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 e-mail Josh Owens or call 832-681-2613 to discuss economic recovery needs you may have.

workforce Solutions Logo Workforce Solutions Youth Services Hosting Virtual Job Fairs and Events
Beginning on July 29, Workforce Solutions professionals will host a 3-day workshop introducing employment and training opportunities to youth ages 16-24. This virtual event will provide job and internship search assistance, connect participants to financial aid for training and education, and refer youth to other community-based resources. Youth can also receive resume assistance and job readiness feedback. On July 30, youth are encouraged to register for a virtual Job Fair. See more Workforce Solutions events information, and register for the upcoming 3-day event.
Skills Enhancement Initiative from Texas Workforce Commission Offers Free Online Training for Workers
Texas Workforce Commission partnered with Metrix Learning to help recently unemployed Texas residents learn new skills and prepare to get back to work. The Metrix online learning platform provides free online training, with offerings in English and Spanish. Courses include Microsoft Office, Adobe, Quick Books, Customer Service, Analytical Skills, Data Management/Reporting and more. Learn more about the Skills Enhancement Initiative.
Texas Workforce Commission Extends Unemployment Reimbursement Deadline for Employers to December 31
On July 23, the Texas Workforce Commission extended payment deadlines for designated reimbursing employers that are required to pay a share of unemployment benefits. Designated reimbursing employers include non-profits, local governments, school districts, and other qualifying employers who reimburse the Texas Workforce Commission for the full amount of unemployment benefits paid to former employees. The action extends the due date for the August 31 payment to December 31, 2020. More information is available in Texas Workforce Commission's press release.
LISC logo Applications Opening Today for LISC Small Business Relief Grants
For businesses facing immediate financial pressure due to COVID-19, LISC Small Business Relief Grants offer $5,000 to $20,000 to pay rent and utilities, meet payroll, pay outstanding debt to vendors, and other immediate operational costs. Small businesses and enterprises, especially those run by entrepreneurs of color and women- or veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital, are encouraged to apply. The current application window closes on August 3. See more grant information and frequently asked questions.
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 Josh Owens 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. 

Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars 
July 28 | COVID-19 Recovery Strategies for Small Business Districts - Session 1 | US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The next topic area of the Responding to COVID-19 webinar series is economic development. Presenters will provide a broad range of resources relevant for small, distressed local governments. The series will be of special interest to city managers or mayors, finance directors or treasurers, community planning/development directors, and economic development directors. During the webinar, presenters will poll participants to determine the topic for the second session.
July 29 | Regional Resilience for Transportation and Economic Development | National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
Join RPO America and the NADO Research Foundation's National Regional Transportation Conference for a discussion of resiliency as a framework to prepare communities and regions for an uncertain future. The Houston-Galveston Area Council will be one of two regional organizations featured in this webinar for work incorporating resilience into transportation and economic development planning.

July 29 | US Department of Transportation Opportunity Zones Program Update | US Department of Transportation (DOT)
This webinar will update the public on the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the Opportunity Zones program within the US Department of Transportation Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

As the federal and state government provide support, counties must now triage the use of those funds to meet existing and emerging needs of communities and constituents. This webinar will feature counties who are both direct and indirect recipients of Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars from the US Treasury, as well as NACo partners who can help counties in their COVID relief efforts.

July 31 | Federal Recovery Resources from the SBA | Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA)
Small businesses are critical economic development drivers in urban centers, suburban enclaves, and rural cities, yet COVID-19 has left many struggling to identify and obtain the necessary capital to sustain the workforce and pay bills. During this webinar, administrators from the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide a year-end analysis of its COVID-19 relief programs and discuss what can be learned about providing small businesses with access to capital.

Despite government efforts to get money into people's hands, many small businesses have not received the support they need. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are mission-driven lenders that serve the parts of America that too often get left behind, including people of color, returning veterans, new citizens, and more. What role can CDFIs play in supporting entrepreneurs and advancing equity? How can policymakers, investors, philanthropy, and others support the work of CDFIs?
With the help of funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), counties across the country have created new programs to support jobs and workforce training to help address the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. Join NACo for a webinar to hear from county leaders about their CRF plans that work toward supporting those impacts by the pandemic obtain and maintain long-term and sustainable employment.
August 6 | Economic Systems After COVID-19: Towards a More Resilient, Sustainable, and Inclusive Recovery | International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
The pandemic has triggered the most severe recession in nearly a century--with the retail, travel, and restaurant industries, among others, in tatters. Similar to the 2008 global financial crisis, which disproportionately hurt lower-income households, COVID-19 hit lower-wage workers first and hardest. Join IEDC for a discussion among economists and economic development professionals about how to be proactive toward an inclusive recovery.

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 to address them.

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. 

Partner Resources 

Visit our 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, 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 Corona Virus Response webpage provides information on the Council's COVID-19 webinar series, COVID-19 resources, and frequently updated situational reports.

Main Street Forward provides 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.
The Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update is published by the