This resource page includes services to help small businesses and sole proprietors that are recovering from economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Select the drop-down menus below to find resources related to funding, employee assistance, legal aid, consulting help, and more.​

Contact the City of Austin if you have questions about this list or would like to recommend additional resources for inclusion.

Grants and Funding

 

City of Austin Economic Development Department: Small Business Resource Directory

The City of Austin Economic Development Department maintains list of local, state, federal and community resources for small businesses, sole proprietors and non-profits. Visit the Small Business Resource Directory and filter by “Disaster Relief” to find immediate support for your business or non-profit organization.

 

Business & Community Lenders of Texas 

Business & Community Lenders of Texas can help guide small businesses through grants and local programs. 

 

Economic Growth Business Incubator 

The Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. EGBI staff is available to assist business owners navigate through this crisis remotely. 

 

LiftFund 

LiftFund provides small business loans and minority business loans for women, startups, and entrepreneurs. LiftFund is hosting seminars online to help business owners navigate forward during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

PeopleFund

PeopleFund provides small business loans as well as business assistance and education to people with otherwise limited access to such resources.

 

Texas Travel Industry Recovery Grant Program 

Businesses in the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries can apply for a recovery grant of up to $20,000. Apply for the Texas Travel Industry Recovery Program. 

 

Additional Resources

Employee Assistance

 

ConnectATX COVID-19 Services

Visit ConnectATX to find up-to-date information on food, housing, transportation, child care, parenting classes, job training, COVID-19 vaccine, and more.

Business Coaching and Classes

 

City of Austin Small Business Division

The City of Austin Economic Development Department's Small Business Division provides business training, educational events, and coaching to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Small Business Division's mission is to foster job creation and support the growth of new and existing businesses by providing capacity-building information, tools, and resources. 

Small Business Preparedness is a resource site to aid and assist businesses in creating a plan for disaster recovery as well as finding help after economic and natural disasters.

 

ConnectATX COVID-19 Services

Visit ConnectATX to find up-to-date information on food, housing, transportation, child care, parenting classes, job training, COVID-19 vaccine, and more.

 

Hello Alice COVID-19 Business Resource Center 

Hello Alice helps you navigate a new normal with access to funding, e-learning guides, and mentorship. 

 

Business and Community Lenders of Texas

Business & Community Lenders of Texas is available to help guide businesses through grants and local programs during this critical health and economic period.

 

BiGAUSTIN

BiGAUSTIN provides small business resources in the form of education, business consulting, and funding solutions.

 

Economic Growth Business Incubator

The Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners facing barriers to growing a successful business. EGBI offers coaching in English and Spanish. 

 

LiftFund 

LiftFund offers in-person and online events to learn new skills, navigate the complexities of business ownership, and meet other members of LiftFund’s community. 

 

Service Corps of Retired Executives

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) of Austin provides free, confidential one-on-one counseling for small business owners. SCORE’s certified mentors are experienced entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and executives with a diverse set of industries and specialties. 

 

Texas State University Small Business Development Center

The Texas State University Small Business Development Center works with existing and startup small business to help them grow and compete in today's global economy.  

Health Recommendations for Businesses

 

Protecting Your Employees

Key Recommendations

  • Encourage all employees to become fully vaccinated and grant paid time off for employees to get vaccinated.
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees and encourage employees to wear face masks while at work.
  • Instruct employees with COVID-19 symptoms or who have contacted someone with COVID-19 symptoms to notify their supervisor and stay home. 

