Economic Development

Programs - Economic Development Grants

Houston provides economic grants to qualifying public, private, and nonprofit organizations. The city provides these grants to stimulate business and commercial activity within Houston. Houston receives authority to choose and negotiate these grants from chapter 380 of Texas’ Local Government Code.  

The Process:

Stage 1

  • A group reaches out to the Economic Development Division (EDD) via our "contacts us"  form (on the new website), briefly explaining their project
  • EDD emails a response: either explaining project does not align with  priorities or invites the developer to present the project to EDD and fill out a Business Information Form (BIF)

Stage 2

  • Developer presents the project to individuals within the EDD
  • The division scores the development using a matrix and the BIF

Stage 3

  • Qualifying developments are asked to discuss ways to layer their investments with other city initiatives and plans; this phase may involve several discussions and meetings across city departments, such as:
    • The Department of Public Works and Engineering
    • The Planning Department
    • The Department of Housing and Community Development

Stage 4

  • The group submits a formal application (original application)
  • If the city finds application (including financial pro-forma) aligns with city initiatives and agrees with financial assumptions then the division begins to draft an economic development agreement with City of Houston's Legal Department

Stage 5

The agreement is presented to council for approval

What is the Purpose?

A city may establish programs to deliver loans or grants of public money,financing state and local economic development.

Who receives these grants?

Non-profit organizations or development corporations (created by the city).

Where does the money come from?

Houston may use public funds, revenue our city charter permits us to collect. (Tax Revenue, Grants, Gifts etc.)

Who administers these development programs?

  • We may use city employees
  • We may contract with state, political, non-profit or other organizations.

This flexible law allows Houston to create development programs that align and adapt with our City. Historically, the City uses future tax growth (ad valorem property, sales, and mixed beverage tax revenues) to finance these grants.