Small businesses have struggled through a long and arduous year, working to keep their livelihood afloat in a sea of uncertainty. This holiday season poses the opportunity to not only give gifts to your favorite people but also give back to your favorite local artists, Austin icons and small businesses.
So skip the line and shop small. There are hundreds of businesses to support around Austin, so if nothing here strikes a chord, visit the Austin Independent Business Alliance directory for more.
The Austin Winery
The Austin Winery, located on 440 E. St. Elmo Road, already gives bulk discounts, because let's face it, 2020 has been a rough year. Whether you gift this local wine to someone else or stockpile for the next pandemic, take 20% off a pickup order and get free Austin delivery through the rest of the year.
Away Spa at W. Austin
Give the gift of the oh-so-important self care this year, plus enjoy a little bit of it for yourself as well. With a $250 gift card purchase, receive an extra $25 spa voucher. Located on 200 Lavaca St., Austin residents also receive 20% off of certain services—how can you afford not to go?
Half Price Books
Texas-business Half Price Books is not skimping on the sales this year, and some of the deals even carry over into the new year. Take 20% off of your online book haul and for every $25 gift card you give away, any HPB will give you $5 off in January.
Kendra may not be a "small" business anymore but it started small with Austin roots. From Nov. 29 through Dec. 2, take 25% off of everything (yes, everything!) in the store and an extra 30% off of $300 or more for the "Yellow Friday" sale.
Lilla & Beth
For some unique Austin-centric decor, gifts, clothes and accessories, Lilla & Beth, located on 1911 Aldrich Street, has you covered this year. The more you buy, the more you save so take 10% off purchases under $50, 15% off purchases over $50 and 20% off purchases over $100. Everyone will wish they had gotten you as their secret Santa!
Record Store Crawl
Self-described "magic school bus that takes you to record stores and bars," the 2020 Record Store Crawl will make holiday shopping more fun than ever before. The Record Store Crawl will drive you to 10 record stores in the area, complete with a band on the bus for entertainment. Last year, the event helped sell 2 million records at local retailers nationwide, so this is a great way to have fun and help out the music industry.
Give the gift of relaxation with the help of Roam Homegrown's collection of candles, soaps, scents and self care goodies. To celebrate the holidays, the Austin-based, women-owned company is giving 10% sitewide until Dec. 31. This offer has no minimum so you can gift as much or as little as your heart desires.
Make sure to check business hours before heading out, it is COVID-19 after all.
Republic Square Park has turned into a Ford-themed fiesta for its Built to Connect pop-up experience, complete with test drives, off-roading and an inside look at the Tesla-rivaling electric vehicles that the motor vehicle company is planning to integrate over the next decade.
The outdoor driving event is free, open to the public and will stay in the park from now until Oct. 24, offering rides on Bronco Mountain, a 0-40 mph zip in the 2022 all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning and a chance to win an original Ford Bronco.
The event kicked off with a panel of speakers, including Austin Director of Transportation Rob Spillar, Ford General Manager Darren Palmer and engineering specialists discussing Ford's goals to make it so that 50% of the vehicles on the road are electric by 2030.
As an eco-conscious city, Spillar said that around 4,000 vehicles, or 22% of the Texas electric vehicle market, as well as over 15,000 plugins lie in Austin, meaning driving electric just got accessible.
"Austin, as you know, is a fast-growing modern city that is committed to protecting the long term health and viability of our communities and strategies that reduce greenhouse gases, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve the drone quality of life here in Central Texas for all of our residents," Spillar said.
And Ford's electric vehicles are putting up some steep competition for newly-Austin-based company Tesla. The new electric Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lighting offer amenities that used to be exclusive to Musk's brand, such as the BlueCruise self-driving network. The cars also boast a 300-mile range on a single charge, assisted reverse technology and access to the biggest charging network outside of the home.
Plus, Ford's got affordability on its side. The F-150 Lightning starts at $39,974 and the Mustang Mach-E starts at $42,895, while the cheapest Tesla model, the Model 3, starts at $41,990 and averages 262 miles on a single charge.
Speaking of price, the numbers on the electric vehicles may look like a little more than you'd like to pay for your transport, but Palmer promises it will pay off. In addition to a $7,500 tax credit you can earn for your sustainability, you'll never have to buy a pricey tank of gas again.
"Personally, I have not found one customer ever, who would go back to gas so that says something," Palmer said. "I realized, at $51,000, that car outruns every childhood hero car I ever had."
Texas buyers: take note. The Ford Lightning can power your house for three to 10 days, just in case the statewide power grid fails. You can take it glamping with you, so you don't have to leave the comfort of modern life behind, and in a pinch, Palmer said he's even seen a wedding party powered by the truck.
Ford is investing $30 billion into the U.S. market to meet demand by 2025 and the new electric truck already has over 150,000 reservations.
"I think they're going to take off much faster than you expect—they're going to be extremely, extremely popular next year," Palmer said. "With the incentives that are available today, this is starting to become more mainstream and viable for more and more families. We couldn't have done that before, we didn't have the technology, or the technology at that price."
The event is ongoing through next weekend from 12-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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The Austin Police Department is searching for a man who is believed to be behind a series of robberies that is "sexual in nature and is escalating."
Three robbery cases that took place in North Austin within a 30-day period are being investigated by police, who report the victims all had similar descriptions for suspects in the case. The suspect is described as a 20-25-year-old Spanish-speaking Hispanic man, approximately 5'3, thin build, recently shaved with black hair. Police say he is known to typically wear athletic clothing and used a knife on each of the victims.
Here's a breakdown of the cases:
1. At 7:56 a.m. on Sept. 22 at the 1600 block of Rutland Drive, a woman was walking alone and returning from her child's school when a suspect walking by inappropriately touched her. The suspect then grabbed her by the arm, threatened her with a knife and demanded "her property."
2. At 8:10 a.m. on Oct. 11 at 1700 block of Colony Creek Drive, a woman was walking to her child's school when a man approached her with a knife and then demanded her personal items. The suspect then said he would return the items in return for sex.
3. At 11:03 a.m. on Oct. 13 at the 9300 block of Northgate Boulevard, a woman was with her child in the laundry room of an apartment complex when a man walked in performing a sexual act. The suspect demanded personal items from the victim, threatening to hurt the victim and take her child.
Police cautioned the public to walk without earbuds, stay alert and report suspicious activity to the police.
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