Business

Economic Development
3:56 pm
Tue February 8, 2011

Travis County Proposes Own Business Incentive Program

Travis County wants to create a business tax incentive to attract companies that can provide jobs for low-income residents.
KUT News

Travis County wants to become an economic stimulator. At their regular meeting, county commissioners discussed a proposal to amend the county tax code in order to offer an incentive for businesses that want to relocate to Travis County. The City of Austin and the State of Texas have similar programs, but commissioners are proposing something different.

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Business
11:43 am
Fri February 4, 2011

Job Growth Slows in January

More Jobs in January, but not many
Picture by KUT News

The national unemployment rate dropped from 9.4% to 9% in January.  But the country only added 36,000 jobs.  The decrease came in part because of an increase people not looking for work, what the U.S. Department of Labor calls "marginally attached and discouraged" workers.  The manufacturing and retail sectors were added the most jobs.  Construction, transportation and warehousing shed the most jobs.

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Business
2:33 pm
Mon January 31, 2011

Austin's 1000-Plus Food Trucks Brace For Chill In Business

Food trucks like this one, Bits and Druthers, expect to take severe cuts to their sales when the artic chill moves in this week.
Image courtesy Speedye http://www.flickr.com/photos/speedye/

Temperatures are expected to dip into the upper teens this week as an arctic blast bares down on Central Texas. The deep freeze will make life tough for homeless people and their pets, and Austin's food truck entrepreneurs have also been suffering from winter weather.

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Business
12:49 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Listen to Full 2011 Economic Forecast From Angelos Angelou

Couldn’t afford the $165 to attend Thursday’s presentation by Angelou Economics? Download the full audio here.

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Business
7:55 am
Thu January 27, 2011

Live Blogging Angelou Economic Forecast

Can't afford the $165 registration to attend the annual forecast from Angelou Economics? Catch some of the details here.

Business
3:40 pm
Tue January 25, 2011

Report: Austin Condo Sales Up In 2010

A look at the tallest condo in downtown, the Austonian. A report says condo sales in Austin were up last year, but the opposite is true of single-family homes.
Image by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

A local blog sponsored by the real estate firm Urban Space claims sales of condominiums in Austin increased by a whopping 50 percent in 2010. 

AustinTowers.net delved into MLS listings and said sales increased from 112 condos in 2009 to 168 in 2010. The average price increased from $330,344 in 2009 to $343,983 last year, a gain of four percent.

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Business
2:33 pm
Fri January 21, 2011

2nd Street District Retail Occupancy Expected To Reach 92 Percent This Year

Austin's Second Street District could fill some of its empty retail space this year with occupancy expected to reach 92 percent by the second quarter.
Image courtesy atmtx http://www.flickr.com/photos/atmtx/

The company that manages most of the retail space in the Second Street District downtown says it expects to reach a high water mark this year. AMLI Residential says 80 percent of the square footage is currently rented, and that should grow to 92 percent "by the end of the second quarter," according to AMLI retail manager Carrie Holt.

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Austin
11:20 am
Fri January 21, 2011

Local Workforce Grew By 16,600 in 2010 As People Flocked To Austin

Image by Tommy Klumker http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomask/

We received more hard data today showing how more people are moving to Austin and looking for work.  The latest unemployment survey from the Texas Workforce Commission shows the workforce in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area increased from 892,700 in December 2009 to 909,300 last month, a difference of 16,600.

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Business
4:02 pm
Tue January 18, 2011

See What Highland Mall's 50 Percent Vacancy Rate Looks Like (Soon To Be 71 Percent)

The "Fun Zone" at Highland Mall. The mall is crippled by a 50 percent vacancy rate, which will rise to 71 percent once the Macy's anchor store closes.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

If you haven't made time lately to visit the beleaguered Highland Mall, you are not alone. Close to half of the mall's retail space is unleased, and it is about to lose its Macy's anchor store.  KUT News sent freelance photographer Jeff Heimsath to the mall to take some pictures so you can see how deserted it has become. Check out our slideshow.

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Business
12:08 pm
Fri January 14, 2011

As Austin Gas Prices Rise To $2.91, Get Ready To Shell Out Even More

Image by Erik Reyna for KUT News

The latest fuel price report from AAA says Austin gas prices have risen to an average of $2.91 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That's up about 10 cents from last month and almost 30 cents higher than it was this week last year. And most signs point to gas prices climbing even higher.

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Business
4:31 pm
Mon January 10, 2011

AMD CEO Dirk Meyer Leaves

AMD chief executive Dirk Meyer is leaving the company, which employes more than 2,400 people in Austin.
Image courtesy dfarber http://www.flickr.com/photos/farber/

Advanced Micro Devices, a California-based chip maker with substantial operations in Austin, is losing  CEO Dirk Meyer.

