Business

Business
5:55 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Texas Offers Higher Incentives to Video Game Industries

Photo by popculturegeek http://www.flickr.com/photos/popculturegeek/

Texas is hoping to attract more video game companies to the state by increasing incentives for them to relocate here. Garry Gaber helps run Austin Community College’s Game Development Institute. He thinks it's a good decision.

 "It is hopefully going to bring a lot of business, even more business into Austin," says Gaber. "I think it's a very good thing for the gaming industry, and it would be very good for our students because it would give them more places to find employment."

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Business
2:53 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

East 7th Street Business Owners Hope For Better Days Ahead

For the past sixteen months, a project to beautify East 7th Street has plagued local businesses.  Construction to improve safety and utilities limited access to restaurants, tax consultants, and convenience stores.  Now that the streets look nicer with fresh paint and new plants, some business owners are wondering if it was all worth it.

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Business
1:57 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

How Did Whole Foods Increase Profit 35 Percent?

Whole Foods' flagship store at Lamar and W. 6th Street
Photo by Beth Cortez-Neavel for KUT News

Austin-based Whole Foods Market blew away analyst expectations yesterday with a 35 percent increase in third quarter profit. After the news broke, investors grabbed up Whole Foods stock. That sent shares in the company surging to their highest level since 2006.

But it was only two years ago, in the middle of the recession, that people were asking if Whole Foods could survive. Sales for its expensive, gourmet foods were plummeting and the stock dropped 75 percent in year.

So what happened between now and then, besides the country’s slow economic recovery? Two things, according to equities researcher Karen Short with BMO Capital Markets: value and organic health food.

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Business
4:48 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

Advocacy Group Calls for Increase in Federal Minimum Wage

A labor advocacy group claims an increased minimum wage would put more money into the economy. The National Federation of Independent Business disagrees.
Photo by KUT News

Earlier this week,  The National Employment Law Project (NELP),  a non-profit organization that advocates for stronger labor standards, issued a call for an increase in the federal minimum wage. They argue an increase  would boost consumer demand and promote hiring.

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Business
3:43 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

New Braunfels Hopes German Roots Attracts Tourists in Off-Season

A web short highlighting Wurstfest, a New Braunfels attraction that reels in 120,000 tourists a year. Video by Axel Gerdau.

In a city perhaps best known for its summer recreation and once-a-year “ten day salute to sausage”, New Braunfels is trying to capitalize on its German heritage to bring in tourists year round.

“We are a destination in the summer for Schlitterbahn and the river, and people know about Wurstfest,” New Braunfels Mayor Gale Pospisil told KUT News. “But we have a great deal of German heritage here, and one of the things we’ve been working on is trying to spread our tourism over the entire year.”

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Business
2:58 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

BookPeople Sees Sales Gain With Borders' Collapse

Photo by QuesterMark http://www.flickr.com/photos/0ccam/

While Borders Bookstores could begin liquidation across the country as soon as Friday, Austin’s three locations are already long gone. Their evaporation was followed by a slight bump in sales at Austin’s largest independent book retailer, but that doesn’t mean BookPeople’s  owner is excited to see Borders disappear.

“I actually feel kind of bad about it because I think it’s bad not to have more showrooms,” BookPeople CEO Steve Bercu told KUT News, who worries about the implications for publishers to lose hundreds of thousands of square feet of display space.

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Business
2:39 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Small Businesses Could Be Blamed For Their Customers' Web Piracy

Small businesses, such as those that line the Drag, could face penalties for their customers' illegal downloads.
Photo by KUT News

Small businesses that offer wireless connections to their customers could be on the hook for illegal downloads that happen on their networks, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

Record labels, movie studios and other industry groups recently struck a deal where participating internet service providers (ISPs) will issue warnings to customers whose accounts are allegedly used to steal content. The NFIB says small business owners could be charged, fined or worse.

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Business
4:58 pm
Mon July 18, 2011

Packaging-Free Grocery Store Announces Location

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Has an Austin grocery store ever received this much hype before it has enough money to open a single location? Perhaps it’s the packaging-free premise explained in this catchy video, or maybe it’s the lack of healthy grocery options in East Austin, but in.gredients has attracted a lot of media attention.

Now here’s some more: in.gredients has announced a location for its yet-to-exist store. It's going to be at 2610 Manor Road.

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Business
12:07 pm
Mon July 18, 2011

Texas Researchers Find Dangerous Conditions On Gulf Coast Shrimping Boats

Shrimp like these are obtained through dangerous working conditions, primarily by Vietnamese fisherman, a new UT study confirms.
Photo courtesy of Southern Foodways Alliance http://www.flickr.com/photos/southernfoodwaysalliance/

When a shrimper goes out on the Gulf of Mexico for a day's work they are supposed to bring a laminated "Mayday" card in case of emergency. The card has instructions on how to call in an emergency from the sea by radio. It also includes a conversation guide printed in English and Vietnamese.

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Business
1:01 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

F1 To Get More Building Permits Today

This view will change significantly now that Formula One has secured more building permits and FEMA has issued a conditional map revision.
Photo courtesy of Circuit of the Americas

Planners for the proposed Formula One race track in Southeast Travis County are a step closer to starting construction on some of the buildings at the track.

Officials met with several Travis County agencies last night, including the Transportation and Natural Resources and Sheriff's Departments and Fire Marshal’s Office, to discuss transportation and safety planning. County authorities are issuing building permits for more structures at the track today.

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Business
1:17 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

Report: Austin Rental Market Good For Investors

Austin makes a list of best cities in which to invest in rental property.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The company behind those “We Buy Ugly Houses” billboards just released a study on the best cities to invest in rental properties, and Austin made 24th on the list.

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Business
10:28 am
Mon July 11, 2011

New Dell Tablet Leaked Online?

Round Rock-based Dell Inc., one of the largest employers in Central Texas, may be on the verge of launching a new tablet computer. PC World reports on a leaked video that appears to reveal the Dell Peju, a new 10-inch tablet due to be launched in October.

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Business
11:59 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Last Shuttle Mission Means Fewer Space Jobs

Photo by Matt Largey/KUT News

The Space Shuttle Atlantis will lift off Friday - the last shuttle mission for NASA.

Contractors who work on the shuttle program have been getting pink slips for the past year and a half, as the program winds down. But thousands more in Florida, Alabama and Texas will be out of a job after the final mission. 

USA Today reports on how Florida's Space Coast economy will be impacted by the end of the program.

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Business
2:18 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Pepper Vs. Pepper

Dr. Pepper is suing itself over distribution rights of the "Dublin Dr. Pepper" soda.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

The Doctor is in.... court.

If you're a fan of "Dublin Dr. Pepper," that variety of the soda made from pure cane sugar, you may want to stock up. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. is suing the Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin, Texas for breaking the terms of their contract.

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Business
3:05 pm
Wed June 29, 2011

City Council Waives Fees for Convention Center Hotel

Photo by Paulo Martins for KUT News

The mayor and City Council voted to waive $3.8 million in fees for White Lodging’s construction of a new convention center hotel in downtown Austin today.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell supports the construction of a convention center hotel as an effort to attract more tourism revenue. He says Austin’s convention center bookings have been declining because its capacity is too low. The mayor says he received interest in booking conventions as soon as rumors started circulating that Austin could expand its convention center space.

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