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
Economic Recovery Resources Weekly Updates Will Resume in 2021
The Gulf Coast Economic Development District has sent this weekly economic recovery update in response to the COVID-19 pandemic since April 2020. Next Monday, December 28, there will not be an Economic Recovery Resources update. The weekly update will resume on January 4 and continue into 2021, as partners in our region continue to respond to the pandemic and restore local economies. 
Funding for Rural Micro Entrepreneurs through USDA Loan and Grant Program 
On December 16, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development opened applications for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program. The program provides loans and grants to a non-profit entity or institution of higher education as a Microenterprise Development Organization (MDO). These MDOs establish revolving loan funds to provide loans to rural micro loan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs, or to provide training and technical assistance to micro entrepreneurs. To be eligible for a loan from an MDO, an ultimate recipient must be a business with 10 or fewer full-time employees and be in a non-metropolitan rural area with a population of 50,000 or less. 
USDA Accepting Applications to Establish Revolving Loans for Rural Economic Development  
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications to establish revolving loan programs to support rural businesses and community development projects. The revolving loan funds may issue loans for the purchase, construction, or expansion of a rural business; purchase or development of land; purchase of equipment, machinery, or supplies; or for start-up costs and working capital. The loans will be established through USDA's Intermediary Relending Program and are subject to the availability of funds. Application deadlines for the quarterly funding competitions are: 
  • Second Quarter: December 31, 2020 
  • Third Quarter: March 31, 2021 
  • Fourth Quarter: June 30, 2021 
Small Business Resources
News, funding opportunities, and other support for small businesses in the Houston-Galveston region. 
Small Business Financing Opportunities through H-GALDC 
Serving as H-GAC’s small business financing arm, the Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation (H-GALDC), is able to help new or established small businesses access capital to purchase and develop real estate. With interest rates at all-time lows, now may be the time to move your business from a lease to a mortgage. H-GALDC also leverages funding from the Small Business Administration and the Economic Development Administration to offer a variety of loan products. Loans can range from $25,000 for working capital to over $5,000,000 for the purchase of land and new construction. For more information about H-GALDC and its resources visit hgaldc.com, or email loans@h-gac.com
Upcoming Rural Small Business Grants 
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation will open two 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 will be December 29, 2020 - January 5, 2021 and January 26 - February 2, 2021. 
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 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.

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.) and to cover the cost of providing broadband service to community facilities for two years.
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
December 29 | Disaster Preparedness for Small Businesses | SCORE and the Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will share the key steps to building resiliency. Learn how to prepare for and bounce back quickly from disasters. 
 
January 12 Building Housing Security During COVID-19 and Beyond | The Apsen Institute 
This webinar will discuss the macro-economic trends and policy environment which have resulted in widespread housing unaffordability in communities across America and the elements of successful multi-sector housing reform initiatives. 
 
January 13 | Exploring FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance and Resources | Federal Emergency Management Agency  
This webinar from FEMA Region 3 will explore federal guidance and resources available to help communities prepare or update a Hazard Mitigation Plan. 
 
January 13 | Pricing During Economic Downturns | Gulf Coast Small Business Development Centers 
COVID-19 has made it particularly challenging for small businesses to price goods or services. Learn about how to set professional fees and how and when to offer discounts.  
 
January 14 Rural Transit Planning in the Time of COVID and Beyond | National Rural Transit Assistance Program 
Join this webinar to learn how transit agencies are adapting transit during the pandemic by retiming and fine tuning routes and schedules as well as adjusting demand response services. This webinar will include rural transit planning basics and best practices.  
 
January 21 Lessons Learned and Best Practices for Transitioning Economies | National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation  
Hear how two regions—one responding to the closure of coal-fired power plants and the other to the loss of the paper mill industry—have positioned themselves for economic recovery. This webinar will provide a framework and resources for supporting transition and diversification efforts in your community. 
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
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