During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, learn how to finance infrastructure to mitigate disaster and protect human life.

November 18 | How Broadband Enhances Local Economies | Broadband USA
While communities adapt to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, economic development in rural America has been hard hit. Difficulties are exacerbated by the lack of broadband. Join to hear how communities and broadband providers are working together to expand broadband access to residents and businesses to build resilient economies.

November 18, 20 | PPP Loan Forgiveness Overview and Q&A | Small Business Administration Houston District Office
Participants will walk step-by-step through the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application. No registration required, join live on November 18 or on November 20.

November 19 | Updates and Training for 2021 TxCDBG Applications | Texas Department of Agriculture
At 1:00 p.m. on November 19, join this webinar to learn about the Community Development Fund, the Colonia Construction Program, and the Downtown Revitalization Program. Applications will be submitted this year through the new TDA Go! online portal. 

November 19 | Optimizing PPP Loan Forgiveness | Office of the Governor
Governor Greg Abbott will offer opening remarks at this webinar, which will provide Texas small business owners with an update on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness. There have been many changes made to the PPP loan terms and the calculation of the value of forgiveness. This webinar will provide information on how to estimate the value of the potential forgiveness of your loan.

Hear directly from micro and community lending organizations about the loan products and resources they offer to small businesses. Their competitive products can assist entrepreneurs with starting a business or growing your existing business.

November 23 | The Federal Response to COVID-19 from a State & Local Perspective | Council of State Governments
With limited federal action, state and local governments have been required to lead efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear from several leading membership organizations representing state and local governments on how federal strategy related to COVID-19 has impacted state and local jurisdictions.
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