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Austin Set To Open Grant Program For Longtime Businesses Struggling Because Of The Pandemic

Gabriel C. Pérez

The city's Economic Development Department is opening up another grant program to help so-called legacy businesses that are struggling because of the pandemic.

The $5 million Austin Legacy Business Relief Grants are intended to help prop up businesses that have operated a brick-and-mortar site within Austin's City Council districts for at least 20 years. Business owners must be able to prove they've suffered financially because of COVID-19 before applying.

Bars, restaurants, art spaces and other qualified venues can apply for $20,000 in immediate relief or up to $140,000 in longer-term relief starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. The application window closes March 10 at 5 p.m.

The city says payments will be sent out starting in March through the nonprofit PeopleFund. Learn more about the grant program on the city's website.

The city set up two webinars next week for businesses interested in applying for the program.

All applicants must complete an assessment of their business practices, which could include one-on-one consultations. Only those that have applied to the emergency grants will be able to apply for longterm funding. Those who qualify for that program could receive as much as $140,000 in monthly installments of $40,000 at most.

The grant program is part of the city's SAVES program, which was established in October to fund struggling child care operators, live music venues and legacy businesses.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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