You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Business


Millennial-minded Moxy hotel would bring 154 rooms to The Drag

It appears Marriott is looking to bring a little Moxy to The Drag. The hotel company has submitted preliminary plans to the city of Austin seeking approval to build a 154-room boutique hotel targeting millennials on the rapidly changing stretch of Guadalupe Street adjacent to the University of Texas campus. City documents indicate the hotel would be constructed at 2552 Guadalupe St., taking the place...

Business Digest: Expansion underway for Banger’s on Rainey Street

ENTERTAINMENT Expansion underway for Banger’s on Rainey Street An expansion of the Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden will add 15,000 square feet of dining, lounge, event and performance space and give it one of the largest draft systems in Texas. The new building will be at 81.5 Rainey Street, just north of the current set of brick-red bungalows in what had previously been a staff...
Downtown Austin hotel moving forward — without Trump affiliation

Downtown Austin hotel moving forward — without Trump affiliation

A developer is releasing new details about a hotel planned for downtown Austin that last fall was linked to the development team of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. This week, however, Empyrean Development said Trump is not involved in the Austin project, which developers are calling Hotel Mirabeau. “We are focused on moving forward with the current team that has been assembled. Neither...
Texas Senate OKs plan to phase out franchise tax

Texas Senate OKs plan to phase out franchise tax

A measure that could eliminate Texas’ franchise tax — the state’s primary tax on business — within a decade won swift approval from the Texas Senate on Tuesday. Senate Bill 17, filed by state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and backed by the Texas Association of Business and other industry groups, mandates a cut to the franchise tax every two-year state budget cycle if state...

Albertsons said to weigh merger with organic grocer Sprouts

Albertsons Cos., the grocery-chain operator backed by Cerberus Capital Management, has held preliminary talks to merge with Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said. The discussions, which took place in recent weeks, are at an early stage and may not lead to a deal, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private details. The talks have involved a plan to...

U.S. stock indexes dip for a third day as banks stumble

After an early-afternoon slump, U.S. stocks finished mostly lower Monday in a quiet day of trading. Banks fell along with bond yields as stocks declined for a third straight day. Lower bond yields hurt banks because they force interest rates down on mortgages and other kinds of loans. Utility companies gave up some of their recent gains. Most sectors didn’t move much on the lightest trading...
The countdown begins: Britain to start EU exit on March 29

The countdown begins: Britain to start EU exit on March 29

Britain will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. Britain’s ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, informed European Council President Donald Tusk of the exact start date on Monday morning. “We are on the threshold...
Already in peril, rural hospitals unsure on health care bill

Already in peril, rural hospitals unsure on health care bill

Talmadge Yarbrough had just sat down at his desk and opened a box of pecans when he let out a gasp that could have been his last breath. He’d gone into cardiac arrest in his office, a co-worker called 911, and an ambulance drove him two miles to the small hospital that serves this rural community in southeast Georgia. “I would have never lasted to get to Savannah or Statesboro,”...

Business digest: Work starts on 226-unit apartment project

REAL ESTATE Work starts on 226-unit apartment project Developers have broken ground on a 226-unit apartment complex just west of downtown Austin. CWS Capital Partners LLC and Oden Hughes LLC said their six-story project at 1301 W. Fifth St. will have one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with 10 percent rented at below-market rates to qualified households. The project has not yet been named, and the...
Five Austinites make Forbes billionaires list

Five Austinites make Forbes billionaires list

Austin now can count five billionaires among its residents, according to new data from Forbes magazine. The magazine on Monday released its annual billionaires list of the wealthiest people on the planet, and Austin-area residents Michael Dell, John Paul DeJoria, Robert F. Smith, David Booth and Bryan Sheffield made the list. Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, remains Austin&rsquo...

Are we all losing health insurance coverage?

