Economic Development Digest
Economic Development News
Make Plans to Attend H-GAC'S Annual Fall Planning Workshop on December 3 
Growing Kid-Friendly Communities
This annual half-day workshop for local governments features presentations on best planning practices for communities. This year's workshop is Growing Kid-Friendly Communities, and will focus on crucial factors influencing how welcoming a community is to young families with children. The workshop will include expert presenters and panelists and will equip you with the necessary information to grow your community. Register Today! 
Economic Development Administration Offers Good Jobs Challenge Office Hours
On Thursday, November 18th at 3:00pm EST, EDA will host an information session and virtual office hours on the Good Jobs Challenge. EDA’s American Rescue Plan $500 million Good Jobs Challenge aims to connect Americans with the training opportunities they need to develop in-demand skills that lead to good jobs and long-term careers. EDA is looking for applicants who can build and strengthen industry-led partnerships that remove barriers to training, particularly for those workers hit hardest by the pandemic, including, women and communities of color. EDA will fund one or more of the various phases of workforce programs including system design, program design, or program implementation, as applicable to regional needs. EDA invites those preparing applications for the Good Jobs Challenge to join a public Office Hours session, where EDA program staff will provide an overview of program requirements, discuss resources for technical assistance, and address questions about the program and application process. Please submit questions in advance to guide the discussion. Please email questions to [email protected]. The team will strive to answer all questions received during the office hours session. Register here.  
Economic Development Administration Announces Build Back Better Regional Challenge Applicants
On October 29, 2021 the EDA announced that it has experienced strong interest in its American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge, receiving 529 applications from regions across all 50 states and five territories. The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge will invest $1 billion in up to 30 regions to capitalize on American ingenuity and American workers by providing a transformational investment to regions across the country. The Challenge provides a historic investment, funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, to support bottom-up, middle-out economic development focused on advancing and accelerating an equitable economic recovery, creating good-paying jobs, and building resilient regions. This investment in locally designed projects is one of the ways the Biden Administration will enhance U.S. competitiveness on the global stage. To find a list of applicants and to read Assistant Secretary Alejandra Y. Castillo’s letter to them, please click here.
Greater Houston Economic Outlook Returns to In-person
The 2021 Houston Region Economic Outlook event will share perspectives on the region’s economy and a future outlook. The event will feature a presentation on the national economy by Northern Trust Chief Economist Carl R. Tannenbaum, as well as a discussion on the regional economy by a panel of industry experts. The Partnership’s Senior Vice President of Research, Patrick Jankowski, will also provide the Partnership’s employment forecast for 2022. This event will be an excellent sponsorship opportunity for anyone invested in Houston’s economic growth and prosperity. To read about the program and requirements for in-person attendance, click here for event information.
Funding Opportunities
USDA ReConnect Program Broadband Funding Opportunity 
Opens: November 25, 2021 
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the FY 2022 Rural eConnectivity Program (the ReConnect Program). The ReConnect Program application window opens November 24, 2021. This program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. USDA plans to make available up to $200 million in ReConnect Program loans, up to $250 million in loan/grant combinations, up to $350 million in grants with a matching requirement, and up to $350 million in grants with no matching requirement for projects in tribal and socially vulnerable communities. Learn more. 
NTIA Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program  
Deadline: December 1, 2021 
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is accepting applications for the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program, which will direct $268 million for expanding broadband access to eligible Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), minority-serving institutions (MSIs), and consortia led by an HBCU, TCU, or MSI that also include a minority business enterprise or tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more.
Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program 
Opens: Monday, December 20, 2021 
The United State Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA)Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP) is soliciting applications to fund two types of grants. (1) Community Food Projects (CFP) and (2) Planning Projects (PP). The purpose of the CFP is to support the development of projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining. CFPs are designed to create community-based food projects with objectives, activities, and outcomes that are in alignment with the CFPCGP primary goals. The purpose of a Planning Project (PP) is to complete a plan toward the improvement of community food security in keeping with the primary goals of the CFPCGP. Projects and plans are to focus on a defined community and describe in detail the activities and outcomes of the plan or project. Learn More.
DOC RESTORE Act Direct Component—Construction and Non-Construction Activities, Gulf Coast Restoration  
Deadline: December 31, 2021 
U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has extended the deadline for Gulf Coast Restoration projects. This announcement applies only to the Direct Component, for eligible construction and non-construction activities, including projects with or without a non-federal share for another federally funded project. This announcement also includes planning assistance needed to prepare the Multiyear Implementation Plan (Multiyear Plan) required by the RESTORE Act. Learn more. 
EDA Public Works Grants  
Deadline: Ongoing 
U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States by fostering job creation and attracting private investment. These Public Works Grants help communities build the infrastructure they need to support job growth and private investment. If you have an economic development infrastructure need in your community, contact Darryl Briscoe with H-GAC. Learn more.  
USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program  
Deadline: Ongoing 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development provides funding to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural communities can use these funds to build or modernize schools, health care clinics, libraries, and public safety facilities. Learn more.
EPA Brownfield Grants  
Deadline: Ongoing 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grants available for cleaning up brownfields in your community. Brownfields are properties that have been contaminated by pollutants or hazardous waste. The EPA offers Area-Wide Planning Grants, Assessment Grants, Revolving Loan Fund Grants, Cleanup Grants, Multipurpose Grants, and Job Training Grants. Learn more.
USDA Rural Energy for America Program 
Deadline: January 31, 2022, and March 31, 2022 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems; and to make energy efficiency improvements, conduct energy audits and provide development assistance. Funds are being made available under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The deadlines to apply for grants are October 31, 2021, and March 31, 2022. Applications for technical assistance grants are due January. 31, 2022. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. Learn more.
Regional Economic Trends
H-GAC has compiled regional economic indicators for the 13-county region, including monthly and yearly changes in unemployment rates, single and multi-family permits, and sales tax receipts. Download the PDF.

