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You can also access the Pre-Application Eligibility Questionnaire in pdf form here. (Note: you must open this document in Adobe Acrobat to use the e-sign option. Otherwise, you may print and sign the application.)
Deadline extended: Pre-apply by July 10th!

Help is here for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We know that many small businesses have had to go it on their own, and we’re here to keep you strong with grants up to $40,000 for qualifying businesses that are located in Travis County but outside the Austin city limits.

Please read all the information below, and then follow the link to submit your Pre-Application Eligibility Questionnaire before July 10th, 2020.

Program Overview


You can also access the Pre-Application Eligibility Questionnaire in pdf form here. (Note: you must open this document in Adobe Acrobat to use the e-sign option. Otherwise, you may print and sign the application.)


BCL of Texas is partnering with TravisCounty to launch the Travis County (TCTX) Thrive Small Business Program to offer grants of up to $40,000 to qualifying businesses that have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses will need to complete a pre-application to determine if they’re eligible for the program. If eligible, businesses will be invited to submit a full application. If awarded, the businesses who participate in TCTX Thrive Small Business Program will work with BCL’s small business coaches to create a Business Continuity Plan and will receive no-cost business coaching throughout the program period.

Travis County is providing these grants through the Coronavirus Relief Fund via the CARES Act. The Travis County Commissioners Court approved funding for this new small business grant program due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19

How to get started with this program:

  1. Before you begin, you must read all program guidelines on this webpage.
  2. Submit the Pre-Application Eligibility Determination before July 10th, 2020.
  3. Review application checklist and begin gathering required documents (the documents on this checklist are not required for the pre-application - this is just to help you prepare for when the full application opens).
  4. After the pre-eligibility period closes, qualified businesses will be invited to submit a complete application.

We have a dedicated team available to respond to questions. For more information, you can call us at 512-994-2280 or email us at info@traviscountythrive.com.

Businesses must submit the Pre-Application Eligibility Determination before July 10th in order to participate in this program. Please continue on to review the eligibility information below, and then follow the link to submit your Pre-Application Eligibility Questionnaire before July 10th, 2020.

Eligibility Guidelines & Qualified Expenses

What Businesses Are Eligible?

Eligible Businesses:

  • Businesses located and headquartered within Travis County and further, located in unincorporated Travis County, in any city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), or in another city or village within the county outside the City of Austin incorporated limits.
  • The business address identified on legal documents is used to determine the location of the business.
  • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments. If on a payment plan, must be current. Exceptions may be made for businesses that have outstanding recent quarter 941s or sales tax reports to the Texas Comptroller due to financial difficulties related to COVID-19.
  • Have been in business since March 1, 2019
  • Fewer than 25 Full Time Equivalent Employees on March 1, 2020
  • Maximum net income of $500,000 annually
  • Businesses that use a Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Ineligible Businesses:

  • Businesses located in the City of Austin incorporated limits
  • Businesses located outside Travis County
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Self-employed contractor or gig worker eligible for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) using Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS)
  • National franchises (locally-owned franchises ARE eligible)
  • Pyramid concerns
  • Gambling concerns, including casinos, racing operations or other activities whose purpose involves gambling
  • Pawn shops
  • Real estate developers
  • Investors
  • Government entities/departments
  • Hobby businesses
  • Sexually oriented businesses (live performances, product sales, items or materials)
  • Business started on or after March 2, 2019
  • Businesses owned or partially owned by elected officials
  • Concerns engaged in illegal activities
  • Political and lobbying concerns
  • Religious organizations
  • Business suspended or debarred from doing work with the federal government
  • Predatory lending businesses (businesses that provide loans for more than legal maximum or more than 10% per annum including all interest, fees and charges)

What Expenses Can Be Reimbursed?

