AUSTIN (KXAN) — Movability is launching GoGrant, and they’re offering local businesses grants worth up to $5,000 each to incorporate infrastructure that will get more people walking, riding bikes or scooters.
“We’re just trying to encourage people to get to their employers in different ways and also to the businesses that they visit,” said Lisa Kay Pfannenstiel, the Transportation Management Association’s executive director.
Those at Hillside Farmacy, a farm-to-table east Austin restaurant, said navigating the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough.
“It’s been intense, it’s been hard, we had about 40 employees and now only have eight to nine volunteers helping us keep the restaurant open,” Jade Place, the co-owner of Hillside Farmacy said.
Place applied for the grant.
“I’m always looking for grants since COVID-19 to help the restaurant and this is actually a great way to give back to our customers and employees and something that we don’t have the funds to do right now,” she added.
The co-owner hopes they are selected. She said they could use a bike rack and a locker for their employees to store their helmets and gear, because before the pandemic about a third of her employees would bike to work.
Place said she hopes, if selected, this will encourage more people to do the same and possibly draw in more customers.
“You know just everyone likes to complain about the traffic here in Austin and this is a perfect way to help,” Place said.
Movability has $75,000 to distribute and plan to do it in two phases. The first round of applications is due Nov. 30. They will open up the application process again at the beginning of next year. Interested business owners are asked to submit their ideas.
“We want them to be creative and educate us because they might turn us on to something that we didn’t even have any idea about so as long as we can be useful and helpful and help to keep congestion at a minimum that would be fantastic,” Pfannenstiel said.
Since the program is new, those at Movability said they’re working on a way to measure the program’s success. At present, they’ve decided they’ll give selected business owners half of the grant money and once they’re able to track the progress owners will get the rest as a reimbursement.