Application Opens: July 7, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
Application Closes: July 24, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. 

The Austin City Council approved Resolution No. 20200507-023 on May 7, 2020 to provide $10 million for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant. The City Council approved an additional $6.5 million for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant in Resolution No. 20200604-040 on June 4, 2020. 

Applicants may apply for up to $40,000 toward their business needs including rent, payroll and other economic needs.  

Eligible local businesses must be able to demonstrate an economic loss associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic and must be headquartered in a City of Austin Council district.  

The Austin Small Business Relief Grant application will be live and accepting eligible submissions through the Austin Better Business Bureau starting on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 10:00am.


Contact Information:


Call: 512-318-2683


Eligible Applicants

Eligible business applicants will meet the following conditions:  

  • Business able to demonstrate an economic loss associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic 
  • Business with 25 employees or fewer  
  • Business with under $5 million in annual revenues  
  • Business has been in continuous operation for at least 2 years 
  • Business organized as partnerships, sole proprietorships, LLCs, cooperatives, or other business structures  
  • Business able to provide one (1) year of federal income tax returns  
  • Business headquartered in a City of Austin Council District


Ineligible Applicants
  • Businesses not headquartered in a City of Austin Council District  
  • Businesses with over 25 employees
  • Businesses with over $5 million in annual revenues
  • Businesses debarred from contracting with the federal government
  • Businesses without an Employer Identification Number
  • Businesses engaged in multi-level marketing
  • Businesses that derive more than a third of their annual revenue from gambling activities
  • Businesses engaged in lobbying
  • Houses of worship or religious institutions
  • Government entities
  • Nonprofits
  • Individuals

Every application will be evaluated against a scoring matrix that includes criteria for need, vulnerability, and equity. For distribution of funds, 50% of the program funding will be allocated to applicants that score the highest according to this matrix. The remaining 50% of funds will be awarded by random lottery among eligible applicants. Businesses owned by members of historically marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply.

Expenses: Eligible and Ineligible

Grant amounts for businesses that receive awards will be calculated based upon a business’ ability to document expenses eligible for reimbursement between March 1, 2020 and the application date. Successful applicants may receive up to $40,000 by documenting expenditures made in the categories that follow.  


Eligible Expenses  

  • Payroll, Employee Retention   
  • Rent/Mortgage for Business Property  
  • COVID-Compliance Facility Modifications   
  • Personal Protective Equipment Purchases/Rentals/Plastic Shielding 
  • Sanitation/Cleaning  
  • Purchase Property for Existing Business  
  • Inventory   
  • Business Insurance   
  • Technology   
  • Worker Training   
  • Business response and adaptation to pandemic conditions 
  • Modifications to business site or operations to support enhanced public health and safety standards 


Ineligible Expenses 

  • Lost sales, donations or sponsorships  
  • Merchandise for sale for marketing purposes 
  • Costs incurred prior to March 1, 2020
  • Costs that have also been paid for by other COVID-19 grants/loans