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Small Business Grants In Austin Texas

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Are you interested in growing your small business? Grants are available for small businesses including home-based businesses and those functioning under a sole proprietorship in Austin, Texas, that need financial assistance from both the government and private organizations including government agencies and individual investors. Eligible businesses can consider the following grants while preparing their grant application. Here, we mention a few funding opportunities and business development programs that can provide grants in small business growth.

Business Expansion Incentive Program

Providing incentives to businesses that expand their operations is part of the Business Expansion Incentive Program. Businesses in Austin, employers hiring targeted populations, and businesses relocating to Austin are identifying and qualifying high-impact projects through the Economic Development Department, which often works with technical colleges to foster business growth in the public community.

You will be guided through the application process by staff who will help answer any questions you may have including those about annual revenues and financial statement requirements. A number of programs may apply to your project.

Local Austin Business

Apart from direct grants, your business might be eligible for business incentives programs, which can offer significant savings over time, aiding in the stability of your business operations. While planning your finances, keep an eye on potential savings on business tax returns.

  • Up to 3% Wages Reimbursement Per Job / Per Year (max $1,800)
  • Up to 50% Property Tax Reimbursement

Your business must meet the following requirements to qualify for the above benefits:

  • You must be registered and operating within Austin city limits for at least a year
  • Create at least 5 jobs over 5 years paying at least the City of Austin's living wage

Targeted Hiring

Employers who hire people with disabilities will qualify for the following incentives:

  • Up to $3,000 Per Target Job / Per Year 
  • Up to 50% Property Tax Reimbursement

Your business must meet the following requirements to qualify for the benefits described above:

  • Create one job for targeted populations, or those with barriers to employment
  • Pay them at least the City of Austin living wage


You will be eligible for the following incentives if you relocate to Austin:

  • Up to 3% Wages Reimbursement Per Job / Per Year (max $1,800)
  • Up to 50% Property Tax Reimbursement

Your business must meet the following requirements to qualify for the benefits described above:

  • No current City of Austin“significant presence” (5 or fewer Austin employees)
  • Creation of at least 75 jobs over ten years paying at least City of Austin living wage

Zero Waste Business Rebate

As part of the Zero Waste Business Rebate program, the City of Austin offers businesses incentives to expand and improve their waste reduction and diversion programs. A business that meets the minimum requirements of the Universal Recycling Ordinance can receive up to $3,000 in rebates for reducing waste beyond the minimum requirements.

Rebate Options 

You can choose from the following rebate options under the Zero Waste Business Rebate program.

  1. Divert organic waste and start composting. Commercial hauling services and indoor composting are both eligible expenses.
  2. You can expand your food rescue infrastructure by buying equipment and donating more food.
  3. Instead of single-use plastic, use reusable items, such as cups, bags, straws, and to-go items.
  4. Reuse single-use items instead of buying single-use items.
  5. Residents of multifamily properties should have access to indoor recycling bins.  

Eligibility Criteria

If your business, non-profit organization, or multifamily building meets all of the following criteria, you are eligible for a rebate:

The Rebate Process

For the rebate process to work, there are four steps involved. It is important to go through all four steps in order.

  1. Check Eligibility And Apply For The Rebate
  • Submit a rebate application after reviewing the rebate terms and conditions.
  • Make a virtual or in-person site visit.
  • Get approval for your application.
  1. Make eligible purchases of supplies and services.
  • For pre-approved materials and services, submit detailed receipts and invoices.
  1. Obtain reimbursement check
  • Receive your rebate check eight to ten weeks after submitting your payment information.
  1. Complete exit interview
  • Discuss with City staff any successes, challenges, and lessons learned from your diversion efforts in a post-distribution exit interview by phone or in person. After the City issues the final rebate payment, the interview must happen within six months.

Rebate Limitations

The following are some limitations to rebates that you can receive.

  • A suitable location cannot receive more than $3,000 in rebates.
  • An owner or management company may use rebate funds at one property per fiscal year.
  • Private haulers are required to provide collection services.
  • There is no guarantee of rebate funds. The program funds each category of eligible expenses. Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no provision for reservations or rainchecks.

