The Austin City Council established the $15 million Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) Fund through Ordinance No. 20201001-052 to support local industries. Through the SAVES Fund, Austin City Council adopted the final guidelines for the $5 million Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant via Resolution No. 20201203-012.

Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant Dashboard:

View larger version of the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant metrics.


The Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant will be distributed in two phases:  

Phase 1: Emergency Funding

The City of Austin is no longer accepting applications for the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant Phase 1: Emergency Funding. The deadline for submission expired on March 17, 2021 at 5 p.m.    

  • Phase 1 participants will be required to complete a Technical Assistance Evaluation and will have access to a series of business coaching and one-on-one technical assistance related to sustaining and growing their business. 

  • Eligible applicants will receive a $20,000 grant, which PeopleFund will begin distributing in April 2021. Should program demand exceed available funding in the first phase, a scoring matrix will be used to select program participants.  

Phase 1: Eligible Applicants

Phase 1 Applicants must meet all the following criteria to be eligible for this grant program:  

  • Applicants business must meets the definition of a Legacy Business, as defined below:  
    • Legacy Business: A business that has operated from a publicly-facing physical (brick and mortar) business for at least 20 years in an area that is currently within a City of Austin Council District. The Legacy Business may have changed locations during its twenty (20) years but must have been located and/or headquartered in an area that is currently in a City of Austin Council District during all twenty (20) years.
  • Applicants must operate their business as one of the following definitions below:  
    • Art Gallery/Museum: Facility whose principal function and mission is to exhibit, present, and/or sell artistic work in a variety of media produced by an artist, artist collective, or arts and culture organization, accessible by public audiences. 
    • Art Venue: A performance venue/theater or museum/art gallery, as defined in this section.  
    • Bar: A business engaged in the preparation and/or retail sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises. At least 49% of the gross income must be derived from the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption. 
    • Live Music Venue: An establishment where live music programming is the principal function of the business and/or the business is a live music destination, and where the venue clearly establishes the ability of an artist to receive payment for work by percentage of sales, guarantee or other mutually beneficial formal agreement for every performance. A live music venue is a destination for live music consumers, and/or its music programming and is the primary driver of its business as indicated by the presence of at least five (5) of the following:  
      • Defined performance and audience space;  
      • Mixing desk, public address (PA) system, and lighting rig;  
      • Back line;  
      • At least two of the following: (i) sound engineer, (ii) booker, (iii) promoter, (iv) stage manager, or (v) security personnel;  
      • Charges cover charge to some music performance through ticketing or front door entrance fee;  
      • Markets specific acts through show listings in printed and electronic publications;  
      • Hours of operation coincide with performance times; or  
      • Programs live music at least five nights a week. 
  • Performance Venue/Theater: An Austin-based establishment whose principal function and mission is to present live performances, plays, live music, film screenings, or other performances of artistic work produced by an artist, or arts and culture organization, accessible by public audiences. 
  • Restaurants: An establishment engaged in the preparation and retail sale of food and beverages for on-premise consumption, off-site consumption, or in a ready-to-consume state. At least 51% of the gross income must be derived from the sale of prepared food. 
  • Applicants must attest to the following: 
    • Applicant must attest they incurred or may incur COVID-19 mitigation and protective equipment expenses.  
    • Applicant must attest to having challenges pivoting the business to alternative operating models for generating enough revenues for survival under COVID-19 public health orders.  
    • Applicant must attest that that assistance through this program reasonably ensures the business will not fail.  
    • Applicant must attest that they are committed to maintaining the business’ unique contribution to the City’s special culture and brand. 
    • Applicant must attest that they operate the business in a manner that meets or exceeds the City’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.   
    • Applicant must attest that they will adhere to worker safety protections and workers’ rights as applicable to the facility and business operations in accordance with local, state, and federal laws. The City may find a breach of the program guidelines if a program participant is found to have violated workers’ rights for a period of one year from grant award, either because of a substantiated finding as determined by the City and is not cured by the participant, of unfair labor practices, worker safety violations, violation of anti-discrimination laws, or violation of other applicable worker rights laws 
    • Applicant must attest that they agree to comply with policies to support anti-harassment and anti-discrimination practices for business operations and work environment in the City of Austin. Applicants receiving grant awards shall be required to sign and comply with a City-provided form specifying non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and practices. Evidence of noncompliance may be grounds for terminating a grant award and demanding repayment. At its discretion, the City may work with the recipient to develop a plan and timeline for becoming compliant. 
    • Applicants must agree to complete a technical assistance evaluation.  
Phase 2: Enhanced Funding

Phase 1 grant recipients are eligible to apply for up to $140,000 in additional grant funding in Phase 2. Applications for Phase 2 will be provided by PeopleFund. The deadline for submission of a Phase 2 application is May 7, 2021 at 5 p.m. 

  • Only Phase 1 grant recipients are eligible to apply for additional grant funding in Phase 2.   
  • Eligible applicants can apply for up to $140,000 (this does not include funds received from the first phase). Should program demand exceed available funding for Phase 2, award determinations will be made based on outcomes of a scoring matrix and technical assistance evaluation.  
  • Phase 1 grant recipients must complete required technical assistance evaluation and action plan before applying for Phase 2.   
  • The funding amount will be determined based on documented operational costs and eligible expenses. Phase 2 funding will be distributed in monthly payments with a maximum of $40,000 per month.  
  • Phase 2 applicants will be required to submit additional documentation to calculate their monthly stipend at the time of notification of eligibility and selection. 
  • Phase 2 applications will be reviewed for completeness and a scoring matrix will be used inclusive of items such as business operations in place, continuity and or succession planning and others. 


For Technical Support and Application Assistance 

As part of a partnership with the City of Austin, PeopleFund will provide application assistance, process applications, and administer funds.

Email PeopleFund:
Call PeopleFund: 512-222-1009


For Application Assistance 

As part of a partnership with the City of Austin, Business Community Lenders of Texas (BCL) will provide application assistance. 

Email BCL of Texas:
Call BCL of Texas: 512-298-1806


Find helpful resources:    

  • City of Austin's - A one-stop resource to help businesses and individuals recover from the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Find resources related to funding, unemployment assistance, legal aid, consulting help, and more.    

  • Economic Development Department’s Small Business Resources Directory - Database of local, state, federal, and community resources. Filter by “Disaster Relief” to find immediate support for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the information I share in my application be public information?

All information submitted by applicants as part of the grant application and administration are subject to the Texas Public Information Act. 

Do I need to repay the dollars received through the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant?

No. This is a grant program with no expectation of repayment.

If my business is eligible for the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant, will I be guaranteed to receive grant funds? 

No. There is limited funding for grants. Only a limited number of grants are available.

What if my business closes prior to receiving the emergency or enhanced funding?

If the business closes permanently during the grant award period, termination of the grant may be considered. 

Is there a Business Location eligibility (i.e. outside Austin)?

Business must be headquartered in a City of Austin Council District. Businesses headquartered in the Austin Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) but not in a City of Austin Council District are not eligible.