This resource page includes services to help non-profit organizations that are recovering from economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Select the drop-down menus below to find resources related to funding, employee assistance, legal aid, consulting help, and more. ​

Contact the City of Austin if you have questions about this list or would like to recommend additional resources for inclusion. ​

Grants and Funding

 

City of Austin Economic Development Department: Small Business Resource Directory

The City of Austin Economic Development Department maintains list of local, state, federal and community resources for small businesses, sole proprietors and non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the Small Business Resource Directory and filter by “Disaster Relief” to find immediate support for your business or non-profit organization. 

 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program (Reopened)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal. SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profits. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

Employee Assistance

 

Workforce Solutions Capital Area

Workforce Solutions Capital Area offers multiple services to non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The suite of services includes:  

  • Help to find talent
  • Outplacement assistance 
  • Layoff aversion strategies and funding
  • Information on filing mass unemployment claims
  • Employment training assistance and funding

Email rapidresponse@wfscapitalarea.com to be contacted by the Workforce Solutions Capital Area staff.

Non-Profit Coaching and Classes

 

City of Austin Economic Development Department Small Business Division

The City of Austin Economic Development Department's Small Business Division provides business training, educational events, and coaching to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Small Business Division's mission is to foster job creation and support the growth of new and existing businesses by providing capacity-building information, tools, and resources. 

Small Business Preparedness is a resource site to aid and assist businesses in creating a plan for disaster recovery as well as finding help after economic and natural disasters.

 

Workforce Solutions Capital Area

Workforce Solutions Capital Area offers multiple services to non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The suite of services includes:

  • Help finding talent
  • Outplacement assistance
  • Layoff aversion strategies and funding
  • Information on filing mass unemployment claims
  • Employment training assistance and funding
  • Employer roundtable meetings for workforce development planning

Email rapidresponse@wfscapitalarea.com to be contacted by the Workforce Solutions Capital Area staff.

Health Recommendations for Businesses

 

Protecting Your Employees

Key Recommendations

  • Encourage all employees to become fully vaccinated and grant paid time off for employees to become vaccinated.
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees and encourage employees to wear face masks while at work.
  • Instruct employees with COVID-19 symptoms or who have contacted someone with COVID-19 symptoms to notify their supervisor and stay home. 

Additional Recommendations

  • Frequently disinfect and clean throughout the day, especially high-touch areas like door handles, registers, checkout lanes, public restrooms, and employee break rooms. 
  • Provide hand sanitizer for employees. 
  • Implement social distancing for workers in communal areas.  
  • Educate and train workers on your COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in a language they understand. 
  • Improve ventilation systems to reduce the concentration of viral particles in indoor air.  
  • Establish an anonymous process for workers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards.  
  • Communicate to any contractors, delivery services, or other business-related guests about changes that have been made to help control the spread of COVID-19 to ensure they have the information and capability to comply with policies. 
  • Allow flexible worksites (e.g., remote working) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at the same time.  
  • Move the electronic payment terminal/credit card reader farther away from cashiers, and allow contactless payment methods or online purchasing. 
  • Shift primary stocking activities to off-peak or after hours, when possible, to reduce contact with customers. 
  • Encourage all workers to wash their hands for at least twenty seconds before they begin working, after they remove gloves, before and after the use of high-touch items, and before and after all meal or restroom breaks.

 

Protecting Your Customers and Our Community

Key Recommendations

  • Provide touchless hand sanitizer stations and no-touch trash cans for customers.  
  • Strongly recommend unvaccinated customers to wear face masks. 
  • Post clearly visible signage for your businesses’ mask policy. Face Covering English Flyer (PDF, 108 KB)Volante de mascarillas en español (PDF, 151 KB).
  • Frequently disinfect and clean throughout the day, especially high touch areas like door handles, registers, checkout lanes, and public restrooms, dressing rooms. 

Additional Recommendations

  • Encourage social distancing and remind guests about social distancing by using signs, floor stickers, and audio messages in multiple languages.  
  • Station an employee at public entrances to clean and disinfect public areas and items (e.g., carts, baskets) between each use. 
  • Establish an anonymous process for customers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards.  
  • Move the electronic payment terminal/credit card reader farther away from cashiers.  
  • Provide drive-through services, click-and-collect online shopping, shop-by-phone, curbside pickup, and delivery options where feasible. 
  • Maintain at least three feet of space between tables, benches, and other seated areas unless they are separated by a solid barrier.  
  • Limit the number of customers who gather, stand, or sit together. 

