Music venues, bars, restaurants, and child care centers in Austin, Texas will benefit from $15 million in funding that has been set aside to help these businesses survive the pandemic. The funding was approved by Austin city council on October 1st after calling on city staff last month to look for “every last dime” that could be allocated to these economic entities.
Under the Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) resolution, the city was able to source $15 million to assist businesses that were forced to close early in the pandemic. These businesses continue to struggle to bounce back, even as the state relaxes its regulations and allows them to serve increasing numbers of customers. The funding came from sales tax revenue overages, human capital management systems, and capital rehabilitation funds.
The funds will be administered by the Austin Music Venue Preservation Fund and the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant – they will provide grants to help live music venues as well as established local restaurants and arts organizations. The Austin Childcare Provider Relief Grants will help child care providers offering both in-home and center-based programs.
Although most business owners are concerned that the funds are not nearly enough to support businesses that provide much of the lifeblood of the community, the majority of them thought the $15 million was a good start. The executive director of the Red River Cultural District Cody Cowan, understands the sentiment. He is hoping that the city funding will stave off economic further decline until the HEROES Act is passed, which includes $10 billion in grants for music venues.
Alternate funding options for businesses
While businesses and citizens wait for the updated HEROES Act, which stands for Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, they should start applying for business grants. Currently, GrantWatch.com has over 1,000 grants available for businesses, over 1,600 grants for the arts, and more than 1,000 grants for organizations dedicated to helping children. The grant database is updated daily, so frequent visits to the site are advised.
Grants of up to $25,000 to Texas nonprofit organizations in eligible locations for projects that benefit the local community. Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to address social issues and critical needs of the community through program support, capital expenses, or a combination of the two.
Grants of up to $20,000 to USA, Canada, and International literary publishers and theater organizations for the translation of Canadian dramatic or literary works.
Grants to USA legal entities and individual food producers to address the financial impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. Funding is intended to mitigate significant price declines and market supply chain disruptions.
Grants of up to $3,000 and grants of up to $5,000 to Texas childcare centers in eligible areas to offset financial hardships suffered due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Grants of up to $10,000 to Texas nonprofit organizations and small businesses in eligible locations for assistance during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. Funding is intended to support local for-profits and nonprofits that are facing hardship due to the pandemic and are unable to secure funding from other sources.