Economic Recovery Resources - Biweekly Update
The Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Gulf Coast Economic Development District issue this Economic Recovery Resources Biweekly Update to help our local partners secure the resources they need to recover from economic disruption. Subscribers to the monthly Regional Economic Development Digest will receive the update automatically.

Please email Jillian Donatto or call 631-897-3817 to discuss economic recovery needs you may have.
News and Updates
The U.S. Department of Commerce Creates New Job Quality Initiative to Help Ensure that Economic Recovery is Built on Quality Jobs 
On September 29, the U.S. Department of Commerce launched its new Job Quality Initiative. The initiative is aimed at helping American employers become more competitive by providing their workers with high quality jobs. The U.S. Department of Commerce will be seeking input from a diverse range of experts to ensure that the Job Quality Initiative reflects the latest research and standards about what constitutes quality employment, which will ultimately be used to guide organizations that wish to attract and retain top talent. Learn more. 
USDA’s Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program: Deadline Approaching
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program provides grants to food processors, distributors, farmers markets, and producers to respond to coronavirus, including measures to protect workers against COVID-19. Approximately $650 million is available to fund applications through the PRS grants program, with awards ranging from $1,500 to $20,000. The first round of funding will be reserved for small businesses primarily in small scale specialty crop production. Once satisfied, the second round may expand eligibility to larger firms not covered by the first round. The deadline to apply for the USDA’s PRS Grant Program is November 7. Learn More.
Texas Workforce Commission Approves $2.45 Billion in One-Time Funds to Aid Child Care Providers in Texas 
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recently approved $2.45 billion in direct support for the Texas child care industry. The one-time funds, made available through federal child care stimulus dollars, are intended to help child care providers address the impacts of COVID, and will be awarded to regulated child care centers and homes beginning in January 2022. The new funds, combined with $775 million that was previously approved in direct support for child care programs, help strengthen a vital industry to the state’s workforce. Learn more. 

If you applied for Child Care Relief Funds before July 31, 2021, be sure to request reimbursement by November 30, 2021. Free business coaching is also available to all regulated child care programs in Texas. Learn more. 
TDHCA Announces New Funding for the Texas Community Resiliency Program 
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced the release of $38 million in Community Development Block Grant CARES Act funds for the Texas Community Resiliency Program. The program is for non-entitlement cities and counties to create, expand, or enhance public facilities that provide medical care, social services, and/or emergency housing and increase the community’s long-term resiliency and ability to mitigate future coronavirus outbreaks. The minimum request amount per project is $500,000, and the maximum is $5,000,000. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. November 30. Contact CRP@tdhca.state.tx.us with questions about this program. Learn more.
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.

Loans and grants to a non-profit entity or institution of higher education to establish revolving loan funds for rural micro-loan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs, or to provide training and technical assistance to micro entrepreneurs.  
Federal Funding for All Communities
U.S. Economic Development Administration grants for construction or non-construction projects that will retain or create jobs and/or generate private investment. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program for small specialty crop producers, distributors, processors, and farmers markets to enact measures that protect workers against the coronavirus. 

Federal Transit Administration grants to eligible recipients of Urbanized Area Formula funds or Rural Area Formula funds that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, require additional assistance for costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, and sanitation combatting the spread of pathogens on transit systems, and debt service payments incurred to maintain operations and avoid layoffs and furloughs.

Community Resiliency Program (November 30, 2021) 
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs grants to create, expand, or enhance public facilities that provide medical care, social services, and/or non-congregate housing in response to both the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics. 

Connecting Minority Communities Program (December 1, 2021)  
National Telecommunications and Information Administration grants 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 to expand broadband access. 

Federal Emergency Management Agency grants to support community capacity building and resilience strengthening in direct response to the growing hazards associated with climate change.

Good Jobs Challenge (January 26, 2022
U.S. Economic Development Administration grants to develop and strengthen regional workforce training systems and sector-based partnerships with a focus on programs for women, people of color, and historically underserved communities. 
 
Economic Adjustment Assistance (March 15, 2022, applications reviewed on a rolling basis)  
U.S. Economic Development Administration grants to help communities plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.  

Indigenous Communities (March 15, 2022, applications reviewed on a rolling basis
U.S. Economic Development Administration funding for Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities to develop and execute economic development projects they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future.  
 
Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation (March 15, 2022, applications reviewed on a rolling basis
U.S. Economic Development Administration investments to revitalize the hard-hit travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries and accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on these sectors. 

Build Back Better Regional Challenge (Phase 2: March 15, 2022
U.S. Economic Development Administration funding for regional coalitions to implement a collection of 3 to 8 distinct but related projects, in coordination with industry and community partners, and aligned around a holistic vision to build and scale a strategic industry cluster. 
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
November 4 | Governor’s Small Business Webinar: Updates to the EIDL | Office of the Texas Governor
This Governor's Small Business Webinar will provide an update on the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). A panel of experts will provide up-to-date details on the EIDL application process and information on the increased debt limit, the extended deferment period, and the simplified requirements to qualify. The virtual event will also feature a live Q&A with an expert panel, including senior executives from the SBA and Small Business Development Centers.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is hosting a series of online courses throughout November on inclusive economic recovery. The Whole Community Inclusive Economic Recovery course will introduce economic development districts, civic, community, and economic leaders to economic recovery planning using a whole community approach.

 
In-Person Events:  
 
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.

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
713-627-3200

The Economic Recovery Resources - Weekly Update is published by the