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
Submit Applications for EDA CARES Act Funding As Soon As Possible 
US Economic Development Administration (EDA) CARES Act funding is being obligated at a rate much faster than expected. To be competitive for CARES Act supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance), the EDA highly recommends that applicants submit applications as soon as possible and no later than the unofficial deadline of October 1, 2020. Funds are available through the 2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity (see page 46). The Gulf Coast Economic Development District will provide technical assistance to applicants. E-mail Jillian Donatto with any questions.
Governor Announces Loosening of COVID-19 Restrictions 
On September 17, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Orders expanding occupancy levels for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities, museums, and libraries, and re-authorizing elective surgeries for a majority of the state of Texas. More specifics can be found in this press release.
Lab-to-Market Inclusive Innovation Ecosystem Prize Competition Announced
The Lab-to-Market (L2M) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Science and Technology Enterprise is launching a $325,000 prize competition to highlight successful examples of innovation ecosystems, particularly resources that support underserved communities or remarkable responses to the pandemic environment. To compete, applicants must submit a 10-slide presentation and a 90-second video to the online portal that opens September 30. The total amount available is $325,000, which will be divided into cash prizes of $10,000 or $25,000 each. Applications are due October 14, 2020.
FEMA’s National Exercise Program Offers Financial Assistance 
FEMA's National Exercise Division is now accepting nominations to the National Exercise Program. The program offers no-cost assistance to local governments for exercise design, development, execution and evaluation to validate capabilities in all preparedness mission areas. Applications are due November 1, 2020. FEMA will host two 60-minute webinars local partners to discuss the nomination process: September 22 and October 6, both at 1 p.m. Central Time.

To participate in either webinar: 

For questions, send an email to the National Exercise Division.
Rural Relief Small Business Grants Opening September 28 
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will be opening a grant program for small businesses located in a rural community on September 28, 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, LISC’s Small Business Relief Grant program has provided over 3,000 entrepreneurs with grants totaling over $48 million. For further updates on the upcoming Rural Relief Small Business Grants, subscribe to email updates.
The region’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell to 8.1% in August, an improvement from July’s 9.4% rate yet still high compared to 4.1% in 2019. Employers in the Houston-Galveston region added 5,300 jobs in August, which is not far below the average for August of 7,400 jobs added. “The month of August showed improvements across the national, state, and local levels, as we witnessed many businesses re-engaging in the economy and bringing employees back to work,” said Workforce Solutions Economist, Parker Harvey. “About 282,000 individuals were unemployed in Houston in August, down from July’s 323,000. This can be attributed to employers recalling workers who were temporarily laid off when the pandemic erupted in the spring.” Read the full report
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. 
Federal Funding for All Communities
Grants for workforce training programs that recruit, train, and place local, unemployed and under-employed residents in full-time jobs in the environmental field.

Grants to expand community colleges’ ability to meet the labor market demand for a skilled workforce and to build capacity to address challenges associated with the coronavirus, such as technology-enabled learning.

For governmental and nonprofit entities working to implement STEM apprenticeship models in their regions, especially projects that will expand work-based learning for adults, increase regional innovation capacity, and expand diversity

Seed funding (up to $100,000) for research and development that has a commercial potential.

The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program and the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster mitigation program provide states, local communities, tribes, and territories funding for eligible mitigation activities.
Non-Federal Funding Opportunity
Grants available to educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and programs conducted by municipal, county, state or federal government entities to be dedicated towards community development, education, and safety initiatives. Grant amount requested must be $5,000 or more.
Upcoming Economic Recovery Webinars
Rural and tribal organizations will share their analysis and useful strategies for helping rural residents, workers, and families address housing distress and homelessness. They will provide details on available housing programs and opportunities to advance safe, affordable, solutions now and over the long-term, including strategies that could help fend off further crisis if federal and state unemployment and housing assistance run dry.

September 22-24 | National Small Business Week | Small Business Administration
This year’s National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover toward a stronger economy. The event will recognize the national award winners, including the naming of this year’s National Small Business Person of the Year.

September 23 | Resources for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs | Office of the Governor
This installment of the Governor’s Small Business Webinar Series will focus on veteran-owned businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. Small businesses in all stages—startups to established companies—are welcome to join for this informative webinar and live Q&A.

September 24 | Closing the Digital Divide: Opportunities for Rural Nonprofits | Local Initiatives Support Corporation
As communities nationwide marshal resources to meet immediate connectivity needs, and the federal government prepares to roll out the largest-ever auction to fund rural broadband networks, there are opportunities at all scales for community and economic development organizations to help address the digital divide.

September 24 | COVID-19 Workforce Economic Crisis, Unemployment and Job Insecurity | International Economic Development Council and FEMA Region 6 IRC COVID-19 Recovery
Panelists will discuss: 1) opportunities for economic development that focused on adaptation, sustainability, retention and growth in the COVID-19 environment; 2) mass unemployment and the economic crisis exacerbated by COVID-19, the need for equitable practices livable wages and healthcare; and 3) barriers and disparities in rural, underserved, and tribal communities. Meeting ID: 160 002 8085 Passcode: 350821

September 28 | Economy Series: Recovering Industries | Greater Houston Partnership
For this Economy Series webinar, the Partnership's Senior Vice President of Research will share what industries are closest to full recovery and which industries still have a long way to go.

October 14-15 | COVID-19 R2R: The Road to Recovery | Everbridge
This free event will bring together business, government, and healthcare leaders to discuss strategies to address the public health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

October 20 | Manufacturing Bonds for Disaster Response | Council of Development Finance Agencies
Industrial Development Bonds, or Manufacturing Bonds, are the most frequently used bond tool for financing the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing of personal protective equipment, medical supplies, test kits, and more was crucial during the recent pandemic; while a significant portion of the economy was shut down, essential facilities such as manufacturing plants became uniquely valuable and remained opened because of their ability to pivot production toward critical needs. Learn how these bonds act as resilient economic drivers by financing the manufacturing facilities that stabilize local economies during crises.
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