Austin Launches New Incentives Aimed At Business Expansion

Small to Large Businesses Expanding in or Relocating to Austin Encouraged to Apply

AUSTIN, TX — Secure economic conditions are enhanced through City incentives that assist growing local and new companies by delivering new jobs and community benefits.
The City of Austin revamped the Chapter 380 Economic Development Policy in 2018 via Resolution No 20180830-056 and Ordinance No 20180830-057.  On August 30, 2018, Austin City Council approved three items to advance Austin’s new economic development vision:

  1. Economic Development Principles and Chapter 380 Policy
  2. Business Expansion Incentive Program for existing local business expansions, targeted hiring and external relocations
  3. Development of a Locational Enhancement Program

The City’s revamped performance-based incentives policy encourages comprehensive public-private partnerships for economic development as a result of two years of extensive community engagement, council direction and stakeholder feedback.
The new Business Expansion Incentives Program focuses on reflecting today’s economic conditions and addressing current community challenges, such as expanding the policy to include support for small businesses expanding within the city, incentives for employers seeking to hire economically and socio-economically disadvantaged individuals, and recruiting businesses from outside the City that provide community benefits beyond jobs, including transportation infrastructure, sustainable business operations, new opportunities for small, local, creative, and heritage businesses, equitable hiring practices and other beneficial connections with the local community.
Austin’s New Business Expansion Incentives Program Offers:

  • Expanded Eligibility: Local Austin companies adding at least 5 jobs and new-to-town companies adding at least 75 jobs are eligible to apply for the program; 
  • Reduced Barriers to Employment: Companies looking to add at least 1 employee, intern or apprentice recruited from a “targeted population” or individuals experiencing barriers to employment are eligible for additional per-job incentives;
  • Increased Community Benefits: Requirements established in the new guidelines ensure that company expansions incentivized by the City’s new program secure community benefits, pay a living wage for employees, and adhere to anti-discrimination/harassment practices among other requirements.

Incentives could take the form of a 3% annual return on the company’s payroll, a per-job incentive of up to $3,000 per job annually for providing jobs to those experiencing barriers to employment, or up to a 50% annual property tax reimbursement, and operational incentives such as fee reimbursements, cost coverage for expedited permitting and the provision of ombudsman services.

If an incentive proposal is recommended based on a favorable score for the project, City approval is estimated to be approximately 6 weeks, depending on the complexity of the company’s expansion project.

Growing companies interested in exploring potential incentives are encouraged to Submit an Inquiry Form on the Business Expansion Incentive Program homepage to initiate a discussion with City staff.


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  1. The state has also launched number of programs in order to attract business, these include Texas Enterprise Fund; a business incentive fund with an initial investment of $295 million, the purpose of the fund is to attract new businesses and assist substantial expansion of existing business within the state. Texas Enterprise Zone Program is another program launched by the state, aimed towards boosting capital investment and create more number of jobs in the state, under this program the benefits for large capital project can go as high as $5,000 or $7,000 per job.

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