Texas Travel Industry Recovery Program Details
August 2023 Update:
The Texas Travel Industry Recovery Program (TTIRP) is reopening applications tomorrow in order to distribute approximately $70 million in unawarded funds from the original $180 million in COVID-19 relief funding for the hospitality industry. The TTIRP originally limited grants to $20,000 maximum per applicant. However, earlier this year the Texas Legislature authorized the reopening of applications for the TTIRP in order to distribute the unexpended grant funding remaining in the program. Approved applicants may now receive up to $250,000 per applicant/taxpayer ID (less any grant funding the applicant received in any earlier round of funding).
The application window for this new round of TTIRP funding opens tomorrow, September 1st at 9 a.m. Grants will be awarded on a first come/first served basis, and the Governor’s Office anticipates that this money will be quickly distributed. Applications are open to hotels, but also to all other applicants in the previous categories under the TTIRP (restaurants, bars, cinemas, arts, entertainment etc.). Therefore, we strongly recommend that you gather the necessary information and be prepared to file your application file your application at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.
The application process requires that an applicant show a loss in revenue in the years 2019-2020 or 2020-2021. The greatest annual year-over-year loss will determine the maximum amount of grant funding the applicant can receive. This loss is demonstrated by submitting either hotel occupancy tax reports, sales tax returns, franchise tax reports, or mixed beverage gross receipts reports for those periods.
The costs that are eligible for reimbursement under the TTIRP are those costs incurred as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as employee payroll and benefit expenses (other than unemployment and pension funds), utilities, and COVID-19 mitigation measures. Eligible costs must have been incurred between November 8, 2021, and the present.
For a full explanation of the application process and requirements please read our full update on the TTIRP here.
January 2023 Update:
After completing the initial rounds of applications for hotels, DMOs, restaurants, and other travel-related businesses, the Governor’s Office on Economic Development and Tourism is now opening up an additional application round for entities that have not previously received a Texas Travel Industry Recovery grant (TTIR).
Important points about the additional TTIR grant application round:
- The additional TTIR grant application round will commence on February 1, 2023, and the grant application round will remain open until TTIR Program staff close the round.
- The additional application round may give some businesses that did not fully complete a prior application an opportunity to gather required documentation and work with the TTIR staff to ensure the application process is complete.
- Business entities that previously received a TTIR grant are not eligible for a second grant, and the maximum amount of the grant remains capped at $20 thousand per applicant.
- The TTIR grant eligibility requirements remain the same as the requirements in the prior grant application rounds.
Information on the TTIR application process, webinars, and the application portal are available via this webpage.
August 11th Webinar: The Office of the Governor recorded a Webinar answering many of your questions. This can be found here.
The Texas Governor’s office released information on how to apply for recovery funding allocated to the State of Texas from the American Rescue Plan Act. THLA’s guidance on applying for the Texas Governor’s office grants that are available to the hotel and travel industry through the “Texas Travel Industry Recovery Program” (TTIRP) grant program is as follows:
The TTIRP was created by the Texas Governor’s office in order to distribute the federal relief funds appropriated by the Texas Legislature in 2021 to the Texas hospitality and travel industry. TTIRP grants are capped at $20,000 per applicant.
The goal of the TTIRP is to reimburse hospitality and travel-related businesses for losses they incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in early July of this year, the Governor’s office will begin accepting applications and distributing TTIRP funds to applicants in 5 phases. The deadlines for application vary depending on the type of business NAICS code attributable to that industry. There are 5 categories/phases for grants, each with associated NAICS codes that indicate the types of businesses that are within that category.
The Governor’s office has launched the TTIRP website providing further explanatory information, click here to access.
The deadlines pertinent to our membership are as follows:
- Category 1: Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVBs). A maximum $8,550,000 in total is allocated to this category. The TTIRP application window for category 1 is July 6th, 2022 – August, 7th, 2022.
- This window is now closed.
- We will work with the Governor’s Office to advocate for the eligibility of CVBs to secure this grant funding and keep you posted on the status.
- Category 3: Traveler Accommodations (Hotels and bed and breakfast establishments). A maximum of $42,750,000 in total is allocated to this category. The window for lodging entities to apply for these grants is between October 1, 2022, and October 22, 2022. The Governor’s office hosted a webinar on August 11, 2022, at 1 p.m. specifically for category 3 applicants (hotels) to further explain the application process for this category of TTIRP grants.
- Link to the Webinar can be found here.
Applicants for TTIRP grants must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible:
- Must be an entity with an associated NAICS code listed in one of the 5 governor’s office noted categories. Hotels fit under the NAICS Code that is associated with Category 3.
- Applicant must be a privately owned entity (no publicly traded companies). We anticipate that it will not be a disqualifying factor that a hotel is privately owned but associated with a publicly traded brand company.
- Applicant must operate within the state of Texas. If you operate a lodging business within Texas, you meet this criteria.
- Applicant must be a business that is open to the public or provides services primarily for in-person events. Again, Texas lodging businesses will meet this criteria.
- Applicant must be able to demonstrate a negative economic impact due to COVID-19. We are seeking clarification from the Governor’s office as to the method by which a hotel should show this “negative economic impact.” It appears that the Governor’s Office is likely to consider how your total sales numbers were impacted by COVID.
- The applicant’s business must have been in operation prior to January 20, 2020.
Application for TTIRP grants will be submitted through a web portal online.
The applications will be reviewed not only for eligibility, but also for accuracy and completeness. Therefore, it is imperative that applicants submit a complete application.
The Governor’s office indicated that the following documentation must be submitted along with your application. It is advisable that you begin gathering the following documents:
- Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Report (form 12-100) or Texas Sales and Use Tax Returns (form 01-117 or 01-114). These tax returns will be used to demonstrate losses and must be from the years 2019 and 2020, or 2020 and 2021.
- Most recent Federal Employer’s Quarterly Tax Form 941.
- Invoices for reimbursement. Please see the FAQ link for more information on other costs eligible for reimbursement under the TTRIP.
- Veteran’s service or benefits letter if applicable. Veteran’s status is not required to apply but will likely provide a higher eligibility score, and we are seeking clarification as to the application of this criteria if there are multiple owners of a hotel.
Priority will be given to applicants who did not previously receive any “federal assistance.” Receipt of a PPP loan is considered prior “federal assistance,” but it is not likely to be a disqualifying factor for receipt of this grant due to the sheer number of businesses that received PPP loans. However, it is possible that receipt of a prior PPP loan may have a de minimis impact on actual grant amounts.
A preference for grant awards is also provided for veteran-owned businesses, small businesses, and businesses in certain rural communities.
TTIRP grants are primarily intended to reimburse payroll and other expenses and losses incurred as a result of COVID-19. If these payroll and benefits costs do not amount to the $20,000 cap for grants, other costs associated with efforts to mitigate viral spread and promote guest health and safety against COVID-19 may also be an allowable expense under the TTIRP.
Additionally, the Governor’s office indicated that TTIRP grants may also be used to reimburse losses relating to certain rental and utility payments.
If approved, applicants will receive their grants via paper check in the mail.
The TTIRP website will include a step-by-step tutorial video regarding the application process as well as FAQ’s that will be geared to be helpful to applicants. Follow this link for the TTIRP home page.
THLA will keep you updated and issue further instructions as the program rules and criteria evolve.