Economic Development Digest 
| Economic Development News
$1.5 Billion in EDA CARES Act Grants Available

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. 
The funding is to help speed communities' economic recovery from the pandemic through implementing economic recovery activities, such as entrepreneurial support programs, infrastructure, and facilities construction to save or create jobs.
The Gulf Coast Economic Development District will be working to provide technical assistance for applicants. E-mail Joshua Owens with any questions.
National Survey Results and Case Studies for Economic Developers in Response to COVID-19

A new report from SizeUp offers ten case studies of how economic development organizations (EDOs), businesses, and individuals are working proactively to protect local workers, entrepreneurs, and businesses. The report includes response data from an April 8-15 national survey of economic developers.

Many EDOs are pivoting their work as business attraction and site selection have been wiped out. For most EDOs assistance for local businesses is the top priority.
Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act Released by the Small Business Administration

The Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act was developed to help small businesses navigate major federal funding programs that will soon be available through the Small Business Administration (SBA). These include the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants, and the Small Business Debt Relief Program, among others. To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with your local SBA District Office.
Liberty, Walker, Wharton Broadband Surveys Open

Liberty, Walker, and Wharton counties are acting to improve high-speed internet (broadband) connections for residents and businesses in the counties. Connected Nation is conducting surveys to determine the communities' internet needs. Residents and business owners in Liberty, Walker, and Wharton counties are encouraged to complete the online survey. More survey responses will provide better data to help broaden the provision of high-speed internet. 
Disaster Recovery Program | IEDC 
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is placing experienced economic development professionals as volunteers in economic development organizations throughout the region that can use expert input doing various tasks such as: 
  • Attracting inward investment
  • Business outreach, retention and recovery 
  • Community outreach, finance, flood control and mitigation
  • Grant writing, strategic planning, and training/education
Thanks to U.S. Economic Development Administration funding, the volunteers-- who can work remotely--are completely free of charge to communities in the region.
For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
March 2020 Gulf Coast Labor Market Analysis

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Government-mandated closures of non-essential businesses and further decline in oil prices led to a loss of 8,200 jobs in the Houston-Galveston region in March 2020.
Job losses in the Construction and Manufacturing sectors contributed the majority of the month's job losses, said Parker Harvey, an economist with the regional workforce development agency. "In construction, projects already underway are continuing, but those still in the planning stages or that were on the cusp of starting have been delayed. For Manufacturing, it's along the lines of a 60-40 split between the crash in oil prices and furloughs related to social distancing measures."
Unemployment in March rose to 5.1% in the region, which is up from 3.9% last month and 3.7% at this time last year. This month's report only picks up the initial unemployment claims that were made as emergency health measures began.
Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and unstable oil prices on the regional labor market, the numbers released next month will provide a clearer picture of where the labor market stands. Read the full report.
| Funding Opportunities
Economic Development Administration CARES Act Funding | Ongoing

The Economic Development Administration supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States by fostering job creation and attracting private investment. These grants are intended to help communities respond to, and recover from, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. If you have an economic development infrastructure need in your community, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613. Learn more. 
Environmental Protection Ageny Brownfield Grants | Ongoing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grants available for cleaning up brownfields. Brownfields are properties that are contaminated by pollutants or hazardous waste. The EPA offers Area Wide Planning Grants, Assessment Grants, Revolving Loan Fund Grants, Cleanup Grants, and Job Training Grants. Learn more.
Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan & Grant Program | Ongoing

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan & Grant program provides funding to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities in rural areas.  The program has more than $2 billion still available for rural communities to build or modernize education, health care, municipal and public safety facilities this fiscal year. Learn more.
Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) | Ongoing

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loans help rural families and small businesses achieve cost savings by providing loans to qualified consumers to implement durable cost-effective energy efficiency measures. A Letter of Intent is required. Learn more.
Minority Business Development Agency Enterprising Women of Color Business Centers Grant | May 30