 

Orders and Emergency Rules 

As the number of COVID-19 cases fluctuates, the City of Austin and Travis County leadership will continue to update the Orders and Rules noted below to protect our community. 

 

City of Austin and Travis County Orders 

 

Federal Guidance on Privacy Rights and COVID-19 Workplace Vaccination Requirements

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services developed a guide to help the public understand when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule applies to disclosures and requests for information about whether a person has received a COVID-19 vaccine. Read the federal health department's guidance on privacy rights and COVID-19 workplace vaccination requirements.

Permit Applications
  • City departments have moved staff to telework conditions and are operating on reduced staff within facilities. Environmental Health Services Division has closed its lobby to walk-in customers and will accept permit applications only by mail or email. 
  • For permits, follow instructions on the Development Services Department website. 
  • For permits from Austin Center for Events follow the normal permit process. Applicants must also complete and submit a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan with their permit application. Forms, applications and event-related order detail can be found on the ACE webpage.
Tax Assistance

 

Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants

Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants can help business owners find a certified public accountant to assist with planning and reaching financial goals. TXCPA also has resources to explain how federal resources explaining federal laws and changes to the Internal Revenue Services’ deadlines and processes.

Legal Assistance

 

Texas Community Building with Attorney Resources (CBAR)

Texas CBAR is a statewide attorney referral program that provides free legal help to eligible nonprofit groups that cannot otherwise afford legal services. We connect volunteer attorneys with nonprofits that need assistance with transactional matters such as state incorporation, federal application for tax-exempt status, bylaws, contracts, internal policies, board compliance, and other matters that do not involve litigation.  

 

Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas

The Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas, Inc. is a nonprofit service that can help business owners find Austin area attorneys. TXCPA also has resources explaining the tax implications of COVID-19 federal laws and changes to the Internal Revenue Services’ deadlines and processes.

 

Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts

Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts provides Texas artists and arts organizations with legal and accounting assistance to enable them to maximize their potential, shape our cultural landscape, and contribute to the creative economy.

Eviction Protections

 

City of Austin Eviction Protections

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Steve Adler issued Order No. 20211015-035 (PDF) that extends protection to some residential and commercial tenants and prohibits landlords from issuing notices to vacate except in certain circumstances. This order expires on December 31, 2021, unless terminated or modified by a subsequent order.  

Beginning September 1, landlords intending to issue a Notice to Vacate to tenants with 3 months or more of owed rent can register with the City of Austin’s RENT Program. Austinites in need of rental assistance can still apply to the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program. 

 

Travis County Eviction Protections

Read the latest Travis County Eviction Orders. This order extends the prohibition of eviction proceedings to October 15, 2021, unless terminated or modified by a subsequent order. The orders have been modified to address the backlog of unpaid rent some Austin landlords may have.  

Travis County has numerous online resources for tenants facing eviction, as do the county’s Justice of the Peace Precinct Offices. The Travis County Sheriff’s Office provides a concise brochure for Evictions and Lease Terminations. A more extensive description of tenant rights in Travis County can be found through the Travis County Law Library and Self-Help Center. While not a substitute for consulting an attorney, the site provides easy-to-understand kits for appealing an eviction, filing appeal bonds, and the record expungement process. 

 

Federal Eviction Protections

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order to temporarily halt residential evictions in counties with heightened levels of community COVID-19 transmission until October 3, 2021 was recently overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. For the latest updates, visit the CDC website for COVID-19 news and resources.

Utility Services

 

Electricity and Water

The City of Austin has taken steps to ensure customers have uninterrupted access to utility services. Immediate assistance is available to all our customers. Austin Energy, which manages customer care and billing for all City of Austin utilities, also offers several programs that help customers stay on track with their utility bills: 

  • Deferred payment plan: This will ensure the customer receives uninterrupted utility services as they work with utility representatives to develop a long-term plan that meets their financial needs. 
  • Customer Assistance Programs: Limited income customers and medically vulnerable customers may receive assistance for immediate and lasting utility bill relief for customers. 

Commercial customers can contact the Customer Care Contact Center at 512-494-9400 with any questions.

 

Natural Gas

The following companies offer financial assistance programs for eligible customers affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.