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Without restaurants, bars or festivals, Austin's cottage industry of influencers gets creative

A laid-off service industry worker gets a free meal at Old Thousand thanks to Hundred For Hospitality, a local fund created by influencer Jane Ko. (Jane Ko)

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Last month, in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, Austin Mayor Steve Adler canceled South by Southwest and ordered the closure of all restaurants and bars in the city. While generally praised for his decision, Adler essentially shut down the city's hospitality industry at a time when it usually sees its highest sales.

Since then, many restaurants have pivoted to curbside delivery and selling bulk staples. But others have laid off staff or closed permanently. Cottage industries built around the city's dining scene have also been deeply impacted.

"I'm not making income," said Jane Ko, who runs the Austin food and travel blog A Taste of Koko. "I lost all of my projects, too."

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Residents at downtown apartment complex living without power two weeks after downed power lines

(Sam Goldsmith)

A fallen conduit at The Northshore apartment complex, 110 San Antonio St., has displaced residents in 439 apartments for the past two weeks.

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