Northwest Austin

Stay informed about the latest local news in Northwest Austin, including Capital Metro updates, Austin City Hall coverage, news on the local housing market and more.

9:00 AM Apr 30, 2020 CDT

With state report lacking key protective provisions, worker groups wary of governor’s plans to reopen Texas

The state's plan to reopen the economy, worker protection groups contended, does not contain appropriate safety measures for employees returning to the workplace.


Gov. Greg Abbott: Alcohol to-go sales in Texas to continue beyond May 1, could last 'forever'

As some Texas restaurants and businesses prepare to reopen with limited occupancy starting May 1, to-go alcohol sales will be allowed to continue, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Gov. Greg Abbott.


Williamson County receives more than $93M in federal funding, forms team to outline criteria for distribution

Small business grants have been named a priority in the funding distribution.



Austin City Council pulls $1.5 million from emergency reserves to buoy local live music industry

City leaders said they hope to begin distributing the funds by the end of April.


Three deaths, 49 new coronavirus cases reported in Travis County on April 23

The total number of cases in Travis County has reached 1,312.


Q&A: New Austin Chamber CEO Laura Huffman says community safety, opening the economy do not have to be 'forced trade-off'

Huffman, an Austin native and a former assistant city manager, officially stepped into her new role April 20.


State parks, historical sites reopen as first step in Gov. Abbott's plan to revive Texas economy

While state parks reopened across Texas on April 20, restrictions remain in place for parks visitors.



What will businesses need next? Survey aims to gauge Williamson County business needs after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

Leaders from chambers of commerce, city and county governments, and economic development groups across Williamson County are seeking business owners’ perspectives through an online survey.


County Judge Bill Gravell: Williamson County to follow Gov. Abbott's April 17 executive orders

Gravell said the county’s current stay-at-home order will remain largely unchanged, except it will adopt the state executive order's provisions for retail to go and for an ease on surgical procedures allowed.


Texas Workforce Commission processes a year and a half worth of unemployment claims in one month

Since March 14, the Texas Workforce Commission has helped more than 1.2 million Texans apply for unemployment benefits.


Sales tax holiday for emergency supplies to take place April 25-27

Officials clarified that products bought online still qualify for the exemption and urged residents who visit retailers in person to follow social distancing guidelines.




DATA: Homes continue to be sold in Williamson County despite coronavirus pandemic

In Williamson County, March residential home sales increased 0.4%, according to Austin Board of Realtors data.


Residential work sites across Austin to pause work April 16 to review coronavirus safety protocols

A nationwide effort seeks to briefly pause work sites and use the time to educate developers and workers on coronavirus safety education.


Here's a breakdown of 4 financial relief programs aimed to save small Texas businesses

The webinar highlighted four Small Business Association programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, the SBA Express Bridge Loan and SBA Debt Relief program.



By the numbers: New coronavirus information from across Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott released data April 13 on how Texas is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic statewide.


Goldman Sachs, LiftFund partnership will release $50 million in loans for Texas small businesses

As Texas is facing its highest rate of unemployment claims in recent history, a total of $50 million in loan funds is now available for small businesses across the state to provide economic relief.


Projections showing major Austin metro job losses also predict significant re-employment by end of 2020

The president of the economic strategist firm said, unlike during the 2009 financial crash, there are no systemic issues in the economy.


Laura Huffman named as new president and CEO of Austin Chamber of Commerce

Huffman previously worked as a regional director for Texas at the Nature Conservancy, an environmental nonprofit, and prior to that, she served as assistant city manager in Austin.



More Texans have filed for unemployment in past three weeks than in all of 2019

For the second week in a row, more than 6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, according to federal data.


With Texas Workforce Commission overwhelmed by surging unemployment claims, Central Texas residents try to hang on

The Texas Workforce Commission received 1.7 million calls from individuals seeking assistance with unemployment benefits in a 24-hour period on March 26.


Survey finds Texas brewers losing more than 70% of revenue because of coronavirus

Brewers across the state are renewing calls for Gov. Greg Abbott to grant temporary waivers for shipping, delivery and tax relief.


Has your Austin-area small business been affected by the coronavirus? Here are resources you can access.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a short-term loan program intended to help cover payroll and a separate, long-term loan program intended to help business owners stay afloat.