Eligible Expenses:

  • Expenses from March 1, 2020 to November 30, 2020
  • Rent, lease or mortgage payment for real property used for business purposes, like storefront or warehouse
  • Rent, lease or purchase payment for business property (e.g., delivery vehicle; food truck; kitchen equipment; technology, payment, and communications systems and equipment)
  • New or expanded technology applications and WiFi services
  • Utility payments for business properties
  • Supplier and Vendor payments
  • PPE, sanitation supplies and equipment, testing for employees
  • Eligible Taxes and Fees (specifics to be identified in the invoicing materials)
  • Payroll expenses

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Lobbying for any purpose
  • Repayment of loans or debt unrelated to needs created by COVID-19 disaster and Eligible Uses of Grant Proceeds
  • Payment of partial mortgage/utility costs based on IRS rules for home-based businesses
  • Certain taxes and fees including those that are considered revenue for federal, state or local government
  • Any other costs that are determined ineligible through continued release of federal guidance since the guidance on this funding is updated frequently

What Else Should I know?

Businesses that participate in the TCTX Thrive Small Business Program must meet performance requirements that are designed to help businesses stay in operation and stay strong and viable.

Performance Requirements:

  • Documented Business Continuity Plan submitted to BCL of Texas
  • Monthly documentation of continued business operations submitted to BCL of Texas
  • Documentation confirming receipt of business/individual and business asset building coaching with BCL of Texas
  • Documentation confirming status of business 12 months post grant award submitted to BCL of Texas

Complete the Pre-Application Eligibility Questionnaire

Click below to submit your Pre-Application Eligibility Questionnaire, using either our online portal or by filling out the pdf version and emailing it to info@traviscountythrive.com


You can also access the Pre-Application Eligibility Questionnaire in pdf form here. (Note: you must open this document in Adobe Acrobat to use the e-sign option. Otherwise, you may print and sign the application.)

FAQs

Funding

How much funding will I receive?
All eligible expenses up to $40,000 will be reimbursed for expenses from March 1, 2020, to November 30, 2020.

For what time period are expenses eligible?
You may request reimbursement for eligible expenses from March 1, 2020 to November 30, 2020.

What expenses are eligible?

  • Rent, lease or mortgage payment for real property used for business purposes, like storefront or warehouse
  • Rent, lease or purchase payment for business property (e.g., delivery vehicle; food truck; kitchen equipment; technology, payment, and communications systems and equipment)
  • New or expanded technology applications and WiFi services
  • Utility payments for business properties
  • Supplier and Vendor payments
  • PPE, sanitation supplies and equipment, testing for employees
  • Eligible Taxes and Fees (specifics to be identified in the invoicing materials)
  • Payroll expenses

Can I use grant funds to pay my employees?
Yes.

Can I use grant funds to pay for product and inventory?
You may pay supplier or vendor costs.

Must expenses be new expenses directly related to covid-19 to be able to be eligible?
They must be directly related to covid-19 impacts or solutions to address business changes related to covid-19.

When will I receive funding?
Decisions around who receives an award will be made on or about July 24th. After execution of the contract, you may request reimbursement for eligible expenses from March 1, 2020 to November 30, 2020.

How long will reimbursement take?
Approximately 30 days from a correct invoice.

Am I required to keep the same number of employees to stay eligible?
No, this program is not dependent on keeping employees on staff.

What if I don’t have cash flow now to make these purchases and be reimbursed later?
If you have expenses that can be reimbursed from March 1, 2020, that may provided the needed cash flow to provide funding to make purchases. Those purchases, if an eligible use, can be requested in a subsequent month’s reimbursement request.

I spent a lot of money on some of these things before applying for this grant.
That’s okay! Eligible expenses can be reimbursed going back to March 1, 2020, with appropriate documentation.

I run my business from my home. Can I use this program for my home mortgage or utilities?
No. Only properties that are used exclusively for business purposes are eligible.

What if I lose my receipts / pay with cash?
Documentation is required for reimbursement.

If a business received PPP and used up those funds by May and wants to apply for the CRF funded small business program for expenses related to what PPP wouldn’t pay from March - May and all eligible expenses from June - November, it that considered duplicative assistance?
Provided it is not for the same time period or same expenses, this would not be considered duplicative assistance.


