Learn about City of Austin recovery programs that support local businesses, non-profit organizations, creative professionals, and families affected by the pandemic.

Find programs categorized by industry, including support services. Programs that include dashboards display the number of applications received for each program, profiles of applicants (minus personal identifiable information), and approval and denial rates.  

Small Business and Non-Profit Industries

 

Listed in order of administered date. 

 

Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program – 2020 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department.  
  • Distributed $645,000 in short-term, low-interest loans to 19 small businesses. Recipients used their loans to pay for expenses like rent, payroll, and debt. 
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). 
  • View the Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program dashboard. 

 

Austin Small Business Relief Grant – 2020 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department and the Better Business Bureau. 
  • Distributed $18.7 million in grants to 943 small businesses. These funds reimbursed small businesses for certain expenses incurred between March 1 and September 1, 2020.  
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). 
  • View the Austin Small Business Relief Grant dashboard. 

 

Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant – 2020 (Two Rounds) 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department and the Better Business Bureau. 
  • Distributed $6 million in grants to 365 non-profit organizations. These funds reimbursed non-profits for certain expenses incurred between March 1 and September 1, 2020.  
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). 
  • View the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant dashboard. 

 

Austin Childcare Provider Relief Grant – 2020 (Two Rounds) 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department and United Way. 
  • Distributed $6.1 million in grants to 199 childcare providers, including home-based providers. Recipients used these funds for payroll, rent relief, operational costs, and other eligible COVID-19 related expenses.  
  • Funding: City of Austin Saves Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES), and a portion of the Austin’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). 
  • View the Austin Childcare Provider Relief Grant dashboard. 

 

Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant – 2021 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department, PeopleFund, Business and Community Lenders of Texas, and Centex CDC. 
  • Distributed $5 million to support 109 Austin businesses that operated continuously for at least 20 years. These funds protected Austin’s cultural and economic ecosystem by supporting longstanding local businesses that contribute to Austin’s unique identity.  
  • Funding: City of Austin Saves Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES).  
  • View the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant dashboard. 
Creative Industries

 

Listed in order of administered date. 

 

Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program – 2020 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department. 
  • Distributed $988,000 in grants to 32 live music venues, performance spaces, art galleries, art-focused non-profits, and individual artists facing displacement. Recipients used their funds for commercial rent and to cover rent hikes, property acquisition costs, and other space-related needs such as facility improvements or displacement-related expenditures.  
  • Funding: City of Austin sources. 
  • View the Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program dashboard. 

 

Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant – 2020 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department and the Better Business Bureau. 
  • Distributed $3.3 million in grants to 1,866 creative sector workers. Recipients used their one-time grants for rent, bills, groceries, and other COVID-19 related expenses.  
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). 
  • View the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant dashboard. 

 

Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund – 2020 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department and The Long Center. 
  • Distributed $6.4 million to support and sustain local live music venues. These funds protect the local cultural and economic ecosystem by supporting live music venues that contribute to Austin’s international appeal.  
  • Funding: City of Austin Saves Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES), and a portion of Austin’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  
  • View the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund dashboard. 

 

Austin Music Disaster Relief Grant – 2020, 2022 (Two Rounds) 

  • Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund - administered in 2020 by the Economic Development Department and MusiCares. Austin Music Disaster Relief Grant - administered in 2022 by the Economic Development Department and The Long Center. 
  • Distributed $3.8 million in grants to more than 2,600 performing musicians and music industry workers. Recipients used their one-time grants to offset lost income due to the pandemic.  
  • Funding: City of Austin, a portion of Austin’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  
  • View the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund (2020) dashboard.  
  • View the Austin Music Disaster Relief Grant (2022) dashboard. 

 

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Grant – 2021 

  • Economic Development Department was selected to receive a $500,000 grant from the NEA. These funds will help the local arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic.  
  • Economic Development Department staff have incorporated this funding into overall relief program efforts with anticipated distribution in the latter half of 2022. 
  • Funding: Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

 

Austin Arts and Culture Non-Profit Relief Grant – 2021 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department and the Better Business Bureau. 
  • Distributed $3.9 million in unrestrictive grants to 196 local arts and culture non-profit organizations. 
  • Funding: City of Austin sources, a portion of Austin's federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  
  • View the Austin Arts and Culture Non-Profit Relief Grant dashboard. 

