Small Business

$32.44 Million in ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF)

Two working women in aprons

On February 3, 2022, the City Council allocated this funding for Small Business. The originally allocated amount of $26.25 million was augmented with City funds for a total investment of $30.95 million. The City Council designated the Economic & Workforce Development Committee (EWDC) to oversee the implementation planning for this category.

The EWDC considered the Small Business Advisory Commission (SBAC) Investment Portfolio recommendation over the course of several meetings. The implementation plans were approved by the EWDC on June 15, 2022. On June 23, 2022, the City Council approved the two-phase implementation plan.

  • Phase I - The first phase focused on the deployment of the COVID Impact Grants program. The COVID Impact Grants program provided access to capital, associated outreach, and technical assistance. This phase began in July 2022 and concluded on January 13, 2023.
  • Phase II - The second phase began in August 2022. Phase II prioritizes programs in the Capacity Building, Ecosystem Enhancements, and Localism strategies. Implementation of programs in the Geographic Placemaking strategy will coincide with the completion of the City’s Economic Development Department’s Strategic Planning Initiative.

On February 8, 2023, the City Council was provided an update on the COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency Plan and the ARPA SLFRF Program, including available balances from the combined competitive process, program savings, and interest earned.

The City Council directed the available balances to be further discussed at a Governance Committee meeting. On February 15, 2023, the Governance Committee approved $1.5 million to be added to the on-going application process for COVID-19 Construction Grants for Small Business that opened on February 13, 2023, for a total investment in this category of $32.44 million.

On April 6, 2023, the City Council approved awards for five agencies under Phase II of the Small Business plan for the following programs: Growth Fund, Back Office Support, Web Presence, and Ecosystem.

Spending Framework

The spending plan provides impact grants to small businesses that have been most affected by COVID-19. Those small businesses may receive grants ranging from $25,000 up to $45,000. Additionally, small businesses may receive access to capital. Access to capital is one of the greatest needs of small businesses owned by minority groups. Access to capital provides the opportunity for transformational change to small businesses. Other programs include ecosystem enhancements, localism, and geographic placemaking.

The original implementation plan(PDF, 358KB) was approved by the City Council on June 23, 2022. The City Council approved a revised implementation plan on March 8, 2023.

View Current Implementation Plan(PDF, 117KB)

Strategy / Program Amount
Access to Capital
  • COVID Impact Grants - $17 Million
  • COVID Impact Grants Outreach and Marketing - $625,000
  • Growth Fund Loan/Grants - $750,000
  • COVID-19 Construction Recovery Grants - $3.75 Million
$22.12 Million
Capacity Building
  • Launch SA Improvements - $300,000
  • Back Office Support Program - $750,000
  • Web Presence Program - $550,000
$1.60 Million
Ecosystem Enhancements
  • Implementation of Pillars Identified in the SA Ecosystem Report
$3.00 Million
  • Buy Local Program Implementation & Operations Support
Geographic Placemaking
  • Operation Facelift - $3 Million
  • Outdoor Spaces Program - $1.25 Million
  • Corridor Program Pilot - $1 Million
$5.25 Million
Total $32.44 Million

NOTE: $1.5 Million added from ARPA SLFRF income.

Small Business Grants

The City of San Antonio has enacted various grant programs to support small businesses in our community since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. View a summary of grant awards and a list of grant recipients(PDF, 638KB) , which includes the ARPA COVID Impact Grants Program for small businesses. The COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency Plan grants programs of Micro Business & Nonprofit, Hospitality, Loan Forgiveness, and Broadway & Alamo Plaza TIRZ are also included in this document.

COVID-19 / Construction Recovery Grants

The COVID-19/Construction Recovery Grants Program offers targeted relief to small businesses impacted by both COVID-19 and prolonged construction-related loss of revenues tied to specific City-initiated projects. Qualifying businesses may receive up to $35,000 in grant funding to help offset demonstrated losses in 2022 compared to 2021. For more information, review the Economic Development Department’s website.

Request for Proposals (RFPs)

RFP #1 Timeline

  • Aug. 18, 2022: Release of RFP seeking proposals from qualified respondents providing small business development programs focused on the growth fund, capacity building, ecosystem enhancements, and Buy Local.
  • Oct. 21, 2022: RFP closes.
  • Nov. - Dec. 2022: RFP evaluation and scoring. Small businesses identified for proposed contract awards.
  • March 8, 2023: City Council briefing on recommended contract awards.
  • April 6, 2023: City Council approval of contract awards.
  •  April 2023 - Dec. 2025: Following City Council approval, contracts are anticipated to run.

RFP #2 Timeline

  • May - June 2023: Release of RFP for Façade Improvement and Outdoor Spaces.
  • April 2023: Economic & Development Department conducts awareness outreach and marketing.
  • July 2023: Application reviews. 
  • Late July 2023: Outdoor Spaces grants to be awarded.
  • Aug. 2023: Façade Improvement grants to be awarded.

NOTE: A rolling application period will commence if any funding remains.

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