Funding for Business Recovery in Austin

Funding for Business Recovery in Austin

Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program – Businesses can now submit a request to apply for the Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program. This loan program is intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major disaster hits until a business has secured federal recovery resources. This loan will work alongside the applicant’s submitted request for federal assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan.Funding Opportunities – We’ve gathered a list of funding opportunities for small businesses and non-profits further down in this newsletter. You can also search for COVID-19 assistance anytime through the Small Business Resources directory by filtering the table by “Disaster Relief.” 

Creative Space Bond – The Economic Development Department submitted a recommendation for acquiring creative spaces using the $12 million Creative Space Bond developed in consultation with the Arts Commission and the Music Commission. These bond funds are authorized funding for community and cultural facilities, libraries, museums, and cultural arts facilities of the City of Austin. Sign-up for SpeakUp Austin to receive regular updates and stay engaged in the next steps. 

Community Needs Assessment – The City of Austin is receiving $20.8 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These funds include the HUD funding that the City of Austin expects to receive as part of the CARES Act. The City of Austin has created a SpeakUp Austin page where the community can submit their comments about the community’s needs and service gaps to help inform how the City of Austin allocates these federal funds. 

Stay Home – Work Safe Orders – Providing additional recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Austin and Travis County have extended the Stay Home – Work Safe orders until May 8. A key addition is the requirement that the public wear fabric face coverings when conducting essential work or activities.

Federal and State Updates – Last week, the White House recommended a three-phased approach to reopening the economy through Guidelines for Opening America Again. Additionally, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued three executive orders: establishing a state-level economic recovery strike force;  creating a “retail-to-go” model allowing certain Texas retail outlets to continue operating via online platforms;  closing schools through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, loosening previous restrictions on surgeries, and reopening state parks. We extend a sincere thanks to all essential businesses, front line workers, and health care professionals who have helped Austin provide services, goods, and information to the public!  

Veronica Briseño Director, City of Austin Economic Development Department

Contact me at:

Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program

The Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program provides loans up to $35,000 for daily needs like rent, payroll, and debt. Eligible local businesses must be able to demonstrate an economic loss associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic. The loan is intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business secures recovery resources. The Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program terms require payment of loan dollars up to 12 months at 3.75%. This loan is not designed to be the primary source of assistance to affected businesses. To be eligible, you must be headquartered in a City of Austin Council district and have already applied for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan.   

Submit your request for the Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan ApplicationPlease note:As of April 16, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is unable to accept new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) – COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional questions about your Economic Injury Disaster Loan application status, contact the U.S. Small Business Administration.



For Creatives: Artists & Musicians

For Service Industry 

For General Business 

For Nonprofits


Federal Funding

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Essential Businesses and Essential Activities

View the online Business Categorization Table to understand the impact of the Stay Home-Work Safe Order on specific businesses in Austin. If you are unsure if your business is essential, visit the Information for Businesses and Industry website for a breakdown of permitted businesses and job functions.

The City of Austin also updated requirements to the construction industry. For the latest information on regulations for this industry see Guidance for the Construction Industry on the COVID-19 website. 

Required Face Coverings

Austin Public Health is requiring employees working for essential businesses, and all people when out in public, wear face coverings like bandanas, cloths, homemade masks, or other items that cover the entirety of the nose and mouth. The cloth face coverings recommended are not N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

  • All employees are required to wear face coverings when working at an essential business 
  • All customers are required to wear face coverings when entering an essential business
  • All workers are required to wear face coverings when working in critical infrastructure jobs
  • All essential businesses are required to post mandatory face-covering signage at their establishments

At this time, we are asking for voluntary compliance from the public and are not asking businesses to enforce the order. Enforcement of this Order is substantially reliant on self-regulation and a community commitment to public health and safety to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Businesses with additional questions should contact Austin 311 (dial 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000).

Health & Safety 

Matthew McConaughey recently joined Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt to urge his fellow Austinites to stay home as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Watch Online: A serious note from Austin’s Minister of Culture, Matthew McConaughey on Staying Home during COVID-19

City and county officials are maintaining the Travis County COVID-19 Public Dashboard that displays frequently updated information on COVID-19 case counts at the city, state, national, and global levels. You can view the dashboard desktop version and dashboard mobile version.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone is required wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. 
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Modifications to City of Austin Operations

The City of Austin is modifying some operations through May 8th to maintain the health and safety of City employees and the community while providing critical City services.

There will be no changes to essential city services including public safety, trash, recycling, and compost pick up, Austin Water service, Austin Energy service, and transportation services.

The Economic Development Department team continues remote work and remains in full operation to continue to support you and business community needs.


City of Austin  

State of Texas  

Office of the Governor News

Federal Government