City of Austin awards additional $2.5M in grants to small businesses

The City of Austin is giving small businesses a boost.

The city has announced it allocated another $2.5 million toward small business relief, which is going to applicants who did not receive any funding from the original relief grant approved in 2020.

Last year, city leaders established the Austin Small Business Relief Grant to help businesses with rent, payroll and operational costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city says that this time, 89 small businesses have received economic recovery grants of up to $40,000.

The city received $7.6 million in Community Development Block Grants – Coronavirus funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the CARES Act. Following a public input process and approval from HUD, $2.5 million was designated for small business relief funding, says the city, with the remaining funding for rental relief and childcare support. 

The CDBG-CV program requires the funds to benefit low- and moderate-income beneficiaries. All of the businesses that received grants from CDBG-CV funding employ workers and provide services in low- and moderate-income areas of Austin, says the city.

The additional awardees, who were next based on submitted applications from 2020, were evaluated using criteria like need, vulnerability, and equity. All awardees were also evaluated to ensure they remained operational, were in a low- to moderate-income area of Austin, and satisfied required financial underwriting criteria required by HUD. 

In this latest round of recipients, 31 awardees were previously funded for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) reimbursements through CARES Act dollars in 2020. These recipients also received CDBG-CV funding in 2021 to make whole their original requests for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant up to their full eligible award amount.

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