Economic Development Digest
Economic Development News
Next Gulf Coast Economic Development District Meeting on Oct 1
GCEDD Logo Texas with arrow around the bottom
The Gulf Coast Economic Development District’s next quarterly board meeting will be Friday, October 1 at 10 a.mRegistration is required. The meeting will be both virtual and in-person at 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, Texas 77027, Conference Room 2-A.

Visit the GCEDD webpage for previous meeting minutes, presentations, and information about upcoming GCEDD board meetings.
H-GAC's Housing Summit – September 17 (Online) 
H-GAC's Housing Summit, “Paths to Locally Driven Affordable Rental Housing,” will be on Friday, September 17, beginning at 9 a.m. The event will be online, and registration is required. 
An expert panel of national and state experts will discuss strategies for building and preserving rental housing. Local elected officials and housing experts will react to the strategies presented and reflect on what has potential in the H-GAC region.
Speakers and Panelists include:
  • Christopher Ptomey, Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing
  • Monte Anderson, Incremental Development Alliance
  • Jonathan S. Campbell, Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation
  • Tanya Debose, Independence Heights Redevelopment Council 
  • Mayor Pat Hallisey, League City 
  • Dr. Clare Losey, Texas Real Estate Research Center
  • County Judge Nate McDonald, Matagorda County
  • Kol Peterson, Accessory Dwelling Strategies
  • Moha Thakur, National Housing Trust
American Recovery Plan Act Grants Regional Information Session 
The Gulf Coast Economic Development District and the Economic Development Administration hosted a webinar on August 10 introducing the American Rescue Plan Act funding opportunities and how to prepare an application for the Investing in America’s Communities challenges. View the recording.
USDA Provides Support for Rural Working Capital Needs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested $64.8 million in loan guarantees to help rural businesses in Texas. These investments – made through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program and the Business and Industry CARES Act Program – are expected to create or save more than 380 jobs for people in rural areas. USDA has invested $33.8 million in Texas through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program since the start of the current fiscal year. This assistance has helped businesses create or save more than 150 jobs in rural areas. Learn more.
USDA Seeks Comment on Ways to Help Rural Businesses Produce and Market Value-Added Products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking input on ways to make it easier for rural businesses to produce and market value-added agricultural products. USDA is interested in stakeholders’ recommendations to streamline application requirements and make other improvements to the Agriculture Innovation Center Program. The USDA will hold a virtual listening session on Tuesday, October 5, at 1 p.m. Learn more.
No-Cost Economic Development Professional Consultations Available through IEDC’s Disaster Recovery Program
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is placing experienced economic development professionals as volunteers in economic development organizations throughout the region that can use expert input doing various tasks such as: 

  • Attracting inward investment
  • Business outreach, retention and recovery 
  • Community outreach, finance, flood control and mitigation
  • Grant writing, strategic planning, and training/education

Thanks to U.S. Economic Development Administration funding, the volunteers—who can work remotely—are free of charge to communities in the region.

For more information, contact Jillian Donatto.
Funding Opportunities
T-Mobile Hometown Grants
Deadline: September 30, 2021
The T-Mobile Hometown Grants program will help fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections in your town. For example, this might include the town square pavilion, a historic building, an outdoor park, a ball field, or a library. Learn more.

Harris County Small Business Relief Fund
Deadline: October 4, 2021
Harris County's new $30 Million Small Business Relief Fund will support micro and small businesses recovering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The application process is not first-come, first-served; all completed applications will be reviewed for eligibility and prioritized based on small business impact parameters. The application period opens September 20. Learn more.
EDA STEM Talent Challenge
Deadline: October 12, 2021
The U.S Economic Development Administration’s STEM Talent Challenge aims to build STEM talent training systems to strengthen regional innovation economies. The $2 million STEM Talent Challenge will provide funding for work-and-learn programs to increase America’s STEM-capable workforce in emerging and transformative sectors such as space commerce, aeronautics, digital manufacturing, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity. Learn more.

USDA Rural Energy for America Program
Deadline: October 31, 2021, January 31, 2022, and March 31, 2022
U.S. Department of Agriculture 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. 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.

USDA Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans & Grants 
Deadline: November 1, 2021 
This U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program assists qualified applicants who cannot obtain commercial credit on terms that will allow them to charge rents that are affordable to low-income tenants. Borrowers must have sufficient qualifications and experience to develop and operate the project. 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.

DOC RESTORE Act Direct Component—Construction and Non-Construction Activities, Gulf Coast Restoration  
Deadline: December 31, 2021 
U.S. Department of Commerce 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
The U.S. Economic Development Administration 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 Jillian Donatto at 631-897-3817. Learn more.   

USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program
Deadline: Ongoing
U.S. Department of Agriculture 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
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 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.
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
A garden-style multi-family development project is planned near the intersection of Tuckerton Road and Fry Road in Cypress. The 336-unit development will be on a 12-acre parcel next to an H-E-B anchored plaza.

Cedar Port Office Plaza will be located within Cedar Port Industrial Park in Baytown. The 132,000-square-foot office project will consist of two buildings expected to be completed by early 2023.
The first phase of Magnolia Place has broken ground. This phase includes 19,000 square feet of retail, at Spur 149 and FM 1488 in Magnolia. The development will be anchored by H-E-B, which has begun construction on its 95,000-square-foot grocery store. The mixed-use development will consist of 35,000 square feet of retail, 194 single-family lots, and approximately 500 multifamily units.

The Hawthorne has broken ground in the Tanglewood/Galleria area at 5656 San Felipe Street. The 17-story luxury condominium development will have 67 units for sale when completed.

Plans for the third phase of Fort Bend Town are ramping up. The third phase will include 200,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial space and a four-story apartment project consisting of 589 units. The second phase, which recently broke ground, will feature 300,000 square feet of commercial space and 200,000 square feet of retail and will be anchored by a Cinemark theater. Once complete, Fort Bend Town Center will span nearly 1 million square feet of mixed-use space at the intersection of Fort Bend Parkway and State Highway 6.
East River broke ground on its first phase at the intersection of Jensen Drive and Clinton Drive. The first phase will include 250,000 square feet of office space and 110,000 square feet of retail space and it is expected to be complete in 2023. Early plans announced the 150-acre mixed-use project would include 8.9 million square feet of office space, 1,440 multifamily units, 390 hotel rooms, and 475 single-family homes.

Construction has started on TMC3, a new campus for life science research and commercialization, in the Texas Medical Center. Phase one will include 950,000 square feet of research space, a hotel, and a 350-unit residential development. Once complete, the TMC campus, will consist of over 6 million square feet of development.

Compiled from information in Community Impact Newspapers, Houston Business Journal, and Texas A&M Texas Real Estate Research Center.
Upcoming Events
September 17 | H-GAC Housing Summit | H-GAC

September 24, October 22, November 19 | State Small Business Credit Initiative Learning Series | CDFA

September 28-30 | Intro Tax Credit Finance WebCourse | CDFA


November 11-12 | Texas Municipal League Economic Development Conference | TML | Bastrop, Texas

December 8-112021 National Brownfields Training Conference | EPA and ICMA | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
GCEDD Logo Texas with arrow around the bottom
Gulf Coast Economic Development District | 713-627-3200

The Economic Development Digest is published monthly by the