Application Opens: July 7, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
Application Closes: July 24, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. 

The Austin City Council approved Resolution No. 20200507-023 on May 7, 2020 to provide $10 million for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant. The City Council approved an additional $6.5 million for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant in Resolution No. 20200604-040 on June 4, 2020. 

Applicants may apply for up to $40,000 toward their business needs including rent, payroll and other economic needs.  

Eligible local businesses must be able to demonstrate an economic loss associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic and must be headquartered in a City of Austin Council district.  

The Austin Small Business Relief Grant application will be live and accepting eligible submissions through the Austin Better Business Bureau starting on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 10:00am.

Apply for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant - Application link live at 10:00 a.m.

Subvención de Ayuda para Empresas Pequeñas de Austin Solicitud

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Chương Trình Trợ Cấp Cứu Trợ dành cho Tiểu Doanh Nghiệp ở Austin Đơn Xin

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Contact Information:


Call: 512-318-2683


Informational Webinars:

Eligible Applicants

Eligible business applicants will meet the following conditions:  

  • Business able to demonstrate an economic loss associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic 
  • Business with 25 employees or fewer  
  • Business with under $5 million in annual revenues  
  • Business has been in continuous operation for at least 2 years 
  • Business organized as partnerships, sole proprietorships, LLCs, cooperatives, or other business structures  
  • Business able to provide one (1) year of federal income tax returns  
  • Business headquartered in a City of Austin Council District
Ineligible Applicants
  • Businesses not headquartered in a City of Austin Council District  
  • Businesses with over 25 employees
  • Businesses with over $5 million in annual revenues
  • Businesses debarred from contracting with the federal government
  • Businesses without an Employer Identification Number
  • Businesses engaged in multi-level marketing
  • Businesses that derive more than a third of their annual revenue from gambling activities
  • Businesses engaged in lobbying
  • Houses of worship or religious institutions
  • Government entities
  • Nonprofits
  • Individuals
Scoring & Required Documentation

Every application will be evaluated against a scoring matrix that includes criteria for need, vulnerability, and equity. For distribution of funds, 50% of the program funding will be allocated to applicants that score the highest according to this matrix. The remaining 50% of funds will be awarded by random lottery among eligible applicants. Businesses owned by members of historically marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply.

Required Documentation

Subvención de Ayuda para Empresas Pequeñas de Austin Lista de documentos requeridos

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  • Documentation of expenses eligible for reimbursement 
  • Current Balance Sheet & Profit & Loss Statement 
  • Payroll record (to document number of employees) 
  • 2019 Tax Return 
  • Registration with the Secretary of State or County Clerk 
Expenses: Eligible and Ineligible

Grant amounts for businesses that receive awards will be calculated based upon a business’ ability to document expenses eligible for reimbursement between March 1, 2020 and July 7, 2020. Successful applicants may receive up to $40,000 by documenting expenditures made in the categories that follow.  

Eligible Expenses  

  • Payroll, Employee Retention   
  • Rent/Mortgage for Business Property  
  • COVID-Compliance Facility Modifications   
  • Personal Protective Equipment Purchases/Rentals/Plastic Shielding 
  • Sanitation/Cleaning  
  • Purchase Property for Existing Business  
  • Inventory   
  • Business Insurance   
  • Technology   
  • Worker Training   
  • Business response and adaptation to pandemic conditions 
  • Modifications to business site or operations to support enhanced public health and safety standards 


Ineligible Expenses 

  • Lost sales, donations or sponsorships  
  • Merchandise for sale for marketing purposes 
  • Costs incurred prior to March 1, 2020
  • Costs that have also been paid for by other COVID-19 grants/loans
Technical Assistance

The Economic Development Department has partnered with additional local community organizations to help promote and provide technical assistance to potential applicants of the two grant programs and assist applicants with their applications. These efforts will ensure the most vulnerable businesses and non-profit organizations are aware of the grant opportunities and receive assistance to apply. 

Community Champions to support both programs include:  


Frequently Asked Questions 

Is the Austin Small Business Relief Grant a grant? 

Yes, this program offers grants to reimburse eligible expenses incurred between March 1st and July 7, 2020.

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

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

If my business is eligible for the Austin Small 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. 

If my grant application is approved, what are the next steps? 

All applicants will receive follow up correspondence from the Austin Better Business Bureau as their applications are processed. Successful applicants will be contacted by email with instructions regarding how to receive their funds. 

How will I receive funds if I am approved for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant? 

The Better Business Bureau will make all efforts to send funds within 10 business days following the closing of the application window on July 24. Factors that might affect this timeline include the volume of grants being processed.

Are early applications given any priority in funding allocations? 

No. The application window is between July 7, 2020 and July 24, 2020. Applicants may submit their application at any point during this window. No preference will be given to applications submitted earlier in the window. 

Is this application available in multiple languages?  

Yes. This application is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese. All language versions of the application are available at the top of this page underneath the English application link.

Can applicants apply on behalf of multiple businesses?  

No. If an individual owns multiple businesses, they are eligible to apply on behalf of only one business.

If I applied for an Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan, am I eligible to apply for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant? 

Yes. All Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan applicants are eligible to apply for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant. If an applicant has received Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan funding, the applicant is eligible to apply for the difference between the $40,000 ceiling for Austin Small Business Relief Grants, and the amount of funding received through the Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan.

If I received Federal support through the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and I still eligible to apply for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant? 

 Yes. Recipients of PPP or EIDL are still eligible to apply. However, because the source of funds for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant is the Federal CARES Act, any expenses paid for with PPP or EIDL funds are not eligible for reimbursement under the Austin Small Business Relief Grant. 

What documentation of eligible expenditures is valid as part of my application? 

Reviewers will evaluate expense documentation on a case by case basis. Generally speaking, expenses should be documented with receipts, invoices, agreements (e.g., lease agreements), and similar records. 

Businesses must have had fewer than 25 employees on March 1, 2020 to be eligible for this grant. How are employees calculated?  

Full-time and part-time employees are counted equally, as one employee each. Independent contractors are not counted as employees. Therefore, a business with 5 full-time employees, 3 part-time employees, and 1 independent contractor on March 1 would be considered to have 8 employees. 

What are the date ranges for expenses eligible for reimbursement? 

Eligible expenses that were paid between March 1, 2020 and July 7, 2020 can be considered for reimbursement. 

Are applicants for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant required to apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan? 

No. Applicants for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant are not required to apply for an SBA  Economic Injury Disaster Loan.