AUSTIN (KXAN) — Music venues in Austin struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic have another avenue for assistance starting today.

The application for the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund opens at 10 a.m. Friday, coming off the heels of city council approval just a week ago. The $5 million program, part of the $15 million Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors fund, will offer qualified music venues assistance in two phases — emergency and enhanced.

The emergency phase is given immediately after approval to help venues that are “experiencing immediate risk of closure” with a $20,000 grant, the city says. Legal and accounting services are also included, as well as real estates advice and guidance on lease negotiations and other long-term planning services.

The enhanced funding phase is an additional $140,000, not including the $20,000 from the emergency phase, that requires venues to complete a “technical assistance evaluation” and strategic plan. If approved, the funding will be given in chunks up to $40,000 per month, the city says.

The city’s economic development department worked with the Long Center to get the fund going.

“Live music venues strengthen our cultural and economic ecosystem and contribute to Austin’s international appeal,” said Veronica Briseño, the city’s chief economic recovery officer. “Our team worked with the Long Center to quickly open the application portal one week after Council approved the guidelines. Our goal is to have the money flow to live music venues before the end of the month.”

The application is open until 5 p.m., Jan. 11.

For more information on eligibility requirements, contact the Long Center at 512-457-5181 or via email at