Application Opens: September 1, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. 
Application Closes: October 29, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. 
Priority Consideration: October 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

The Austin City Council provided $500,000 for the Community Navigator Program by adopting Ordinance No. 20210506-002 on June 5. Community Navigators will help support local businesses, non-profit organizations, and creative professionals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by offering application assistance and technical assistance for local, state, and federal relief programs.  

Multiple contracts will be awarded through this Request for Applications to ensure access to trusted and diverse vendors. Contracts will not exceed $50,000.

Entities that are interested in applying must provide at least one of the following services: 

  • Help businesses, non-profits, or creative professionals apply for federal, state, or local economic recovery programs.  
  • Provide technical assistance to businesses, non-profits, or creative professionals impacted by the pandemic.  
  • Conduct outreach and engagement to raise awareness about the Community Navigator Program.  

For questions, email Economic Development Department staff will respond to all questions in writing within two business days. 

Request for Application Instructions


Step 1:

Download the Community Navigator Program Request for Application Instruction Guide. Please make sure to follow all requirements in the instructions.  

Step 2:

Complete the application and upload all attachments by October 29, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Hardcopies or emailed copies will not be accepted. Priority will be given to applications received by October 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Changes, Corrections, and Addenda:  

Economic Development Department staff may revise this Request for Applications through a written Addendum, which will be posted on this website. Explanations, clarifications, interpretations, or changes made in any manner are not binding.


Instrucciones para la solicitud de licitaciones para el Programa de Navegadores Comunitarios


Paso 1:

Descargue la guía de instrucciones para la solicitud de licitaciones para el Programa de Navegadores Comunitarios. Asegúrese de seguir todos los requisitos de las instrucciones. 

Paso 2:

Complete la solicitud y suba todos los archivos adjuntos antes del 29 de octubre del 2021 a las 5:00 p.m. No se aceptarán copias impresas o enviadas por correo electrónico. Se dará prioridad a las solicitudes recibidas antes del 1 de octubre de 2021 a las 5:00 p.m.


Task Categories & Requirements

Entities responding to this Request for Applications should indicate the Task Category (A, B, and/or C) for which they are qualified to work. A summary of each Task Category is included below. Download the Community Navigator Program Request for Applications Instruction Guide for a complete explanation of each Task Category.  

Applicants for all Task Categories should be able to provide services in languages as requested by service recipients and ensure that all assistance is accessible without discrimination of technological access. Applicants should maintain sufficient levels of in-house staffing capacity to complete tasks. 


Task Category A: Technical Assistance 

Applicants for Task Category A should be able to provide the following services:  

  • Provide one-on-one technical assistance to service recipients (up to five hours per recipient).  
  • Provide two-hour-long technical assistance classes at least once per month.  
  • Topics for one-on-one assistance and classes may include: (1) diversity, equity, and inclusion training and/or strategic planning; (2) disaster recovery and resiliency best practices, (3) financial guidance like credit counseling and financial literacy; (4) business planning; (5) strategic marketing and communications; (6) revenue and business development; (7) e-commerce planning; and (8) market research. 


Task Category B: Application Assistance 

Applicants for Task Category B should be able to provide the following services:  

  • Provide up to five hours of one-on-one virtual and/or in-person assistance per service recipient to help the service recipient apply for federal, state, and/or local programs to recover from economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Task Category C: Marketing and Stakeholder Engagement 

Proposers for this Task Category should be able to provide the following types of services: 

  • Distribute Economic Development Department-provided marketing collateral to target audiences at least twice per month. 
  • Provide comprehensive community outreach and engagement by supporting the City with public meetings, events, workshops, and other community engagement efforts, both in-person and virtual. This includes providing logistical support for up to three engagements per month and providing meeting facilitation for up to two meetings per month.  
  • Coordinate, facilitate, and mediate up to two meetings per month with diverse stakeholder groups to support coordination and service delivery. 
Application Scoring Matrix | Matriz de puntuación para las solicitudes

Each application response will be reviewed and scored according to the following evaluation matrix. 

