Cultural and Tourism Grant Fund

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Cultural and Tourism Fund – Small Business and Non-Profit Grant Program


The City of Brownsville (COB) has received $65.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to combat the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 in the community. Many non-profit arts and cultural organizations and tourism related organizations had to cease operations or had their operations severely diminished due to the mandated closures. As such, the City of Brownsville has elected to allocate up to $2.62 million of its ARPA funding to help rebuild Brownsville, non-profit arts and cultural organizations, and organizations that attract tourism to the City of Brownsville. Round one of the grant program awarded $1.29 million to eight organizations. Round two of the program awarded $866,529.66 to four organizations. The Cultural and Tourism Grant Fund has a remaining balance of $460,117.12.

The City of Brownsville recognizes that other for-profit small businesses and not-for-profit organizations in the City were impacted by COVID-19 in ways that were similar to the impacts on the culture and tourism area. As a recipient of the “American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds” (CSLFRF), the City of Brownsville has determined it is in the best interests of the community to use the remaining portion of this assistance to establish a small business grant initiative known as the City of Brownsville Small Business and Non-Profit Grant Program. Under the CSLFRF, the City is permitted to direct federal recovery dollars to small for-profit businesses and not-for-profit businesses/organizations so that they may use the grant funds to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The final rule presumes that an expanded set of households and communities are “impacted” or “disproportionately impacted” by the pandemic, thereby allowing recipients to provide responses to a broad set of households and entities without requiring additional analysis. This includes businesses and non-profits operating in low-income census tracts and allows the City to designate other disproportionately impacted areas.

The City of Brownsville has deemed previous awardees ineligible to receive funding for the third round of the grant funding, under the Cultural and Tourism Grant Fund. Previous awards were based on demonstrated economic harm and in an effort to maximize the impact of the Cultural and Tourism Grant within the community; the City of Brownsville encourages organizations not previously awarded to apply. The City of Brownsville will administer the program and will make the final determination on award and award amounts.

The Program will target businesses located in low-income census tracts and census tracts that had a high rate of COVID-19 infection during the pandemic. These businesses are considered disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and thus eligible for assistance. For the purposes of this grant, the term small business will apply to both for profit businesses and not-for-profit organizations and 501c3 organizations within the City of Brownsville. 

All costs must not be covered by any other Federal emergency funding (CARES Act, SVOG, PPP, ARP, etc.) and must comply with any Guidance, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers issued by the federal government or the State of Texas, which includes without limitation, the US Treasury. For Assistance, the US Department of Treasury’s guidance on the Coronavirus Relief Fund can be found as follows:

You may apply using the following link:  GW 20/20 User Registration Portal (Application Portal)

Application Information: 

The application will be available starting Wednesday, January 24, 2024. Deadline to submit a completed application is Monday, February 26, 2024 at 5PM Central Standard Time. Failure to meet the submission deadline will preclude a proposal from consideration by the City of Brownsville. Additionally, two informative sessions will be held to provide technical assistance and to answer general questions regarding the completion of the application. 

Brownsville Qualified Census Tract & High Infection Rate Interactive Map:

Informative Session 1

The informative session 1 meeting will be held in person at the Brownsville Public Library Main Branch located at 2600 Central Blvd, Brownsville, Texas 78520 on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.

  • English session will be held at 10AM
  • Spanish session will be held at 2PM

Informative Session 2

The second informative session will be held in person at the Brownsville Public Library Southmost Branch located at 4320 Southmost Rd, Brownsville, Texas 78521 on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

  • English session will be held at 10AM 
  • Spanish session will be held at 2PM 

For any questions regarding this application, please contact Olga Moya, Grant Manager at [email protected].