AUSTIN, Texas — Austin music venues struggling because of the lack of crowds during the pandemic have more relief on the way.
In an Austin City Council meeting on Thursday, councilmembers approved $10 million to help legacy businesses and live music venues affected by the pandemic.
The Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant and the Austin Music Venue Preservation Fund, are two new programs that were passed in October that will both provide $5 million in funding.
The next step for city leaders during Thursday's meeting is to determine which businesses will qualify and how much funding each business will receive.
Based on a draft for the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant Program, businesses can receive between $40,000 to $60,000 in relief, depending on how long the business has been open and how many people it employs.
Multiple types of businesses are eligible for this including art organizations, bars, childcare providers, live music venues, restaurants and studios.
To qualify for this program, businesses must fit specific criteria which still need final approval from the council. Some include:
- Established in Austin at least 20 years
- Operates from a public-facing, physical building
- Prove the business would have to close if it does not receive assistance from the program.
"I will say that we are working on all of these points right now and hope to meet this deadline of having the process underway by the end of the year," said Veronica Briseño, chief economic recovery officer during Tuesday's city council work session.
Since the pandemic began, she also said the City of Austin has granted more than $27 million in funding to help businesses that are struggling.
This includes $861,000 to at least 30 live music venues.
Based on the current guidelines, businesses that receive funding would be selected by lottery.
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