Tourism, travel and hospitality companies that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for up to $20,000 in grant funding.

The Texas Travel Industry Recovery Grant program was launched in July 2022 after lawmakers allocated $180 million in federal funds to support struggling businesses during a 2021 special legislative session. The application opened in phases for a variety of business sectors.

On Jan. 23, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that more industries, including sightseeing and passenger transportation, would be eligible for funding. The next application phase begins Feb. 1, according to the program’s website.

Applicants from other industries, including those who were previously denied or may qualify for additional funding, can also apply. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the website.

In order to be eligible for a grant, businesses must be operated in Texas and have opened before Jan. 20, 2020.

“Travel and tourism are critical to both the Texas economy and local economies, supporting 1 in 10 jobs in Texas,” Abbott said in a news release. “All eligible tourism-related businesses in Texas are strongly encouraged to apply for this grant program.”