AUSTIN (KXAN) — COVID-19 instances are up statewide, however domestically, numbers have been fairly constant lately. Companies in downtown Austin are discovering methods to reopen safely.

For the primary time in months, Ciara Rizzo, who works downtown, is again inside Royal Blue Grocery at 609 Congress Avenue.

“I’m beginning my regular routine once more,” Rizzo mentioned.

The Congress Avenue location shut down in April and reopened Thursday. It was getting ready to closing for good, however federal and native {dollars} are holding the doorways opened. Since reopening, Royal Blue is seeing a gradual move of shoppers at a decrease capability.

“We’re seeing some companies opening again up, some places of work changing into a little bit bit extra occupied, and we’ve additionally seen extra site visitors on the motels on the weekends,” mentioned Craig Staley, an proprietor of Royal Blue Grocery.

A fast snapshot of weekend foot site visitors exhibits simply how a lot issues have slowed on Congress Avenue.

(Courtesy: Downtown Austin Alliance)

The Downtown Austin Alliance sees that altering with its Roadmap to Recovery program. The roadmap is scheduled to undergo spring of subsequent 12 months and consists of 4 phases, together with discovery, visioning, mapping and motion. The invention section, which the company is at the moment in, will incorporate strategies like focus teams, workshops and interviews to know how COVID-19 has affected Austinites.

“So we will probably be realigning every of our phases accordingly to attempt to benefit from the successes we see and be taught from the failures,” mentioned Michele Van Hyfte, Vice President of City Planning of Downtown Austin Alliance.

Analysis supplied by the Alliance exhibits about 50% of storefront companies are open. However with many working from house, there may be extra space in downtown places of work. Residential lease costs dropped by 8%, based on Alliance knowledge, since some renters aren’t renewing their leases. Retail, bars and eating places are the toughest hit industries. Actual property continues to be thriving based on specialists. Though building has continued, the Alliance says we would see a slowdown in early 2021.

“Tasks that have been within the strategy of being financed or funded or have been within the final levels of programming their design, they could take a pause and reevaluate the market,” mentioned Van Hyfte.

Nearly 1,500 Austin companies closed as a result of pandemic from March to July, according to a Yelp report. Town gave $16.5 million in grants to struggling companies in August, however the advantages ranged anyplace from $40,000 to a couple hundred {dollars} relying on the enterprise.



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