Music venues and other businesses deemed vital to Austin's culture and vitality were given a $15 million lifeline Thursday.
Austin City Council unanimously approved the SAVES Resolution, which allocated COVID-19 relief money evenly among three major funds:
- $5 million: Music Venue Preservation Fund
- $5 million: Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant
- $5 million: Austin Childcare Provider Relief Grant
Music venues qualify for the first two funds, making them technically eligible for up to $10 million in relief money—the amount that advocates requested earlier this week during a City Hall rally. The extra support for music venues recognizes the special place they have in the community, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said.
City Council passed the SAVES resolution that creates a dedicated music venue preservation fund. This is only the 1… https://t.co/J1qjNuWsSr— Austin Texas Musicians (@Austin Texas Musicians)1601594539.0
Qualifying restaurants, bars and art organizations will also receive money from the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant. Similarly, the Austin Childcare Provider Relief Grant will support both in-home and center-based providers.
A city spokesperson confirmed the qualifications and process for applying will be established "in due course." The actions approved Thursday by council members allow city staff to proceed as outlined in a memo issued Monday.
Where does all this money come from? City staff proposals were revised slightly, landing on these three major sources:
- $8.5 million: Sales tax revenues
- $6 million: Financial Services Department Capital Budget
- $500,000: Building Services Department Capital Budget
Other relief funding sources, mostly proposed by Council Member Kathie Tovo, could come back to the council in the next month to fund a Business Preservation Fund and Live Music Fund. Council Member Greg Casar also asked staff to ensure there is a "fair and inclusive" distribution process, which is laid out to applicants in a transparent manner. City staff said that emphasis is already in place.
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The Texas Department of State Health Services will allocate 332,750 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 212 providers this week, with the bulk assigned to hub providers that are focused on widespread community distribution events. Six of those providers are in Travis County.
With the latest allocation of 16,450 sent to Travis County this week, the county will have received 104,275 doses of the vaccine. Local public health officials estimate that there are 285,000 area residents who fall in the 1A and 1B priority groups, meaning that around 37% of them should have access to doses seven weeks into the rollout process.
Here's where the latest allotment is going:
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Californian who wrote viral op-ed attacking Austin life tells Austonia he 'didn't include the positive stuff'
The California exodus has made headlines for several years now, and even more recently, with thousands of West Coasters seeking tax relief, less-expensive real estate and a simpler lifestyle in Texas' capital city.
However, a California man's scathing review of Austin, which was published in Business Insider on Wednesday, reveals that some are less than satisfied with their move.