SAVES Fund Update

In October, the Austin City Council approved Ordinance No. 20201001-052, which authorized the development of three grant programs that together are referred to as Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES). These programs seek to provide immediate relief for live music venues, art venues, restaurants and bars, and childcare facilities. 
The current plan is to expand and modify the Chapter 380 program to address the needs of the business community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A draft of the Chapter 380: Recovery Lease Incentive Program is available here (see item 11).  While not yet finalized, the preliminary list of eligibility requirements hints at a broad scope of eligible types of businesses by including those in adjacent sectors to those named in the original resolution.
This item was postponed at the November 12th Austin City Council meeting and should be on the December 3rd agenda. Stay tuned for updates!
Global pandemic or not, AIBA works tirelessly to support and advocate for Austin’s local business community. Reach out to us via email at

City Council Approves SAVES Resolution for Vital Economic Sector Assistance

The Austin City Council approved the Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors or “SAVES” Resolution late last night. The resolution (item 62 here) calls for the city manager to investigate a wide variety of funding sources that could contribute to financially supporting local music venues, art venues, restaurants, bars, and child care centers as the economic fallout from the pandemic continues. 

Acknowledging the need for creative ideas, there were many funding ideas proposed. Detailed plans regarding those proposals will be investigated by the city manager and presented at the September 29th work session for voting at the October 1st council meeting. While funding is not immediately available, this is an important step towards more financial support from the city for Austin’s struggling service industry. 

Imminent and generous state and federal funding are still needed to ensure the recovery of these and other hard hit industries in Austin.


Global pandemic or not, AIBA works tirelessly to support and advocate for Austin’s local business community. Reach out to us via email at

Austin Small Business Relief Grant Stats

The City of Austin’s Small Business Relief Grant Program awarded grants to 885 small and local businesses with a total of $16.2 million in funds dispersed. The demand far outstripped the supply of funds almost immediately, and 35% of applicants received funds.  The top sector, with 180 grants awarded, was Restaurants, Clubs and Bars with $4.3M in grants. Arts, Entertainment and Recreation businesses, with 101 grants awarded, received $1.4M followed by 104 Personal Care Services businesses who received $1.3M. Further details about the funding received by sector are available here.

This grant program provided much needed financial help to small and local businesses who were selected, but the need for more funding like this is urgent and ongoing. 

Austin City Council continues to explore other ideas to provide more assistance to Austin’s small and local businesses. Stay tuned for updates!


Global pandemic or not, AIBA works tirelessly to support and advocate for Austin’s local business community. Reach out to us via email at

The Small Business School Challenge

The Small Business School Challenge

Free small business consulting event with support from local universities! The Small Business School, in partnership with MBA students from UT Austin – McCombs School of Business and 14 other top universities nationwide, are responding to meet the needs of small businesses devastated by the current crisis by hosting the second Small Business School Challenge, a 48-hour virtual design thinking workshop to help strategize and guide small businesses during this pandemic. The event is scheduled for Oct 15 through 17 and plans to host 200 new small business owners from across the country. Applications are open through Sep 25. Learn more and apply here, or nominate a small business in your hometown that you want to see receive free support to succeed.

New Stage 3 COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines for Austin

A press release from the City of Austin (and Travis County) yesterday announced the move to Stage 3 risk restrictions for our area. It goes with out saying that residents and business owners but continue to be vigilant and practice good hygiene, social distancing, wearing face coverings and adhering to occupancy requirements to ensure we continue to reduce the COVID-19 positivity rate. The authorities request that individuals “continue to act as if we are still in Stage 4 as much as possible so that we can be in a better place as school starts.”

As noted in the provided Risk Based Guidance Chart, Stage 4 called for expanded essential businesses only to open. In contrast Stage 3, calls for essential and reopened businesses to return to operations. Everyone, regardless of risk, should avoid social gatherings and any gatherings greater than 10 people. Occupancy guidelines by business type can be found here.

The release from the city notes that “one of the goals we are trying to reach is to have a positivity rate (defined as the number of positive cases divided by the number of overall tests being performed) below five percent by September 8, when most Austin-Travis County students start their school year. In addition to an overall positivity rate below five percent, every individual race and ethnic group in Austin should have a positivity rate below five percent.”

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