Downtown sidewalk

PROGRAMS

The Economic Development Department's Art in Public Places program (AIPP) collaborates with local and nationally-known artists to include the history and values of our community into cultural landmarks that have become cornerstones of Austin’s identity.

The City of Austin is no longer accepting applications for the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant. The deadline for submission expired on August 28, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

We are in the process of reviewing all applications submitted, and we are exploring how we can use additional federal and local funds to offer additional assistance for small businesses, start-up companies, entrepreneurs, creatives, and non-profit organizations. 

Find helpful resources: 

The City of Austin is no longer accepting applications for the Austin Music Disaster Relief Grant. The deadline for submission expired on January 28, 2022 at 5 p.m.

Find helpful resources:  

The Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance—a first of its kind trade and export alliance for commercial music—is a public-private partnership involving Austin City Council, the City of Austin Music & Entertainment Division, the City of Toronto Music Sector, Economic Development & Culture Division, and private industry leaders in both Austin and Toronto.

The Business Expansion Incentive Program is a pay-for-performance program that pays out annually to qualified businesses. The Economic Development Department is identifying and qualifying high-impact projects for local Austin businesses, employers hiring targeted populations, and Businesses relocating to Austin. 

Submit an Incentive Inquiry to learn more about available incentives. 

The City of Austin Economic Development Department is actively searching for a master developer partner to work with city staff and the community to plant seeds of change for a more complete community in this part of Austin.  By working together, we can develop the 208-acres of publicly-owned land to help transform it into a complete community with vibrant opportunities to live, shop, work, and play.

The Economic Development Department’s Community Navigator Program supports local businesses, non-profit organizations, and creative professionals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Local entities can apply for no-cost assistance from Community Navigators for one-on-one coaching, virtual classes, and applying for government and philanthropic support. This program was approved by Austin City Council from Austin’s allocation of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

The Economic Development Department’s Cultural Arts Funding Program supports cultural arts programs for the Austin community by contracting with arts organizations for specific services.

The Cultural Arts Division has administered various funding programs since 1981 through the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) authorized by state law.

Current Contractors with the Core and Cultural Heritage Festivals Programs will find useful information and links on this page. If you have further questions please contact your assigned contract administrator.

The City of Austin values the creative industries as vital contributors to our community’s character and prosperity. An economic impact study commissioned in 2011 estimates the total impact of gaming and digital media to be over $990 million, with projected growth over the next decade. The Department works to develop digital media and gaming in Austin in partnership with local economic development, workforce, and financing organizations.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program allows qualified investors to become eligible for green cards for themselves and their dependent family members. To qualify, individuals must invest $1 million in a commercial enterprise that creates 10 jobs. For complete information about the program, please visit the USCIS EB-5 website.

Faces of Austin is an annual program showcasing short films by local filmmakers, reflecting the diverse faces, voices, and experiences of our City.

The City of Austin realizes and appreciates the value of the film industry. An economic impact study commissioned in 2011 estimates the total economic impact of film and visual media at a little over $280 million annually.

The City of Austin’s Economic Development Department and Austin Public Health work together to support the Healthy Corner Stores Program. The program is a partnership between the City of Austin, six locally-owned convenience stores, Segovia Produce Ltd and the Cook's Nook.

The award-winning public-private partnership between the City of Austin and Catellus Development Group was the result of hundreds of public meetings and collaboration between the City, its consultants and community stakeholders.

Opportunity Zones are part of a federal tax incentive provision that encourages investors to re-invest capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds, which then invest in businesses, real estate, or business assets located in an Opportunity Zone.

Find resources and assistance for international businesses looking to expand in Austin. The City of Austin’s Economic Development Department can connect your business to resources to help with: 

  • Incentives for Business Expansion in Austin 
  • International Networking Opportunities  
  • International Trade Promotion 
  • Connection to Austin’s Diplomatic and International Business Community

The Economic Development Department's Sister Cities Program, in partnership with Austin Sister Cities International, fosters friendly relations and understanding between the citizens of Austin and our sister cities around the world. The program promotes Austin’s educational, cultural, and economic presence in the international community. 

Souly Austin is a place-based economic development program focused on creating and retaining strong, vibrant, culturally rich and diverse neighborhood business districts throughout Austin. Under the initiative, business owners receive a flexible set of tools to assist in the formation of merchants associations and organized commercial districts.

The People’s Gallery is an annual exhibition at Austin City Hall that displays local and regional artwork to more than 210,000 visitors every year. The curated pieces represent the Austin arts community’s excellence and cultural diversity, while promoting the City’s cultural and economic initiatives.

The 2022 exhibition will remain on display through May 1, 2024. Admission to the People’s Gallery is free, and attendees may purchase artworks available for sale. 

SERVICES