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Austin music venues qualify for the majority of $15M COVID-19 relief package
(Joe Lanane)

Austin musicians and venue owners rally outside City Hall for COVID-19 relief in the wake of the pandemic Monday.

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.

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.


Related:

Musicians rally at City Hall for COVID-19 relief(Joe Lanane)

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Inside the Longhorns' $280,000 June recruiting weekend for marquee QB Arch Manning and eight other players.
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💰 A shocking report Friday from Sam Khan Jr. at The Athletic (paywall), based on Freedom of Information Act requests filed with the University of Texas at Austin, documented a $280,000 football recruiting weekend for nine players, including NFL quarterback royal family scion Arch Manning. Of the nine prized potential recruits, five, including Manning, have committed to the Longhorns.

The next weekend, The Athletic reports, UT spent another $350,00 on 14 more recruits, for a total of $630,000.

Here's where the money went for weekend one. This is a partial list of expenses, totaling $221,808. The Athletic reported that the entire weekend cost "nearly $280,000."

  • $21,000 airfare, car service, other travel expenses.
  • $1,814 candy, cookies, and other snacks for recruits and family members.
  • $46,696 34 rooms at the Four Season, for recruits, family members, and selected UT coaches and staff.
  • $17,320 Friday lunch buffet.
  • $3,359 rented audio system for afternoon Instagram photoshoots.
  • $29,129 Friday dinner buffet at DKR club area for 100+ people: recruits/families, coaches/spouses, recruiters.
  • $11,880 J.W. Marriott pool bar tab for Friday night parent social, while recruits "hit the town."
  • $10,226 Saturday breakfast at the UT Club.
  • $9,498 Saturday afternoon parent social while recruits were at Top Golf.
  • $36,900 Saturday dinner at III Forks steakhouse
  • $2,357 sunset cruise on Lady Bird Lake
  • $31,629 Saturday night parent social at the W Austin hotel.
  • ? Sunday breakfast at the Sarkisians' Rollingwood home.

The result? After what one recruit parent described as a "five-star visit," Texas sits with the nation's #2 recruiting class, according to 247Sports Composite, with Alabama at #1.

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