For more regional economic data visit:
Upcoming Developments
Science hub Levit Green has broken ground near the interchange of Highway 288 and Holcombe Blvd/Old Spanish Trail, east of the Texas Medical Center. Phase I will consist of a five-story, 270,000 square-foot building and will be completed later 2022. The building will be known as Levit Green 1 and will be first of nine that are planned for the 53-acre development.  
condominium tower will break ground soon at 2323 San Felipe Steet, near the Revere Street intersection. The 12-story, 118,126-squre-foot tower will feature 23 units. The residential project will include a four-story parking garage. It is expected to be completed in 2023. 
Hope Clinic, a 70,000 squre-foot community health center, has broken ground on a 3.58-acre lot at 13930 Bellaire Blvd. The health and wellness “one-stop shop” is expected to open late next year.  
SurePoint Self Storage is planned at the intersection of League City Parkway and S. Egret Bay Boulevard in League City. The three-story, 94,000 square-foot project will start in 2022. 
Temenos Place Apartments has broken ground at 1703 Gray Street. The development will replace Temenos II at 2200 Jefferson Street, as it will torn down to make way for the expansion of Interstate 45. The apartment complex is expected to be completed in 2022. 
Grand West Crossing has broken ground along the Grand Parkway at Clay Road. The first phase of the development will consist of a 120,600-square-foot  office/warehouse building. It is expected to be complete in April 2022.  
Woodhaven Village, a senior living community, broken ground on 10 cottages at 2275 Riverway Drive in Conroe. The new cottages are expected to meet the increasing demand as the existing cottages sparked a waitlist. The new cottages are expected to be completed in spring 2022. 

Compiled from information in Community Impact Newspapers and the Houston Business Journal.
Upcoming Events
November 16 | Development Finance Webcast Series | CDFA 

December 8-11 | 2021 National Brownfields Training Conference | EPA & ICMA | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 
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Gulf Coast Economic Development District | 713-627-3200

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