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

Lakeway City Council plans to meet in person at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lakeway City Council to host in-person meeting Sept. 21

Lakeway City Council plans to meet in-person Sept. 21 for the first time since March, when the spread of COVID-19 prompted meeting restrictions.

Pflugerville's testing location is operated from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Saturday where a maximum of 300 people can be tested each day at the site. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Coronavirus testing site in Pflugerville to move and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

Kido Home launched in late August offering preschool classes in a virtual setting. (Courtesy Kido)
River Place preschool Kido launches virtual learning platform

The Kido Home platform is available for children ages 2-6 and will feature online small-group classes led by trained instructors.

Trustees met Sept. 17 to discuss reopening campuses. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)(Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD prepares for roughly half its students to return to campus Sept. 21

Eanes ISD officials met virtually for a special called meeting Sept. 17 to discuss reopening campuses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Central Health administrative building in Austin
Central Health finalizes budget with increased tax rate, more health care services for low-income residents

Local health care district Central Health is budgeting a nearly $20 million increase in health care delivery services for Austin’s low-income residents.

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Baylor Scott & White Health to host 9 Austin-area drive-thru flu shot clinics

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock.

Four Points Outdoor Eatery will open by early October. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Outdoor eatery coming to the Four Points area

Four Points Outdoor Eatery is anticipating to be fully open in late September or early October and will feature between eight and 10 international food trailers and a covered patio.

A band performs at the Mohawk on Red River Street. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Six months into pandemic, Austin officials scrambling to save music venues, child care facilities and restaurants

City Council is set to begin making choices on which businesses to try to save on Oct. 1.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

Austin City Limits Music Festival will present a free virtual broadcast from Oct. 9-11. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Free virtual broadcast of ACL Music Festival to be held Oct. 9-11 and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.