Save Austin Venues

AUSTIN LIVE MUSIC VENUE PRESERVATION FUND 

The City of Austin Economic Development Department launched the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund. The Austin City Council established the $15 million Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) Fund through Ordinance No. 20201001-052. Austin City Council adopted the final guidelines for the $5 million Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund on December 3, 2020 via Resolution No. 20200103-013.

As part of a partnership with the City of Austin, the Long Center for the Performing Arts will provide application assistance, process applications, and administer grant funds. 

PHASE 2: ENHANCED FUNDING

Phase 1 grant recipients are eligible to apply for up to $140,000 in additional grant funding in Phase 2: Enhanced Funding. It is important to note that not all applicants who qualify for Phase 2 will receive an award. 

Grant recipients must complete a technical assistance evaluation and an Equity Strategic Plan to receive the Phase 2 funding. The funding will be distributed in monthly payments with a maximum of $40,000 per month.  

PDF WITH INFORMATION FOR PHASE 2 APPLICANTS

PROGRAM METRICS

HELPFUL RECOVERY RESOURCES: 

  • City of Austin’s ATXRecovers.com – A one-stop resource to help businesses and individuals recover from the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Austin COVID-19 Information
  • City of Austin Economic Development Department’s Small Business Resources Directory — Database of local, state, federal, and community resources. Filter by “Disaster Relief” to find immediate support for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FAQs

When will the submission portal open for Phase 2?

The portal opens today, February 24 at 1pm. 

When can I start uploading documents to the portal?

As soon as the portal is open. 

What if I don’t have all the information required for the portal submission documents?

The submission portal will allow for applicants to save their progress and return to an application as the need arises. In addition, venues can also invite multiple people to assist in completing the application (e.g., an owner can collaborate with their accountant on the same application.) For more information, please consult the Submittable tutorial on collaboration. 

The Long Center sent communication to all eligible venues on February 10 to allow venues some time to gather the required documentation. Documentation needed for a complete application includes: 

  • 2018 and 2019 Tax Returns (as applicable, depending on dates of operation)
  • Revenue Detail Statement for 2019 and 2020 BY MONTH 
  • Most recent 12-month Profit and Loss Statement 
  • Balance Sheet dated as of the most recent 12-month Profit and Loss Statement 
  • 940/941’s for 2019 and 2020 (as applicable, depending on dates of operation) 
  • Calculation of eligible monthly expenses for 2019 and 2020 (as applicable, depending on date of operation) and supporting documentation.

Are one-on-one Zoom sessions available?

Yes, please email the Long Center at saveaustinvenues@thelongcenter.org and we can schedule some time to provide assistance. 

ELIGIBILITY & AWARD

Who is eligible for Phase 2 Enhanced Grant Funding?

Phase 2 Enhanced Grant Funds are limited to Phase 1 Emergency Grant recipients. 

If I am representing multiple venues, do I register more than once?

Each venue will be required to submit an individual application through the submission portal. If you are representing multiple venues for the purposes of the Equity Strategic Plan workshops, please contact the Long Center so that we can coordinate that information with the City of Austin Economic Development Department. 

If I’m not approved for Phase 2 funding, am I eligible for the Legacy grant?

No, if you received an emergency grant from the Preservation Fund Phase 1, you’re not eligible for the Legacy grant. 

How are applicants ranked for Phase 2 funding?

Some questions venues are asked to answer through the submission portal will be scored according to the scoring matrix. 

Is the $140,000 Phase 2 Enhanced Funding maximum total award inclusive of the $20,000  initial Phase 1 Emergency Grant?

No, the total maximum award for Phase 2 is not inclusive of the initial $20,000 Emergency Grant funding. 

What types of expenses will be used to determine the Phase 2 monthly disbursements?

The Program Guidelines adopted by City Council allow for the following types of expenses to be utilized to calculate your maximum eligible monthly award: 

  • Rent or mortgage for commercial property, including triple net leases 
  • Utilities 
  • Payroll, payroll taxes, and employee benefit programs such as health and life insurance 
  • Technology and software
  • Sanitation/cleaning services or supplies
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases/rentals
  • Business and commercial property insurance
  • Permits and regulatory fees
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Professional services (i.e., CPA, attorney, brokerage, payroll services, etc.)
  • Property taxes

Can repair expenses from the recent 2021 winter storm be counted?

Unfortunately, repair expenses for 2021 cannot be counted this calculation. The information requested, and outlined in the Program Guidelines, is for 2019 & 2020. 

What’s the difference between a 12-month trailing P&L and a year-to-year P&L?

A trailing Profit and Loss statement is a point in time report (i.e., February — January) whereas traditional Profit and Loss statements are typically developed based on a business’s fiscal calendar (i.e., January — December.) 

How is “percent of revenue from live music” defined?

Any revenue that is associated with live music performance (i.e., door/bar sales, ancillary sales that support live music, etc.) should be used to calculate this percentage. Please email us about specific questions and we can assist on a case-by-case basis. 

What is the scoring matrix?

Every application will be evaluated against program criteria and eligibility. Applications submitted will be awarded against a scoring matrix that includes criteria vulnerability (those businesses most in danger of failing) and impact (those businesses whose failure would have the greatest detrimental impact on the city’s civic infrastructure, economic recovery, and preservation of its unique culture, character, and brand.) 

For distribution of funds, 100% of the program funding will be allocated to applicants that score the highest according to this matrix. 

SCORING MATRIX CATEGORIES AND CRITERIA

Vulnerability (135 points) 

  • Revenue decline
  • Working capital
  • Additional revenue streams
  • Percentage of revenue represented by live music 
  • Revenue impact of Spring Festival Season

Impact (48 points) 

  • Income from touring show
  • Live, paid daily performances with local musicians
  • Staffing and wages
  • Venue infrastructure investments
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Ticketing and vendors 

EQUITY STRATEGIC PLAN 

What is Equity Strategic Plan?

The Equity Strategic Plan identifies opportunities for venues to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion. As outlined in the program guidelines approved by the Austin City Council on October 15, 2020, each Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund grant recipients is required to complete an Equity Strategic Plan before applying for Phase 2: Enhanced Funding. Grant recipients will receive equity consulting services at no cost. 

The Equity Strategic Plan workshop sessions were rescheduled, do I need to re-register for the rescheduled online sessions?

As of 02/23, the City of Austin was able to carry over your registrations for these workshops. If you have questions or need to reschedule your registration, please contact atxrecovers@austintexas.gov

Am I required to attend all three Equity Strategic Plan workshop sessions?

Yes. You must attend all three workshop sessions in order to continue to receive a monthly payment, if you are awarded grant funding. 

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

What is technical assistance?

Technical assistance services are available at no cost to Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund recipients. Services include: legal and accounting services; real estate advice and guidance on lease negotiations; and other professional services and long-term planning from community experts. 

Am I required to complete technical assistance?

As outlined in the program guidelines approved by the Austin City Council on October 15, 2020, every Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund grant recipient is required to complete a technical assistance evaluation before receiving payment for Phase 2: Enhanced Funding. 

For eligibility questions and application assistance, contact the Long Center at saveaustinvenues@thelongcenter.org or by phone 512-457-5181.

Visit www.ATXRecovers.com to find helpful resources for businesses and individuals recovering from the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.