Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Business + Community Webinars + More

SoulyATX Insider

June 8, 2021

💻 Business + Community Webinars + More

Find helpful local resources for you.

Our economic recovery work continues throughout Austin. We recently awarded an additional $3.5 million to 28 local live music venues through the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund, bringing the total level of support to $5 million. Additionally, 109 local long-time businesses received $2.18 million in relief grants through the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant, which will award a total of $5 million by September 2021.
I invite you to join me and Leadership Austin on June 9 at 10 a.m. to hear a panel discussion about the economic impacts of COVID-19 and Winter Storm Uri. We'll share lessons learned and elaborate on ways to reduce economic inequity gaps that worsened since last year. Also, review the Health & Safety section of this newsletter for information on requesting a mobile vaccine team to vaccinate your employees, visitors, and others who voluntarily choose to be vaccinated.
- Veronica Briseño, City of Austin Chief Economic Recovery Officer

Economic Development Department Highlights

National Endowment for the Arts' Our Town Grant
Attention non-profit arts organizations! The National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant provides cost share/matching grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 for creative placemaking projects. Our Town projects must demonstrate a specific role for arts, culture, and design as a part of strategies that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.
If you're interested in applying for the Our Town grant, your first step is to apply for a City of Austin endorsement of the application by June 24 at 5 p.m. If you have questions, visit the Cultural Arts Division Current Open Calls webpage or join the Virtual Open Office hours on June 8 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
The Pivot
Join us for the African American Cultural & Heritage Facility's The Pivot Episode 9. The episode "Juneteenth: Freedom Day" will feature special guest Roland Hayes, Professor of U.S. History and Director of the African American Cultural Center at Austin Community College Eastview Campus, for a conversation about Juneteenth and Black History. Watch The Pivot on June 16 at 7 p.m.
Environmental Racism and Sustainable Communities
In response to the race and justice movement currently enveloping the United States, the International Economic Development Council is hosting a new webinar series called Take Action Against Racism in Economic Development. Watch the most recent recording to hear how Economic Development Department staff and other practitioners from across the country are integrating economic development approaches that restore environmental justice and offer low-income, BIPOC, tribal, and overburdened communities solutions that respond to their needs and reflect their values.
Photos of public art in Austin
Local Artists To Contribute Creativity To Corridor Projects
As part of the 2016 Mobility Bond-funded Corridor Construction Program (CCP), the City of Austin Corridor Program Office and the Economic Development Department Art in Public Places Program are teaming up with local artists who will install art works along the corridors. For more information and updates on the CCP's public art efforts, visit the Corridor for Complete Communities webpage. More information on Austin's public art can also be found on the Arts in Public Places webpage.

Health & Safety

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, resources, and emergency rules from the City of Austin.

Health & Safety Resources
Request a Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination for Your Business or Household
Texas businesses or civic organizations can call 844-90-TEXAS (844-908-3927) and select Option 3 to schedule a visit from a state mobile vaccine team to vaccinate employees, visitors, or members. To qualify for a visit, a business or civic organization must have five or more employees, visitors, or members who voluntarily choose to be vaccinated. You can also schedule a visit for you, your caregivers, and household with Austin Public Health by calling 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 and leave your name and phone number.
Updated COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Venues and Special Events
The City of Austin updated the Bringing Events Back Safety Guide to match May 2021 health conditions. The guidance, which outlines COVID-19 health and safety considerations, are recommendations only. The 2021 COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan is still a required form to complete as part of the special events permit application. Once applicants submit the form, Austin Public Health will review the safety plan and will provide input to help organizers have a safe event. Visit the Bringing Events Back webpage for frequently asked questions and resources.
Free COVID-19 Testing
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate and take an online assessment to register for a free test. You can take the assessment for yourself or a loved one. Get more information on COVID-19 testing in Austin, or go right to the online assessment. Call the Austin Public Health medical hotline at 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 if you need assistance completing the online assessment.

City of Austin Announcements

Resources for Residents City Update on Eviction Protection Order
Beginning June 1, 2021, landlords intending to issue a Notice to Vacate to tenants with 5 months or more of owed rent can register with the City of Austin's RENT Program. In accordance with Mayoral Order No. 20210527-030 (PDF), landlords are no longer prohibited from issuing a Notice to Vacate if their tenant has unpaid rent and has exhausted all available rental assistance remedies. Austinites in need of rental assistance can still apply to the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program.
City Seeks Community Members to Create New Historic Preservation Plan Focused on Heritage and Equity
The City of Austin invites community members to apply to help create a new Historic Preservation Plan focused on community and equity. All Austinites with an interest in local heritage are encouraged to apply to join the Preservation Plan Working Group to ensure that the group reflects our diverse community. Deadline to apply: June 14, 2021.
People gathering in Palm District to listen to live music
City Seeks Community Input for Palm District Planning Initiative
The City of Austin announced the Palm District Planning Initiative, a planning process to guide the future of one of downtown Austin's most iconic and fastest-growing districts. Visit the Palm District Planning Project Page for more information, register for virtual meetings, and share your input.
Austin Parks and Recreation Department Special Event Opportunity
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is seeking applications for a family-friendly and community-oriented Special Event at Fiesta Gardens – West End. Applicants must be qualified and experienced to organize and produce events for greater than 1,000 attendees. Applications accepted until 4:30 p.m. on June 14. To learn more and apply, visit the PARD Office of Special Events website.
Austin Water Expands Affordability Initiatives to include Multi-Family Customer Assistance
Austin Water announced that low income and vulnerable Austinites living in apartments and other multi-family dwellings will see a new credit on their monthly utility bill. Eligible participants will automatically receive a maximum $200 a year credit, which will appear on monthly billing statements as the Austin Water Multi-Family CAP Program Discount.
City of Austin modifying approach to harmful algae this summer
As the summer approaches, harmful algae may be more prevalent and more toxic than it was in the winter and spring. Dog owners should treat all algae as though it contained toxins and not allow their dogs to touch or ingest algae in any Central Texas waterways. Throughout the summer, the Watershed Protection Department will share water site testing results online at AustinTexas.gov/Algae.

Community Resources

Travis County Emergency Rental Assistance
The Travis County COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a rental assistance program designed to provide relief to low- and moderate-income households residing in Travis County that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Review eligibility and apply for Travis County Emergency Rental Assistance.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 Relief Options:
Getting Back on Track: Help is Here - Educational Webinar Series
The SBA & Public Private Strategies Institute are offering the Getting Back on Track educational webinar on June 24 at 2 p.m.Hear about what steps you can take now to learn and take advantage of new and existing programs that are available at the SBA.
$100M Community Navigator Pilot Program
The SBA is accepting applications for the new Community Navigator Pilot Program, which is open to nonprofit organizations, state, local, and tribal governments, SBA resource partners, and other community organizations. Applicants have until July 12 to submit applications at grants.gov. Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period.