Austin awards over $23M in economic relief during COVID-19

The City of Austin has awarded over $23 million in economic relief and is currently processing an additional $9.3 million.

The city says that $23.7 million has been awarded in economic relief and an additional $9.3 million in relief grants are currently in process for development and distribution in the coming weeks. The recipients of the money include musicians, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and childcare providers.

RELATED: List of Austin businesses lost during COVID-19 pandemic is growing

“Our staff worked to quickly distribute millions in financial relief to Austin’s local businesses and workers, non-profits, and childcare providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” notes Veronica Briseño, who was appointed as Austin’s Chief Economic Recovery Officer in March 2020. “We created seven new programs in five months as an emergency response to get these vital recovery dollars into the hands of the individuals and businesses who need support right now.”



 Recovery funding programs breakdown: 

  • The Austin Childcare Provider Relief Fund awarded $900,000 in grants to 72 childcare providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program awarded $987,943 in grants to 32 for-profit live music venues, performance spaces, art galleries, arts-focused non-profits, and individual artists facing temporary or permanent displacement.
  • The Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant will award $3,342,500 in grants to over 1,600 creative sector workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. in process
  • The Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program awarded $645,000 in short-term, low-interest loans to 19 small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund awarded $1.5 million in grants to 1,500 performing musicians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant awarded $3.5 million in grants to 217 non-profit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Austin Small Business Relief Grant awarded $16,243,367 in grants to 885 small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Equity in access to these recovery funds was a priority for our department as we planned and implemented each of the grant programs,” adds Sylnovia Holt Rabb, Acting Director for the Economic Development Department. “Data clearly shows that the pandemic is having disproportionate impacts on communities of color and businesses owned by women and people of color.”

The city says that Austin's Economic Development Department will launch several new grants in the coming weeks. These grants will support "commercial property owners, non-profits, technical assistance for businesses and individuals, as well as offer mental health support to local workers."

RELATED: Texas bars with ability to serve food may apply to reopen

“We've seen $128 million in requests for funds from small businesses which far exceeds the amount of money currently available,” notes Susana Carbajal, Assistant Director for the Economic Development Department. “Until other federal recovery funds are allocated, we are working to meet industry needs through other services – including providing free online coaching and classes for business owners, and updating our recovery website,, with new information about grants, loans, tax assistance, legal aid, and more.” 

As additional recovery programs are developed and launched, all eligibility and details will be available here.

For more Austin news, click here.


FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at