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
Application Opening on Thursday for LISC Small Business Relief Grants
LISC logo
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 on Thanksgiving—November 26. 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 deadline is December 2, 2020. Additional application windows will be December 29, 2020 - January 5, 2021 and January 26 - February 2, 2021. See more grant information and frequently asked questions. 
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.
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.
October 2020 Gulf Coast Labor Market Analysis
The regional unemployment rate in October fell to 7.7%, which is down from 9.6% in September and up from 3.6% in October 2019. The regional rate of 7.7% is also higher than the both the statewide rate (6.7%) and the national rate (6.6%). In the Houston-Galveston region, this represents 265,523 individuals without work and looking for a new job. Workforce Solutions reports that seasonal employment remains relatively strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic. “October marks the start of temporary increases in payrolls related to the holiday season, and the monthly jobs report reflects this,” said Workforce Solutions Economist, Parker Harvey. Read the full report.
Webinar Series in December on Bolstering Growth in Opportunity Zones: Leveraging Public and Private Resources
The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and HUD are hosting a webinar series for local economic development leaders and stakeholders in communities with designated Opportunity Zones (OZs). Public officials, community development professionals, nonprofit organizations, civic leaders, and other local economic development stakeholders are encouraged to attend. On December 3, join to Understand the Current Environment and Align Place-Based Assets. On December 8, join to learn how to Establish Policy Tools and Incentives, Develop Partnerships, and Measure Impacts. On December 15, learn how to Develop Your OZ Action Plan to Build or Strengthen Your Local OZ Ecosystem.
Small Business Resources
News, funding opportunities, and other support for small businesses in the Houston-Galveston region. 
Small Business Development Centers Offer Variety of Webinars for Small Business Owners
The University of Houston Texas Gulf Coast Small Business Development Centers offer free access to pre-recorded webinars for small businesses and a wide selection of upcoming webinars. In the month of December, learn about digital marketing, creating a budget, futurizing your business for 2021, and defining a marketplace in the new economy, among other topics.
Support Small Businesses on Saturday, November 28
Celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday allows consumers to make an impact in their neighborhoods by supporting local small businesses. Last year, an estimated 110 million U.S. consumers shopped small on Small Business Saturday. This year, small businesses need our support as they navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Small business owners can get free marketing materials from American Express, and shoppers can find participating small businesses in their areas.
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 24 | Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Overview | Small Business Administration
Learn the basics of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from the Small Business Administration and hear answers to the most frequently asked questions. No registration required; join live at 1 p.m. on November 24.

November 25 | PPP Loan Forgiveness Overview and Q&A | Small Business Administration
Participants will walk step-by-step through the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application. No registration required; join live at 11 a.m. on November 25.

Join this webinar to hear from county leaders about how they are using CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars to support local public health entities in preparation for the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine.

December 7-11 | The 2021 Legislative Session Virtual Symposium | The Texas Tribune
The Texas Tribune’s weeklong virtual symposium will preview the top legislative priorities for the 2021 legislative session, including the impact of COVID-19 on the state budget and how redistricting will affect the state’s political future.

December 16 | Financing Local Food Systems Development | Texas Economic Development Council and the Council of Development Finance Agencies
Explore the variety of financing tools for local food systems development and best practices for investing in resilient local food economies. Development finance experts from Texas (and beyond) will share details of various financing programs and project investments that have contributed to building a successful, local food system. 

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