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 Cheryl Mergo or call 713-993-4520 to discuss economic recovery needs you may have.
News and Updates
Call for Survey Participants from the Federal Reserve: How is COVID-19 Impacting Your Community? 
In April and June, the Federal Reserve System conducted surveys to better understand the range of challenges faced by under-resourced and low-income communities as a result of the pandemic. Results allow the Federal Reserve to track the effects of COVID-19 on communities over time. If you represent an organization serving lower-income communities, please take this 10-minute survey today. Responses are due by August 12. Contact Molly Hubbert Doyle with any questions.
COVID-19 Recovery Tips for Main Street Programs and Businesses 
Main Street Forward provides a wide range of free recovery resources for Main Street leaders, including the COVID-19 Crisis Main Street Checklist. Their recent HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program, launched on July 28 and fully obligated by August 3, offered grants of $5,000 to $15,000 to brick-and-mortar small businesses in commercial districts entering the next phases of reopening. Another round of the HartBeat of Main Street grant program will open soon. You can sign up for emails to receive program updates.
Planning Grant for Equitable Parks in Small and Midsize Cities Open to Proposals
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is seeking proposals for community-led parks and green spaces projects that will benefit low-income communities and communities of color, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to three collaborating organizations are encouraged to plan an initiative to rectify the inequitable distribution of parks and green spaces in small and midsize cities—populations between 50,000 and 500,000. Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations. Proposals are due September 9, 2020. Read more about the funding opportunity.
Economic Development Administration CARES Act Funding
The EDA continues to accept applications for CARES Act supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Funds are available through the 2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity (FY20 PWEAA NOFO, see page 46). The Gulf Coast Economic Development District will provide technical assistance to applicants. E-mail Cheryl Mergo with any questions.
Federal Funding for Rural Communities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’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. 
Application Period Announced for Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Assistance Funding Programs
On August 4, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) posted the Fiscal Year 2020 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunities for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program and the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster mitigation grant program. FEMA’s two competitive mitigation grant programs provide states, local communities, tribes and territories funding for eligible mitigation activities. To learn more about each program, see the BRIC Fact Sheet and FMA Fact Sheet. Application period opens September 30, 2020.
EPA Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers grants for workforce training programs that recruit, train, and place local, unemployed and under-employed residents in full-time jobs in the environmental field. The EPA encourages applicants to develop their curricula based on local labor market assessments and employers’ hiring needs, while also delivering comprehensive training that allows participants to secure multiple certifications. Read more about the grant here. The application deadline is September 22, 2020.
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
August 11 | The Great Reset #3: Race and The Role of Economic Development to Foster Equity | International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
This IEDC-supported installment of the Great Reset webinar series addresses how racial disparity has manifested during the pandemic. Join to discuss the role of economic developers in creating social equity and opportunity and dismantling racism.
Census Bureau’s subject matter experts will provide practical ways to use business data from economic programs to dive into business expansions and contractions. This webinar will include a segment on available resources and data tools with the opportunity to ask questions.
August 13 | Responding to Crisis in the Latino Population with an Equity Lens | National Association of Counties (NACo)
Learn from UnidosUS about the issues Latino communities are facing and the emerging strategies that their affiliates across the country are employing during this pandemic.
August 14, 28 | Economic Development Sales Tax Workshop | Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC)
Designed for EDC Board Members and local elected officials, this workshop includes information about economic and community development in general and changes to the Economic Development Sales Tax Law. On August 14, 2020, registrants will have access to a Dropbox file that will contain reference materials and copies of the presentations. On August 28, TEDC will host a live Q&A session via Zoom.
August 17 | COVID-19 Webinar: A New Perspective on Special Economic Zones | International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
Special Economic Zones including Foreign Trade Zones and Opportunity Zones can help local economies recover in the wake of crises. Speakers will review how to make the most of the zones, as well as how lawmakers should protect, and possibly expand, the benefit of these zones.
August 19 | How Counties are Investing CARES Act Dollars in Social Safety Net Services | National Association of Counties (NACo)
Each year, counties invest $58 billion in federal, state and local dollars on human services while serving as the frontline social safety net. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, counties are investing in critical public assistance services and programs to better support residents and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

August 20 | Part 1: FEMA Webinar Series on Effective Accessible Communications | Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA will host a two-part webinar series on how to create accessible communications throughout a disaster cycle. Part 1 will provide an overview of effective and accessible methods of communications to use throughout the disaster cycle. Speakers will address changes in technology, specifically virtual platforms, that can present accessibility challenges. Speakers will share insights on basic writing principles and how to write in plain language.

Join Tracye McDaniel, president of TIP Strategies and past chair of the International Economic Development Council, and Angela Glover Blackwell, founder of PolicyLink, in a candid conversation about the state of our economy and the pandemic’s devastating impact on communities of color.

August 27 | Part 2: FEMA Webinar Series on Effective Accessible Communications | Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Part 2 of FEMA’s series on accessible communications during a disaster cycle will provide useful resources for print, TV, and radio communication strategies, as well as offer specific tools to help you write for your audience. Subject matter experts will explore solutions to accessibility challenges virtual platforms can present.
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 COVID-19 resources, updated, and links. It includes webinars, small business program examples, research white papers, resources for businesses, 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 training, federal agency COVID-19 resources, member response resources, national partner organizations response resources, Office of Management and Budget guidance, state-by-state workforce guidelines, philanthropic resources for communities, and economic resilience resources.
The International Economic Development Council Coronavirus Response webpage provides information on the IEDC's COVID-19 webinar series, COVID-19 resources, and frequently updated situational reports.
A wide range of free resources for Main Street leaders, including recovery planning tools, research, advocacy efforts, and best practices and examples from around the Main Street Network. 
Gulf Coast Economic Development District

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