Austin is a great place to do business, and the world has taken notice. A multitude of publications have listed Austin as the top city in the world for small business due to the quantity and quality of the resources available to help entrepreneurs.
Throughout the City of Austin there is an abundance of resources for local small businesses but finding the right place and the right answer isn't always easy. Our program strives to provide answers and assistance where possible as well as guiding small business owners to the other organizations and resources that can meet their needs.
This 6 week program will increase participants’ knowledge on how to make their arts business sustainable and profitable. The selected cohort leave with a better understanding of City resources, business structure, goal setting, budgeting, tax law, protecting their intellectual property, marketing best practices, project proposal outline and gain a professional peer network. The program culminates in a Proposal Pitch Competition with an opportunity for cash awards.
Visit our calendar for a complete list of upcoming classes and events developed to help small business owners develop skills.
Business Skills Certification
The City of Austin Small Business Program has partnered with University of Texas at Austin Center for Professional Education. Classes are offered in the areas of marketing, social media, human resources, money management, and small business taxes. Complete six of these qualifying small business classes and earn your Business Skills Certificate.
Individualized BizAid Coaching is available at no cost to existing small business owners to help develop a marketing strategy, find lending assistance, learn to effectively network, or become more competitive with a business plan.
The BizOpen Orientation covers the general development process including zoning, permitting, inspections, events and obtaining a certificate of occupancy. BizOpen serves as a point of contact for new and existing small business owners seeking assistance navigating the Planning and Zoning Department as well as the Development Services Department.
A 10-week training program designed to accelerate business growth and maximize profit. The City of Austin and the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin are excited to offer the FASTFORWARD Program to Austin-based small businesses - starting in Fall 2017. Watch a local business owner share her experience!
What is FASTFORWARD?
Small business owners struggle to find the time, resources, and guidance to maximize growth opportunities. This hands-on program guides small business owners to:
Identify new business opportunities and revenue streams
Differentiate brand message, product, and delivery strategy for more effective reach
Develop financial models to enhance partnerships and funding opportunities
Increase the scale of their business
What makes this program different?
We understand your challenges! The FASTFORWARD Program brings entrepreneurs a proven strategy for accelerating business growth, access to new sales channels, mentor resources, and peer-to-peer community.
Limited to 20 small businesses.
An investment of $250 is required to access the FASTFORWARD Program.
Beginning September 12th small business sessions will be held every Tuesday evening from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM. Mentoring sessions will be held monthly. Final company presentations will be made in early December.
Successful participants will be presented a FASTFORWARD Program Completion Certificate in the City of Austin Council Chambers.
"You’ll gain not only knowledge of your business and customer’s needs, but also a strong feeling of empowerment and enthusiasm. The FASTForward teachers and mentors are exceptional resources for business development, and I can’t speak highly enough of their commitment and support for your success." – Lian Amber, BASSBOSS
"FASTForward is definitely worth the cost of the program. Honestly, I found this program to be priceless!" – Kristen Fields, mmmpanadas
"…the relationships that you build with your peers in the class, the additional mentors and other industry leaders are invaluable." – Bianca Neal, ReRoute Music Group
Disaster recovery and disaster preparedness resources.
Locally Austin- Website Directory and Mobile App of Local Small Businesses
The Small Business Program maintains an online directory and mobile app of small, locally owned businesses. LocallyAustin.org provides increased online visibility and accessibility for small businesses. It’s useful for residents and visitors looking to discover locally-owned businesses in Austin.
The Small Business Resources component of Locally Austin is a helpful tool for narrowing down your needs by organizations in the area. Find over 100 local providers with services and resources geared towards small business assistance. Access these resources under the Small Business Resources tab.
Add your local small business to Locally Austin (see site for listing criteria) and keep it local by using Locally Austin whenever you are looking for local food, goods and services.
Note: Business owners should always seek the guidance of a professional tax consultant, accountant, and/or attorney to verify all legal requirements are met when operating a business. A little effort now can save you a lot later!