In an official statement posted on the AMD blog, it sounds like the board thought they could get someone better to run the company.

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Business
10:55 am
Thu January 6, 2011

Half Price Books Launches Online Store

Image courtesy Anthony Librarian http://www.flickr.com/photos/anthonylibrarian/

As some brick-and-mortar book retailers struggle to remain profitable in the digital age, Dallas-based Half Price Books announced it will start selling its used books on its website.

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Business
4:31 pm
Wed January 5, 2011

ACC Buys Macy's Site at Highland Mall

ACC will acquire the Macy's building inside Highland Mall
Image courtesy Kari Sullivan/Flickr

Austin Community College announced this afternoon that it has bought the 13-acre Macy's property at Highland Mall.

ACC is paying $5 million for the site and plans to renovate the retail space to potentially include classrooms, administrative offices and a conference center.

In a press release, ACC president/CEO Dr. Stephen Kinslow said the space would be used for future expansion:

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Business
3:26 pm
Tue January 4, 2011

Macy's To Close Highland Mall Store In Latest Blow To Shopping Center

Highland Mall on a typically deserted day. The lack of customers is why Macy's says it is closing its location there this winter.
Image courtesy Kari Sullivan http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovemypit/

Calling it an "underperforming" location, Macy's has announced it is closing its struggling Highland Mall location and eliminating 125 jobs.

"Associates displaced by the store closing may be offered positions in nearby Macy’s stores where possible," Macy's said in a statement you can read below. "Regular full-time and part-time associates who are laid off due to the store closing will be provided severance benefits and outplacement assistance."

Macy's says a final clearance sale at the Highland Mall store will begin on Sunday will run for about ten weeks.

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Austin
3:11 pm
Mon January 3, 2011

Austin Ranked Third Best City For Young Entrepreneurs

Image by Nasha Lee for KUT News

The Live Music Capitol of the World has topped another list of awesome cities. This time, it's the Under30CEO.com list of Top 10 Cities for Young Entrepreneurs in 2010.

Coming in third place right behind New York City and San Francisco, Austin is praised for all the familiar reasons:

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Business
11:44 am
Tue December 28, 2010

Scrapping Texas Enterprise Fund Could Disproportionately Hurt Austin

Governor Perry's power to recruit companies to Texas with economic incentive grants would be stripped if a Dallas lawmaker has his way, but an analysis by KUT News shows Austin has benefited disproportionately from some of those funds.
Image courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/refractedmoments/

A state lawmaker wants to abolish the Texas Enterprise Fund and other pools of money Governor Perry can use at his discretion to attract investment. But doing so could disproportionately harm Austin, according to our analysis of a report released last week by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.

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economy
11:16 am
Fri December 17, 2010

Latest Jobs Figures Show More People Employed In Austin Area

Austin continues to weather the economic storm, but how many public sector jobs will disappear with state budget cuts?
Image courtesy Stuck in Customs http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/

The Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area added 17,700 jobs over the last 12 months, according to statistics released this morning by the Texas Workforce Commission. But because the size of the labor force also grew, the unemployment rate actually edged upwards to 7.1 percent in November 2010 compared to 7 percent in November 2009.

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Business
3:33 pm
Tue December 14, 2010

Fireworks Vendors Voluntarily Ban "Stick Rockets and Missiles"

A Thor Delta Missile sold by Quantum Fireworks. Travis County fireworks vendors have voluntarily stopped selling these types of fireworks because of exceptionally dry conditions.
Image courtesy Quantum Fireworks

Companies that sell fireworks in Central Texas are adopting a voluntary ban on some flying fireworks because of the dry conditions.  Chester Davis owns American Fireworks and is president of the Texas Pyrotechnic Association.

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Music and Arts
2:21 pm
Tue December 14, 2010

Alamo Drafthouse Unveils New Logo

After 12 years, the Alamo Drafthouse is upgrading its logo design.
Image courtesy Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Here it is! The local chain of beer and burger-serving movie theaters hired local design firm Guerilla Suit to create the new brand.  This is the first logo change for the Drafthouse in 12 years.

Check out their video to hear a history of the logo and the rationale behind the new design.

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Business
1:47 pm
Tue December 14, 2010

Ground Breaks Tomorrow On Massive Solar Farm in Pflugerville

Image courtesy RRE Austin Solar

Construction officially begins tomorrow on one of the largest solar farms in the country. The $230 million facility is being built by RRE Austin Solar in Pflugerville.

Besides hosting a 60 megawatt solar farm, the project also includes a nature trail, a wildflower meadow, trees, and a wind power exhibit. You can check out conceptual maps here and here.

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