This page contains most recent updates on the City of Austin’s economic recovery plan, critical information about federal and state regulations, and services for local businesses and workers.
Contact the City of Austin if you have questions about the information on this page or would like to recommend additional information for inclusion on this page.
- Austin-Travis County Updates
City of Austin Publishes New Dashboards for Recovery Programs
The City of Austin Economic Development Department published several dashboards for several economic recovery programs administered by the department. These dashboards display information such as the number of applications received for each program, profiles of applicants (minus personal information), and approval and denial rates. Click the links below to view the program dashboards.
- Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program
- Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund
- Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program
- Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund
- Austin Small Business Relief Grant Program
- Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant Program
Email ATXrecovers@austintexas.gov for more information about these dashboards and the grant programs.
Current Control Orders and Emergency Rules
Information is provided at the City of Austin's COVID-19 website regarding state and local orders and rules that have been issued during COVID-19, including the Austin-Travis County "Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe" Orders and Health Authority Emergency Rules.
The State of Texas has a phased reopening of businesses and services. Statewide health orders, issued by Governor Abbott, provide guidance for employers, employees, and customers of reopened businesses. For more information on the Governor's orders and regulations, visit the Texas Coronavirus Resources and Response Page.
The City of Austin and Travis County extended the “Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe” Orders through December 15, 2020. These orders direct Austin-Travis County residents to continue to practice social distancing, hygiene, and face-covering behaviors. In addition to hygiene guidelines, the orders state that social gatherings up to 10 people should be avoided or minimized, and socializing in groups of 10+ individuals outside of the same household are prohibited. Read the full City of Austin and Travis County orders.
Return to School Information
The Austin-Travis County Health Authority adopted new emergency rules that relate to reopening schools to promote the health and safety of Austin-Travis County residents in the fight against COVID-19. Learn more about the guidance and resources for returning to school online.
- State of Texas Updates
Gov. Abbott Expands Capacity For Certain Services In Texas, Announces Guidance For Nursing Home, Long-Term Care Visitations
On September 17, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Orders expanding occupancy levels for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries, and re-authorizing elective surgeries for a majority of the state of Texas. The Governor also announced new visitation guidance for eligible nursing homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, home and community-based service providers, and inpatient hospice effective Thursday, September 24th.
Under the new orders:
- Restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries can now increase occupancy levels to 75%.
- Residents will be allowed to designate up to two essential family caregivers who will be provided necessary training to allow them to safely go inside a facility for a scheduled visit, including in the resident’s room, to help ensure their loved one’s physical, social, and emotional needs are being met.
For more information on the Governor's orders and regulations, visit the Texas Coronavirus Resources and Response Page.
Gov. Abbott Mandates Face Coverings and Limits Outdoor Gatherings
Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order No. GA-29 on July 2, 2020 requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions.
The Governor also amended Executive Order No. GA-28 giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings over 10 people. Additionally, Governor Abbott’s amendment prohibits groups larger than 10, with few exceptions, and requires maintaining six feet of social distancing from others.
Texas Workforce Commission Guidance for Unemployment Claims
The Texas Workforce Commission will allow unemployment claimants to receive unemployment benefits throughout the COVID-19 response if they choose not to return to work for one of the following reasons:
- At High Risk: People 65 years or older are at a higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
- Household member at high risk: People 65 years or older are at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
- Diagnosed with COVID: The individual has tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and is not recovered.
- Family member with COVID: Anybody in the household has tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and is not recovered and 14 days have not yet passed.
- Quarantined: Individual is currently in 14-day quarantine due to close contact exposure to COVID-19.
- Child care: Child’s school or daycare closed and no alternatives are available.
Any other situation will be subject to a case by case review by TWC based on individual circumstances.
- Federal Government Updates
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Information
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profits. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. 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.
For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.
Federal Reserve Expands Main Street Lending Program
The Federal Reserve recently expanded the Main Street Lending Program by increasing the maximum and minimum size of businesses eligible for assistance. Businesses in good financial standing with up to 15,000 employees or 2019 revenues of $5 billion or less are now eligible. In addition, the Federal Reserve lowered the minimum loan from $1 million to $500,000.
Environmental Protection Agency Launches $1M Grant Programs
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-opened The State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program, making $1 million in grant funding available to address COVID-19 concerns faced by low-income and minority communities. EPA anticipates awarding five grants of approximately $200,000 each for up to a two-year funding period. No cost sharing is required. Applications are due June 30.
Federal Guidelines to Reopen Businesses
The White House recommended a three-phased approach to enable individual states to reopen in phases. The proposed approach is based on public health outcomes, allowing healthier individuals to return to work while encouraging social distancing or isolation for vulnerable people.
Paycheck Protection Program Reopens
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program loan applications on Monday, April 27 at 9:30AM CST. This federal loan is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. Eligible borrowers can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Visit the Small Business Administration website to carefully review PPP regulations and guidance.