Geographic Eligibility

What if my business is in Travis County but I live in the City of Austin?
It depends. If you have a storefront, the business address must be in Travis County outside the Austin city limits. If it is in the Austin city limits, it is not eligible. If your business does not have a storefront, we will review where your business is officially registered. If it is registered in the Austin city limits, it is not eligible.

Please note, we may ask additional questions or request additional documentation to verify geographic eligibility.

What if my business is in Austin but I live in Travis County?
It depends. If you have a storefront, the business address must be in Travis County outside the Austin city limits. If it is in the Austin city limits, it is not eligible. If your business does not have a storefront, we will review where your business is officially registered. If it is registered in the Austin city limits, it is not eligible.

What if my business is in the eligible area, but my service area is outside of Travis County?
Your service area must include Travis County but may extend beyond Travis County.

What if my business address is in the eligible area, but I do a lot of business within the City of Austin?
As long as your service area includes areas within Travis County but outside Austin city limits, your business is eligible.

I run my business out of my home, which is an eligible area, but it’s technically registered with a City of Austin address. Am I eligible?
We will review where your business is officially registered. If there is not a storefront, the address where the business is registered is what will be considered for eligibility; therefore, it is not eligible.

Are businesses located in the Extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of Austin eligible?
Yes, as long as your business is not registered to an address within the incorporated area of City of Austin limits.

Is a business with an address in Cedar Park, Elgin, Leander, Mustang Ridge, Pflugerville, or Round Rock eligible?
It depends. These cities are partly within Travis County and partly within other counties. If your business address is located within Travis County, you are eligible.

Is a business with an address in Anderson Mill, Bee Cave, Bluff Springs, Briarcliff, Cele, Creedmoor, Del Valle, Elroy, Garfield, Hornsby Bend, Hudson Bend, Jonestown, Lago Vista, Lakeway, Littig, Lost Creek, Lund, Manchaca, Manor, McNeil, New Sweden, Onion Creek, Point Venture, Rollingwood, San Leanna, Shady Hollow, Sunset Valley, The Hills, Volente, Webberville, Wells Branch, West Lake Hills, or Windemere eligible?
Yes. These areas are all within Travis County but outside of the Austin city limits, so they are eligible.

Is a business with an address in an unincorporated part of Travis County eligible?
Yes, unincorporated areas of Travis County are eligible.


Other Eligibility Questions

How do I apply if I have multiple businesses, or multiple locations for one business?
Each business owner may only submit one application, regardless of the number of locations or businesses.

My business has multiple locations. Can I submit an application for each location?
No, each business owner may only submit one application.

Do I have to submit the items on the Application Checklist now?
No. We’re providing this list now so that businesses can begin preparing documents they will need to submit the full application if they are eligible to apply. For the Pre-Application Eligibility period now through July 10th, you only need to submit the 8-question eligibility form and disclosure form.

I used to have more than 25 employees but now I have fewer. Am I eligible?
You must have had 25 or fewer employees as of March 1. 2020 to be eligible.

I used to have fewer than 25 employees but now I have more. Am I eligible?
You must have had 25 or fewer employees as of March 1. 2020 to be eligible.

I have 25 or more employees, but some of them are part-time. Am I eligible?
You might be. You are eligible if your total workforce adds up to fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees.

My business is a sole proprietorship / I am the only employee. Am I eligible?
Yes, single employee businesses are eligible as long as you are not a contractor or gig worker eligible for unemployment under the CARES act.

For what year is net income considered for eligibility?
2019.

How will you determine net income?
Net Income will be reviewed from the business 2019 tax return.

I own a franchise, but it is independently owned. Am I eligible?
Yes, independently owned franchises are eligible for this program.

Am I eligible with an ITIN?
It depends. The registered business must have an ITIN and the owner must be a permanent resident to qualify.

Why are only permanent residents eligible?
This program is based on federal funding and is therefore subject to federal guidelines, which is where the residency requirement comes from. This was not a local decision.

Contact Us

Our customer service team is here to answer your questions about the TCTX Thrive Small Business Program. We have dedicated staff to help you in English and Spanish, and can provide help in other languages upon request.

Call us: 512-994-2280

Email us: info@traviscountythrive.com