Small and Minority Business Resources

Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Procurement Programs are administered by the Small & Minority Business Resources Department (SMBR). The City of Austin Minority Business Program provides economic opportunity to small, minority, and women-owned businesses.


Funds nonprofit organizations that lend money to small businesses that are in business for at least one year do not have bankruptcies on their records, don't have access to commercial loans and have other sources of income. They lend between $500 and $25,000 to businesses.

Business Investment Growth, BiGAUSTIN

In Central Texas, the CDFI provides loan and training programs for small businesses, especially those owned by minorities and women. Start-ups may borrow up to $15,000, while established businesses may borrow up to $50,000.


PeopleFund is an independent nonprofit corporation with a 501(c)3 tax-exempt status, a US Treasury-approved Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and a Small Business Administration (SBA) certified lender. Its small business loan program lends up to $250,000 to Texas-based businesses that do not qualify for bank loans. Additionally, business education and assistance services are provided to clients.

US Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several programs specifically designed to assist small businesses in getting loans from lending institutions. The application procedure for an SBA loan is the same as any other loan application, and you must supply all the pertinent records that are required, as described above.

Small Business Investment Company (SBIC)

Small Business Investment Companies, or SBICs, are small investment companies owned and managed by private parties and are licensed by the SBA to make venture capital investments in small businesses using their capital, along with funds borrowed at favorable interest rates with the assistance of the SBA.

Texas Angel Investors

Find out which Texas angel networks are near where you live on the Alliance of Texas Angel Networks website. An angel investor is an individual who provides equity financing to start-ups, entrepreneurs, and young, fast-growing companies. Normally, angel investors give the companies stock in exchange for their money.

Non-Profit Lenders

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are not-for-profit institutions that lend money to communities. In addition to favorable conditions, such as low-interest rates, they also provide advice, mentoring, and workshops. The majority of the loans they provide are to women, minority and disadvantaged businesses. The following are some of the non-profit lenders based in Texas:

Find your nearest CDFI using the online locator.

Product Development and Small Business Incubator Fund

This program provides long-term, asset-backed loans for product development companies specializing in manufacturing, specifically through the Product Development and Small Business Incubator Fund (PDSBI). Program objectives are focused on assisting in the development of new or improved products in the state and helping them be produced, marketed, and commercialized.

Amber Grant

Women who are planning to start or expand their businesses have the opportunity to apply for the Amber Grant. At least one grant of $2,000, and sometimes more, is awarded each month by the WomensNet judges. All winners from the previous year are automatically entered for a $25k grand prize at the end of the year. If you win the grand prize for the year, you could walk away with $27,000. You simply have to share your story and you're in. While there are no long applications to fill out, you still need to make an impact to stand out from the other applicants.

Women’s Fund from the Austin Community Fund

The Austin Community Fund established the Women's Fund to assist women and children in the community. Since its establishment, the fund has granted over $1.6 million. With this grant, the Women's Fund will award $250,000 to non-profit organizations working to help women with housing, child care, unintended pregnancy prevention, and innovation in Travis, Burnet, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, and Williamson counties. Therefore, non-profits in these counties can assist you with financial support.

The USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program

This grant is intended to support the growth and expansion of small businesses in rural areas of Texas — minority-owned or not. You’ll need to have 50 or fewer employees and less than $1 million in revenue to be eligible. Also, you have to be located in an eligible rural area.

Generally, these grants range from $10,000 to $500,000. So we can use them for different purposes. Applications are accepted through the USDA’s Rural Development’s state offices annually.

Small businesses in rural areas of Texas, regardless of whether they are minority-owned, are eligible to apply for this grant. Applicants must have fewer than 50 employees and a revenue of less than $1 million to qualify. Applicants must also live in an eligible rural location.

Typically, these grants range between $10,000 and $500,000 and they can be used for a variety of purposes. USDA's Rural Development accepts applications through its state offices on an annual basis.

Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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