Request for Application Evaluation Factors Points
Executive Summary 5
Project Concept 25
Applicant Experience 25
Personnel Qualifications 20
Project Work Plan 15
Sample Work Product 10
Total 100



Cada solicitud será revisada y evaluada de acuerdo con la siguiente matriz de evaluación.  

Criterios de evluación para la Licitación Puntos
Resumen ejecutivo 5
Concepto del proyecto 25
Experiencia del solicitante  25
Calificaciones del personal 20
Plan de trabajo del proyecto 15
Muestra del producto 10
Total 100


Frequently Asked Questions


Who can apply to be a Community Navigator? 

This Request for Applications is open to entities structured as Sole Proprietor, Single-Member Limited Liability Company, LLC, C Corporation, S Corporation, Partnership, and Non-Profit. The City of Austin can only enter into contracts with registered vendors. Register to become a City vendor.


What are examples of ways that sole proprietors and/or smaller organizations can meaningfully participate in the Community Navigator Program? 

  • Task Category A: Hosting a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion training for a service recipient. 
  • Task Category B: Providing virtual coaching sessions to assist a service recipient with their federal application for economic recovery.
  • Task Category C: Distributing Community Navigator Program marketing materials to target audiences via mailers and/or street teams twice per month. 


How are businesses, non-profits, and creative professionals identified and connected to Community Navigators? 

City staff and Community Navigators will work together to inform potential service recipients about the Community Navigator Program. This includes developing and distributing marketing materials via social media, newsletters, and partner networks to inform the public about the availability of Community Navigator services.


What support and training would be provided to these organizations with regards to the grant opportunities? 

City staff will provide support for City-administered programs. However, the purpose of this opportunity is for City staff to contract with organizations that have expertise (or ability to learn) about federal, state, and local opportunities and can render assistance to service participants.  


Is this application available in multiple languages? 

Yes. This application is available in English and Spanish. If you need the application in another language, please contact The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request.


Is my information subject to open records laws?  

All responses to this Request for Applications received and opened by Economic Development Department staff are subject to the Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, and could be made available to the public upon request. Applicants that want portions of their submission kept confidential must mark each portion as “Proprietary”. To the extent allowed by law, City of Austin staff will endeavor to protect such information from disclosure. City staff may request a review and determination from the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Texas of any contents marked as “Proprietary”. A copyright notice or symbol is insufficient to identify proprietary or confidential information. 


What are my next steps after I submit my grant application? 

Economic Development Department staff will contact all applicants and notify them if they are or are not recommended for a contract within ten business days following the deadline. Those recommended for funding will begin the City’s contracting process with the Purchasing Office. Because contracts will not exceed $50,000, the Austin City Council will not need to approve each contract.  


Will I get confirmation that my application has been received? 

Applicants will receive a confirmation email at the email address provided in the application. The confirmation email will include additional information about next steps. 


What should I do if I am having technical difficulties with the application? 

Email if you have technical difficulties with the application. 


What are the reporting requirements for the Community Navigator Program? 

Download the Community Navigator Program Request for Applications Instruction Guide and view all reporting requirements in Section 3: Task Categories.  


Are early applicants given any priority? 

Applications received by October 1 at 5 p.m. will receive priority consideration. 


Why does the application ask questions about the Business Owner and Board of demographics? 

Economic Development Department staff lead with equity and prioritize organizations that have been historically underserved. City of Austin Equity Statement: Racial equity is the condition when race no longer predicts a person's quality of life outcomes in our community. The City of Austin recognizes that race is the primary determinant of social equity and therefore we begin the journey toward social equity with this definition. The City of Austin recognizes historical and structural disparities and a need for alleviation of these wrongs by critically transforming its institutions and creating a culture of equity.  


Is it necessary to register as a women or minority-owned business for eligibility requirements or prioritization of scoring? 

No. It is not required to register as a woman- or minority-owned business.  


Can an application be edited after submission via the online portal? 

No. All submissions are considered final.