Downtown Austin Alliance announces new plan for economic recovery amid pandemic

Closed businesses in downtown Austin July 21, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)

Closed businesses in downtown Austin July 21, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Downtown Austin Alliance has begun a new “Roadmap to Recovery” to help boost economic recovery in downtown Austin, according to a press release sent Thursday.

The roadmap is scheduled to go through spring of next year and consists of four phases, according to the press release: discovery, visioning, mapping and action. The discovery phase will incorporate methods such as focus groups, workshops and interviews to understand how COVID-19 has affected Austinites.

“Based on the findings from the discovery phase, the visioning phase will focus on developing key indicators to determine what success looks like,” the press release said. “These indicators will correspond to crucial economic segments that contribute to downtown’s vitality, including the hotel, retail, restaurant/bar and music industries.”

The results will be made public anonymously as milestones for the roadmap and ideas discovered from the process can be implemented at any time.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have deployed several successful initiatives to keep downtown vibrant, safe and clean,” said alliance president Dewitt Peart in the press release. “Our goal is to help businesses recover and facilitate reengagement with downtown by employees, residents, visitors and creatives.”

Almost 1,500 Austin businesses closed due to the pandemic from March to July, according to a Yelp report. The city gave $16.5 million in grants to struggling businesses in August, but the benefits ranged anywhere from $40,000 to a few hundred dollars depending on the business.

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