 

Arts Community Relief – 2021 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department and the Better Business Bureau. 
  • Distributed $5.3 million in grants to 379 existing cultural contractors.  
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 
  • View the Arts Community Relief dashboard. 
Support Services

 

Listed in order of administered date. 

 

Austin Relief in a State of Emergency (RISE) Fund – 2020 

 

Austin Mental Wellness Support Line – 2020 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department and Alliance Work Partners.  
  • The no-cost 24-hour support line provided short-term counseling and support to Austin workers and families.  
  • Funding: Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Program budget: $500,000.  

 

Healthcare Access Program – 2020 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department and Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. 
  • This program provided access to affordable health care for Austin's low-income, underinsured working musicians. This partnership supported Austin musicians by offering year-long comprehensive coverage that includes access to mental health care.  
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Program budget: $500,000. 

 

Austin Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program – 2020, 2021 

 

Community Navigator Program – 2022 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department, Business and Community Lenders of Texas, Centex CDC, Economic Growth Business Incubator, Mission Capital, Volt Studios, On the Money Finance, Visual Matters, Austin Revitalization Authority, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Museum of Human Achievement, and Art Spark Texas. 
  • Community Navigator Program - local businesses, non-profit organizations, and creative professionals can receive one-on-one coaching, attend virtual classes, or acquire application assistance for support programs.  
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Program budget: $500,000. 

 

Programs in Development:

 

Austin Civilian Conservation Corps – Creative Workers 

  • Administered by the Economic Development Department, Creative Action, Capital View Arts, and Raasin in the Sun. 
  • The Austin Civilian Conservation Corps program will employ local artists that can create new work to address safety, mental health, and community healing.  
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Program budget: $1 million. 

 

Austin Community-Owned Food Retail Initiative 

  • The Economic Development Department is in the process of soliciting a third-party contractor for the Austin Community-Owned Food Retail Initiative.  
  • This initiative will support the development of a cooperative and/or non-profit grocery store in an area of Austin facing food access barriers.  
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Funds will be used to contract a consulting team that can lead community organizing, conduct a business and feasibility analysis, and pilot a community-owned grocery store concept. Program budget: $500,000. 

 

Colony Park Sustainable Community Wellness Center 

  • The Economic Development Department is in the process of launching the Colony Park Sustainable Community Wellness Center.  
  • Once constructed, this 25,000 square foot brick-and-mortar facility will host a Central Health clinic, childcare facility, and Austin Public Library that faces healthcare and childcare access issues. Economic Development Department staff are collaborating with Central Health (Travis County’s local healthcare district). 
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Program budget: $1,500,000. 

 

Workforce Development Programs – 2020, 2022 (Two Rounds) 

  • Administered in 2020 by the Economic Development Department and Capital IDEA to support 30 low-income, nontraditional students pursuing a career in healthcare.    
  • Economic Development Department partnered with Workforce Solutions Capital Area in March 2022 to offer workforce development training for low-income Austin residents experiencing underemployment or unemployment due to the pandemic. 
  • Economic Development Department intend to issue a Request for Proposals in April 2022 to contract with additional local workforce development organizations that can provide trainings and services to Austinites affected by the pandemic.   
  • Funding: A portion of Austin’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Program budgets: $1,500,000 for Capital IDEA, $6,600,000 for Workforce Solutions, and $6,100,000 for solicitations. 

 


Economic Indicators

Economic indicators help track how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the local economy. The data focuses on employment, business health, housing, childcare, and social services. 

 

Employment
Businesses & Creatives
  • Number of small businesses per capita - This number calculates the number of small businesses – those with less than 250 employees – by the total population in Austin and indicates the entrepreneurial activity in the community. 
  • Percent of workforce employed by small businesses - This measure has to be calculated from the webpage by adding up the number of employees in firms with less than 250 employees and dividing it by the total number of employees in firms of all sizes. It demonstrates the critical support to the economy small businesses provide to the community. 
  • Number and percentage of commercial and mixed-use development permits that are issued in Imagine Austin Activity Centers and Corridors. This measure indicates the level of infrastructure occurring in Austin, which is deemed an opportunity in the Economic Recovery & Resiliency Framework. 
Households