Business

Economics, employment, jobs, real estate, taxes, economic development and incentives, workforce development, IPOs, investment and anything related to business in Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

For years, residents of Del Valle have been asking city leaders to bring a grocery store to their neighborhood. But it hasn’t happened. So why is it so hard to do?

Favor

The Austin-based delivery company Favor has doubled its service zone, and it now covers an area stretching from Cedar Park to Slaughter Lane. The app-based service delivers everything from tacos to dry cleaning for a flat $5 fee, plus driver tip, and boasts an average 35-minute arrival time.

Favor has grown to serve more affluent and suburban areas, but the tech firm still provides relatively limited service in the less wealthy, minority neighborhoods of East Austin, Southeast Austin and Northeast Austin. Much of its delivery zone east of I-35 serves the most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.

Continuing its push into Web content and advertising, Verizon is buying Yahoo Inc. for about $4.83 billion in cash, the two companies confirmed Monday morning, ending a purchase process that began months ago.

The deal comes more than a year after Verizon paid $4.4 billion to acquire AOL, in a deal that was viewed as hinging on AOL's ad software and mobile video content.

Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune for KUT News

Gov. Greg Abbott is using this July Fourth weekend to urge British businesses to "declare independence" by moving to Texas — a pitch that coincides with the United Kingdom's own recent step toward sovereignty. 

KUTX

Two founding members of the company that puts on Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest have parted ways with Transmission Events, leaving the future of the annual music festival up in the air.

Graham Williams and James Moody allowed real estate company Stratus Properties, a minority shareholder of Transmission, to buy them out. Williams is taking half of Transmission’s staff with him and launching his own production venture called Margin Walker Presents (named for a Fugazi song/EP). He plans for the company to focus less on corporate events and brand activations and more on producing live music performances in clubs and bars. 

Hady Karl Mawajdeh/KUT

It’s a wet and rainy day in Austin, and a couple of doctors from Remedy Urgent Care are about to hit the road. It’s a relatively new business in Austin – opened just five months ago – and it’s part of this new trend of online businesses hoping to deliver a product to your door.


In its first-ever transparency report, Uber has revealed that it has given federal and local U.S. agencies information on more than 12 million riders and drivers between July and December 2015.

This kind of report is not uncommon in the tech industry, but this particular one does something extra: It uses the report to take regulators to task for what Uber sees as excessive data sharing, making a case that it frequently tries to narrow the scope of requested information.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

On South Congress, skyrocketing rents are forcing some local businesses to relocate. What does that mean for the area’s future? 


Curtiss Cronn/flickr

Black Friday is almost here – the day stores used to target as the start of the holiday shopping season. Now, they start holiday marketing and slashed prices as early as late October: It seems retailers have been marketing products with “Black Friday prices” or “doorbusters” since Halloween. KUT’s Jimmy Maas looks at what seems to be retail’s longest day: Black Friday.

Today is October 21, 2015, a day fans of the 1980s Back To the Future movie franchise have been waiting for all year: the day Marty McFly stumbles upon his older self, and discovers hoverboards, after traveling 30 years in the future in a flux capacitor-enabled DMC-12.

As it turns out, the company behind that time-traveling car has roots right here in Texas, thanks to a recent legal settlement. 


startupstockphotos/pexels

From Texas Standard: A Google-sponsored pitching event gives budding entrepreneurs the platform they need to get start-up capital.


What Does Texas Manufacturing Need To Bounce Back?

Sep 30, 2015
gratisography/Pexels

From Texas Standard: More than 28,000 jobs – that's what the manufacturing sector of Texas lost in the month of August, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' manufacturing outlook report.


Image via Wikimedia Commons/KGuirnela (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you're a member of the military, you've probably already go a lot on your plate: frequent moves, training, and the looming threat of being sent into combat.


Guy Montag/flickr

Here’s a question to consider: Who gets milk from the cow’s udder to your kitchen table?

A new report from Texas A&M AgriLife finds that immigrant workers are responsible for producing about 80 percent of the nation’s milk. Researchers also calculated what buying a gallon of milk would cost if we didn’t have this foreign-born workforce.

Callie Richmond/Texas Tribune

The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program offers grants for companies who hire Texans for projects in-state. The Coen Brothers' True Grit was filmed in Texas, largely due to the state's incentives.


Does It Pay To Be A Woman In Texas?

Aug 25, 2015
Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov/Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

State officials like to brag about the strong economy here and the thousands of people who move here every month. But some of the major inequities in the Texas economy are consistently underplayed, like the fact that in Texas, women don't make as much money as men who are doing the same job. One report estimates that women are paid just 79 cents for every dollar men make in Texas.


Flickr/ Marco40134 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Far from the original spindletop, a group of maverick Texas farmers are trying to make money on a whole different kind of oil: olive oil. For years, folks in South Texas have harvested olives, planting tens of thousands of acres of trees. Now, they say, it’s time for growth.

Demand for the oil both at home and abroad is high, and the trees growing in some of the world’s biggest producers – Spain, Italy – have been hard-hit this year with drought and disease. Is it time for Texas olive oil, then?

The All-Nite Images/flickr

More than 360,000 Texans make $7.25 an hour or less, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only five states have a higher percentage of minimum wage workers than Texas.

Big corporations like Walmart and McDonalds recognize that, for many workers, $7.25 an hour isn’t enough to live on. Both companies have announced they'll increase their workers' pay this year.

But what happens when wages go up, and they're still not enough to live on?

John Jordan/Texas Tribune

Brenham, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries is getting a cash infusion that the company says will "ensure" the return of its ice cream to the market. The creamery announced Texas businessman Sid Bass has become a partner, though it did not say how much he’s investing.

“We are pleased Sid Bass has made a significant investment with our company. The additional capital will ensure the successful return of our ice cream to the market and our loyal customers,” said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell CEO and President, in a press statement posted on bluebell.com.

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