Lakeway mayor encourages small businesses to apply for relief programs

Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox hosted a live broadcast June 18. (Courtesy city of Lakeway)
Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox hosted a live broadcast June 18. (Courtesy city of Lakeway)

Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox hosted a live broadcast June 18. (Courtesy city of Lakeway)

As businesses reopen and adjust to updated guidelines, Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox emphasized the need for patience within the community. Not only are many businesses financially hurting, she said, but owners are also working to adapt to frequent changes.

The city’s website remains a resource for business owners looking for economic assistance and updated information, Cox said. She further drew attention to the newly launched Travis County Thrive Small Business Program, which will offer grants up to $40,000 for qualifying local businesses.

“I need every business in the city of Lakeway to apply for this,” Cox said June 18 during her weekly live broadcast on Facebook.

Cox said funds may be used for payroll, rent, utility assistance and more.
This program is currently in the pre-application stage, and residents can acquire information on whether they qualify on the city’s website.

Though neighboring cities have developed their own small business assistance programs, that model has proven difficult for Lakeway, which does not have an economic development corporation.



Establishing such an entity requires voter approval, according to Cox. Previous councils brought the idea to voters, but it was never approved. This furthers the importance of CARES Act funding and Travis County’s Thrive program, she said.

“Every city in every county is handling this recovery a little differently, and they all have different tools in their tool shed,” Cox said.

Cox also addressed recent spikes in local coronavirus cases and hospital capacity. Her
broadcast followed a June 16 press conference in which Gov. Greg Abbott assured Texans there is no shortage of hospital bed space available.

The Texas Department of State Health Services developed a model that divides hospital surge capacity at medical facilities into five levels.


Texas is currently at Level 5, according to Cox, who said this represents the hospital system’s ability to maintain current capacities. Other strategies are being utilized to accommodate potential surges, including converting hospital wings for COVID-19 care and adding beds.

“However, everyone is acknowledging that the data is rising,” Cox said. “But this really should be of no surprise.”

Officials anticipated an increase in cases as the state reopens and individuals begin interacting with the public, according to Cox, who stressed the importance of controlling the spread.

A safety precaution that Cox has routinely encouraged is the use of face masks.

As of June 18, Travis County has
required businesses to mandate the use of face coverings for all employees and patrons while on the businesses’ premises. This new order, which will run through Aug. 15, applies to all Travis County jurisdictions, including the city of Lakeway.

A day prior to this updated order, Travis County set a new record, with 220 confirmed COVID-19 cases June 17—the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic.

According to Cox, cases have also increased locally. The Lake Travis area is reporting a total number of 68 coronavirus cases, 15 of which are considered active.

“It’s probably our highest growth we’ve had the entire time that we’ve been talking about COVID-19, other than the very first time we saw the numbers,” Cox said.

Residents returning to work or visiting local businesses should keep safety measures in mind. Other than wearing masks, Cox said individuals should avoid touching their face and should remain home if feeling ill.

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


MOST RECENT

Photo of a sign that says "Travis County"
Travis County establishes new emergency rental assistance program for 2021

The program will provide $10.7 million in aid to county residents struggling to pay rent due to the pandemic.

Eanes ISD trustees met April 13 to discuss a resolution regarding the distribution of federal COVID-19 aid for public schools. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD drafts resolution urging Texas officials to allocate federal COVID-19 funds to school districts

During an April 13 special meeting, the Eanes ISD board of trustees reviewed a drafted resolution regarding the status of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bee Cave City Council approved April 13 constructing trails to connect the Ladera neighborhood in west Bee Cave with commercial areas at RM 620 and Ladera Boulevard. (Courtesy city of Bee Cave)
Next phase of Bee Cave hike and bike trails receives council approval

At its April 13 meeting, Bee Cave council members also approved funding a regional emergency management coordinator.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

Head shot of Holly Morris-Kuentz
Dripping Springs ISD names Holly Morris-Kuentz lone finalist for superintendent

Morris-Kuentz currently serves as deputy superintendent for Lake Travis ISD.

Photo of hands holding a vaccine vial
After Austin Public Health appointments go unfilled, officials call for new distribution model

On April 12, APH filled 3,400 out of 14,000 available COVID-19 vaccine appointments in a registration window.

Masking continues to be required, with some relaxed circumstances for fully vaccinated residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin extends COVID-19 health rules through May 18, updates guidance for vaccinated residents

Masking continues to be required, with some relaxed circumstances for fully vaccinated residents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended health providers pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine April 13. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
State, federal health authorities recommend pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 6 rare, severe blood clots

Hub providers in Dallas, Harris and Travis counties have all announced they will follow the recommendations and pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Work could begin on the Bee Creek Sports Complex by mid-April. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Construction on Bee Creek Sports Complex could begin in April

Bee Creek Sports Complex, located on 70 acres at 4400 Bee Creek Road in Spicewood, will include seven synthetic multiuse fields, restrooms, team meeting facilities, playground areas, trails, hundreds of parking spaces and a maintenance building.

Expansion of the city of Bee Cave's hike and bike trail will be a topic of conversation at the April 13 Bee Cave City Council meeting. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bee Cave council to discuss growth of its hike and bike trail system April 13

Bee Cave city staff are expected to discuss funding the construction of a second phase of projects.

Recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine wait after receiving their shot at the Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin on March 13. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
National supply issues with Johnson & Johnson vaccine affect Austin-area shipments

After a manufacturing error ruined 15 million doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the supply will not increase until the plant in Baltimore is once again allowed to participate in production.