Austin music venue owner hoping it’s his turn to receive COVID-19 aid from city


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city’s Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) plan aims to help businesses struggling to keep the doors open due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At present, the city has allocated $6 million to the SAVES funding, but Thursday, the Austin City Council could approve an additional $8.5 million to provide aid for music venues, legacy businesses and childcare operations.

One business owner hopes to receive some of the funding. Saxon Pub’s owner Joe Ables said he’s applied for other city funding to help with COVID-19 relief but did not get selected.

“I found out it was a lottery and well, damn it, I guess I’m just not lucky,” Ables said.

He plans to apply for the SAVES funding. He said while he’s doing better than most, he can’t solely depend on his reserves.

“We had reserves, exhausted now, but I can’t go on forever,” he said.

Ables is not alone. COVID-19 has brought many businesses to a halt.

“We really need the state and the federal government to step up to the plate,” said Ann Kitchen, the city’s council member for District 5. “What we can do at the city level is to provide what I consider to be a bridge to help them continue to survive.”

Ables is hopeful for this funding as Saxon Pub falls under two of the three categories: a music venue and legacy business.

“I bought a rabbit’s foot for the next go-round,” Ables said jokingly. “I trust that someone will be looking down on us and saying, ‘OK, your luck is here now and here we go.'”

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