City of Austin provides $5 million in emergency funding to local legacy businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
AUSTIN, TX - The City of Austin Economic Development Department announces the award of an additional $2.8 million to 20 local legacy businesses as Phase 2 of the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant continues. Awardees will receive monthly payments of up to $140,000 over the course of six months. This will bring the total of distributed dollars in both phases to $5 million by October 2021.
The funding was provided through the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant, which is a $5 million program of the Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) Fund established by the Austin City Council via Resolution No. 20201203-012 in December 2020. As part of a partnership with the City of Austin, PeopleFund processed grant applications and distributed Phase 1: Emergency Funding and Phase 2: Enhanced Funding. Additionally, BCL of Texas provided one-on-one business coaching and outreach support to strengthen the program. The City of Austin aggregated metrics for economic impact for each phase through the online dashboard for the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant.
“Phase two of the Legacy Business Relief Grant provided 20 long-standing local businesses with the opportunity to meet monthly with a business coach and receive a monthly funding stipend,” explains Veronica Briseño, Austin’s Chief Economic Recovery Officer. “Through business coaching and completing a continuity plan, these iconic legacy businesses receive both financial assistance and tools to explore topics such as succession planning, business pivoting and revenue generation.”
Grantees for Phase 2 met with business coaches at BCL of Texas to assess their businesses and identify opportunities such as business trainings, financial assistance, and business goals. A requirement of Phase 2 is for these legacy businesses to complete a Continuity Plan with a business coach. The Continuity Plan will help business owners identify opportunities or threats that may impact their business. The plan revisits the current business model and identifies detailed strategies to ensure long-term and immediate business operations can be sustained. The Continuity Plan allows these long-standing businesses to prepare for future business impacts out of their control, such as natural disasters or pandemics, as well as changes in business ownership or leadership, and retirement planning.
The Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant was distributed in two phases:
Phase 1: Emergency Funding
- Eligible applicants received a $20,000 grant, which PeopleFund distributed in April and May of 2021.
- Phase 1 participants completed a Technical Assistance Evaluation and continue to receive business coaching and one-on-one technical assistance related to sustaining and growing their business.
Phase 2: Enhanced Funding
- Only Phase 1 grant recipients were eligible to apply for additional grant funding in Phase 2.
- Eligible applicants could receive up to $140,000 (this does not include funds received from the first phase). Phase 2 award determinations will be made based on a scoring matrix and technical assistance evaluation.
- The funding amount was determined based on applicants’ documented operational costs and eligible expenses. Phase 2 funding was distributed in monthly payments with a maximum of $40,000 per month.
About the City of Austin Economic Development Department
The City of Austin Economic Development Department supports business growth, creative industries, and local communities. These programs build an equitable, sustainable economy to improve the lives of all Austin residents. To learn more about helpful resources, visit www.austintexas.gov/edd or like us on Facebook @AustinEconDev and follow @AustinEconDev on Twitter.
PeopleFund provides small business loans as well as business assistance and education to people with otherwise limited access to such resources. Since being founded in east Austin in 1994 as Austin Community Development Corporation, PeopleFund’s financial and educational assistance has helped create thousands of jobs and empowered an even greater number of Texans on a path to financial stability and independence. PeopleFund is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and operates as a non-profit 501(c)(3) serving all of Texas.
About BCL of Texas
The mission of BCL of Texas is Building Strong Communities. BCL of Texas is a U.S. Treasury Certified Development Financial Institution (CDFI), a U.S. Small Business Administration Certified Development Corporation (CDC), and a HUD-certified housing counseling agency. BCL of Texas supports communities of color to acquire wealth-building assets such as homeownership and entrepreneurship, with the financial tools and education necessary to optimize positive economic returns. BCL of Texas serves low and moderate income individuals, families, and small business owners, with an emphasis on diversity and underserved communities.