 

Additional Recommendations

  • Frequently disinfect and clean throughout the day, especially high touch areas like door handles, registers, checkout lanes, public restrooms, and employee break rooms. 
  • Provide hand sanitizer for employees. 
  • Implement social distancing for workers in communal areas.
  • Educate and train workers on your COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in a language they understand. 
  • Improve ventilation systems to reduce the concentration of viral particles in indoor air.  
  • Establish an anonymous process for workers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards.  
  • Communicate to any contractors, delivery services, or other business-related guests about changes that have been made to help control the spread of COVID-19 to ensure they have the information and capability to comply with policies. 
  • Allow flexible worksites (e.g., remote working) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at the same time.  
  • Move the electronic payment terminal/credit card reader farther away from cashiers, and allow contactless payment methods or online purchasing. 
  • Shift primary stocking activities to off-peak or after hours, when possible, to reduce contact with customers. 
  • Encourage all workers to wash their hands for at least twenty seconds before they begin working, after they remove gloves, before and after the use of high touch items, and before and after all meal or restroom breaks. 

 

Protecting Your Customers and Our Community

Key Recommendations

  • Provide touchless hand sanitizer stations and no-touch trash cans for customers.  
  • Strongly recommend unvaccinated customers to wear face masks. 
  • Post clearly visible signage for your businesses’ mask policy. Face Covering English Flyer (PDF, 108 KB)Volante de mascarillas en español (PDF, 151 KB).
  • Frequently disinfect and clean throughout the day, especially high touch areas like door handles, registers, checkout lanes, and public restrooms, dressing rooms.

 

Additional Recommendations

  • Remind guests about social distancing by using signs, floor stickers, and audio messages in multiple languages.  
  • Station an employee at public entrances to clean and disinfect public areas and items (e.g., carts, baskets) between each use. 
  • Establish an anonymous process for customers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards.  
  • Move the electronic payment terminal/credit card reader farther away from cashiers.  
  • Provide drive-through services, click-and-collect online shopping, shop-by-phone, curbside pickup, and delivery options where feasible. 
  • Maintain at least three feet of space between tables, benches, and other seated areas unless they are separated by a solid barrier.  
  • Limit the number of customers who gather, stand, or sit together.

 

Orders and Emergency Rules 

As the number of COVID-19 cases fluctuates, the City of Austin and Travis County leadership will continue to update the Orders and Rules noted below to protect our community. 

 

Federal Guidance on Privacy Rights and COVID-19 Workplace Vaccination Requirements

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services developed a guide to help the public understand when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule applies to disclosures and requests for information about whether a person has received a COVID-19 vaccine. Read the federal health department's guidance on privacy rights and COVID-19 workplace vaccination requirements.

Permit Applications
Tax Assistance

 

Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants

Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants can help business owners find a certified public accountant to assist with planning and reaching financial goals.

Legal Assistance 

 

Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas

The Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas, Inc. is a nonprofit service that can help business owners find Austin area attorneys. TXCPA also has resources explaining the tax implications of COVID-19 federal laws and changes to the Internal Revenue Services’ deadlines and processes.

 

Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts

Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts provides Texas artists and arts organizations with legal and accounting assistance to enable them to maximize their potential, shape our cultural landscape, and contribute to the creative economy.

Eviction Protections

 

City of Austin Eviction Protections

The City of Austin’s RENT Program is closed. Sign up to the RENT Assistance Program Portal to be notified if additional funding becomes available. Find helpful resources for home owners, renters, and more. 

 

Travis County Eviction Protections

Travis County has numerous online resources for tenants facing eviction, as do the county’s Justice of the Peace Precinct Offices. A more extensive description of tenant rights in Travis County can be found through the Travis County Law Library and Self-Help Center. While not a substitute for consulting an attorney, the site provides easy-to-understand kits for appealing an eviction, filing appeal bonds, and the record expungement process. 

 

Federal Eviction Protections

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order to temporarily halt residential evictions in counties with heightened levels of community COVID-19 transmission until October 3, 2021 was recently overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. For the latest updates, visit the CDC website for COVID-19 news and resources.

Utility Services

 

Electricity and Water

The City of Austin has taken steps to ensure customers have uninterrupted access to utility services. Immediate assistance is available to all our customers. Austin Energy, which manages customer care and billing for all City of Austin utilities, also offers several programs that help customers stay on track with their utility bills: 

 

Natural Gas

The following companies offer financial assistance programs for eligible customers.