AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin has compiled an outline of opportunities to help the local economy bounce back after the coronavirus pandemic.
Called the Economic Recovery and Resiliency Framework, it includes 45 ways to “foster a more equitable, competitive and resilient post-pandemic Austin economy.”
This encompasses financial support, health and mental well services, tech help for businesses and workforce development for residents.
The City of Austin said you are welcome to review the guide and give feedback online.
In 2020, more than 125 stakeholder engagements helped out with putting together the framework, the city said. The Economic Recovery Strike Team then used feedback from different groups, including an experts panel and focus groups. The city said these focus groups were chosen with diversity in mind and to hear from voices who typically don’t join in on Austin City Council and Travis County Commission meetings.
“I am sincerely grateful for community members who shared personal accounts of COVID-19’s impact on their lives and offered their perspectives on the types of assistance needed to fully recover from the pandemic,” said Veronica Briseño, Chief Economic Recovery Officer, in a press release.
So far, the city said it has put out 12 COVID-19 financial assistance programs since March 2020. The programs distributed more than $115 million to Austinites, nonprofits and businesses hurt by the pandemic.
Additionally, Austin collaborated with local organizations to bring supportive services to the area. Here are those programs described by the city:
- The Austin Childcare Provider Relief Fund awarded $6,048,000 in grants to 199 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 awarded $3,344,000 in grants to over 1,866 creative sector workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 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 Legacy Business Relief Grant will distribute $5 million in grants to eligible businesses that have operated from a publicly-facing (brick and mortar) business for at least 20 years in an area that is currently within a City of Austin Council District.
- The Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund awarded $1.48 million in grants to 74 live music venues, with an additional $3.6 million to be distributed in Spring 2021.
- 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 approximately $6,027,510 in grants to 356 non-profit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (Rent) Program awarded $15.2 million to assist 4,828 households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Relief in a State of Emergency (RISE) Fund awarded $29 million in direct financial assistance and direct relief services to 196,386 households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
- The Austin Small Business Relief Grant awarded $18.6 million in grants to 964 small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Austin Utility Bill Relief Programs contributed more than $24 million to assist residential customers needing payment assistance through Customer Assistance Program (CAP) and the Financial Support Plus 1 Fund.