The Minority Business Development Agency within the Department of Commerce has announced a funding opportunity that seeks to fund Business Center(s) with a particular focus on supporting minority women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and its territories to build their businesses, secure contracts and capital, and increase employment opportunities. Learn more.
Rural Development Strategic Economic and Community Development | June 30

Strategic Economic and Community Development is a Farm Bill provision allowing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prioritize projects that support the implementation of regional economic development plans through the following USDA-Rural Development funding programs:
  • Communities Facilities Loans, Grants, and Loan Guarantees
  • Water and Waste Disposal Loans, Grants, and Loan Guarantees
  • Business and Industry Program Loan Guarantees
  • Rural Business Development Grants
Learn more.
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants (DLT)  | July 13

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program helps rural communities use telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. Learn more.
Upcoming Developments 
Fishel's Landing broke ground at 4840 N. Shepard Drive. The four-story, 240-unit apartment complex is expected to open in late 2021.

Telge Crossing is under construction at the southwest corner of Jarvis and Telge Roads. Phase one includes 15,000 square feet of retail and 12,000 square feet of medical office space. Phase two includes a 303-unit apartment complex. Both phases are expected to be completed this year.

H-E-B will deliver a new 101,000-square-foot grocery store later this summer at 9211 FM 2473, Richmond, near Fulshear.

Tiki Island Residences and Boathouse Resort will be a resort-style condominium community on a 6-acre parcel on Tiki Island. The community will include 75 condo units and is expected to break ground in the summer of 2021.

Two multifamily projects will break ground this summer in Valley Ranch at the corner of Valley Ranch Parkway and SH 99 Frontage Road. One will be a 170-unit active adult community scheduled to open in 2021. The second project will be a 321-unit complex expected to open in 2022.

A $130 million mixed-use project will be developed on a 11.5-acre parcel near the intersection of Six Pines Drive and Lake Front Circle, near The Woodlands Mall. It will include Modera Six Pines, a 429-unit apartment community, scheduled to be completed in 2022. A four-story, 140,000-square-foot building will include three floors of wellness facilities and 35,000 square feet of coworking space, expected to be completed in 2021.

A 145,2000-square-foot warehouse is under construction at 540 Conroe Park W. Drive in the Conroe North Park. The project will employ 20 full-time workers, and construction will wrap up later this year.

Compiled from reports in Community Impact Newspapers, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, and Texas A&M University Real Estate Center

Upcoming Events
May 15, 22, 29 | Weekly Development Finance COVID-19 Briefings | Council of Development Finance Agencies
May 19 | The Long and Winding Road to Economic Recovery | National Association of Development Organizations
May 19 | Historic Preservation Funding | Council of Development Finance Agencies
May 20 | Distance Learning & Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program Second Application Window | U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development

May 20 | Center for Houston's Future Leadership Webinar Series |Center for Houston's Future
May 20-21 | Intro Tax Increment Finance WebCourse | Council of Development Finance Agencies
May 21 | A Multilayered Approach to Economic Development FinanceInternational Economic Development Council

May 27 | State of Houston's Global Economy | Greater Houston Partnership
May 28 | Food System Finance Webinar Series | Council of Development Finance Agencies

June 10 | Using SitesOnTexas 3.0: Data Driven Answers for your Location Questions | Texas Economic Development Council
June 10 | Building the Road to Recovery | Council of Development Finance Agencies
June 11 | Welcoming Immigrants into Your Economic Development Strategy | International Economic Development Council
June 16 | Financing Rural Healthcare | Council of Development Finance Agencies
June 17 | Public-Private Financing for Infrastructure in Uncertain Times | TEDC and Council of Development Finance Agencies
June 18 | Best Practices in Rural Marketing and Attraction | International Economic Development Council
June 24-25 | Intro Opportunity Zones Finance WebCourse | Council of Development Finance Agencies
July 8 | State of the Senate | Greater Houston Partnership
July 8 | Access to Capital and Community Facilities | Council of Development Finance Agencies
July 16 | Matchmaking: Workforce & Business Development | International Economic Development Council

The Economic Development Digest is published monthly by the

Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77027
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