I met former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor shortly after she retired in 2006, years before Obamacare. We were both speakers at a conference in Washington, D.C. The justice, a person of extraordinary intellect, is generally exceptionally composed. That day she was upset. In her talk on health care she repeatedly asked, “Why can’t a nation as great and prosperous as ours...

Up the Ladder

Cybersecurity Forcepoint has named Brian Miller senior vice president of customer success and operations. Technology OWC has named Andy Bynum chief operating officer and Aly Chandwany director of e-commerce. RealMassive has named Patrick Lashinsky chief executive officer.
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

BIDEN AT SXSW Former vice president pushes to end divisions that hamper cancer fight: In an emotional speech at the South by Southwest conference last week, former Vice President Joe Biden described his frustration with government silos preventing cancer research from moving forward and describedtalked about the work he and his wife, Jill, are doing with the Biden Foundation cancer initiative. The...

Business Digest: Austin-area gas prices hold steady

FUEL Austin-area gas prices hold steady Austin-area gas prices continued to hold mostly steady this week, according to auto club AAA Texas. The average local price for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped 1 cent to $2.07, according to auto club AAA Texas. The price this week is 29 cents more than the same week last year, when the average price per gallon was $1.78, according to AAA Texas data. Gasoline...
Buc-ee’s tells Bucky’s: Texas isn’t big enough for both of us, and our giant stores were here first 

Buc-ee’s tells Bucky’s: Texas isn’t big enough for both of us, and our giant stores were here first 

Welcome to Texas. Now, get the heck out. That’s not quite what Lake Jackson-based Buc-ee’s is saying to a similarly named competitor, but it’s pretty darn close. In a lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court, Buc-ee’s accuses Omaha, Neb.-based Bucky’s of trademark infringement, unfair competition and unjust enrichment, claiming the Bucky’s name is “confusingly...
Texas film incentives program facing state budget ax

Texas film incentives program facing state budget ax

Plenty of movie blockbusters have been built around the theme of plucky protagonists triumphing over adversity through grit, hard work and the righteousness of their cause. Boosters for the film and video game industries in Texas are hoping to write themselves just such a Hollywood ending at the Capitol, where a taxpayer-funded incentive program — which backers say is critical to luring movie...
Fewer Mexican shoppers are heading to San Marcos outlet malls

Fewer Mexican shoppers are heading to San Marcos outlet malls

For years, the outlet malls in San Marcos have bustled with Mexican tourists looking for deals. Mexican license plates dotted the parking lot, and it was common to see people piling out of tour buses to do their shopping. “I haven’t seen a bus in a while,” said Bradley Tanksley, store manager of New York, New York, after hanging a long gown on a rack above his head on a recent weekday...

Business Digest: Hyundai recalls 978,000 cars for seat belt issue

AUTOMAKERS Hyundai recalls 978,000 cars for seat belt issue DETROIT — Hyundai is recalling 978,000 cars in the U.S. because the front seat belts could detach in a crash and fail to hold people. The recall covers Sonata midsize sedans from the 2011 through 2014 model years, and the Sonata hybrid from 2011 through 2015. Hyundai says in government documents that a fastener for a seat belt anchor...
Austin-area home sales weaken in February as market cools

Austin-area home sales weaken in February as market cools

Central Texas homes sales retreated in February, with sales increasing less than 1 percent year-over-year, the latest figures show. The median price for the metro area, however, climbed 6.5 percent, to $287,000, the Austin Board of Realtors said in its monthly report Thursday. Within Austin’s city limits, sales rose 6.4 percent over February 2016, the board’s figures show. The median sales...
NEW NOW: Austin-area home sales flat in February as market cools

NEW NOW: Austin-area home sales flat in February as market cools

Central Texas homes sales pulled back in February, with sales increasing less than 1 percent year-over-year, the latest figures show. The median price for the metro area, however, climbed 6.5 percent, to $287,000, the Austin Board of Realtors said in its monthly report Thursday. Within Austin’s city limits, sales rose 6.4 percent over February 2016, the board’s figures show. The median...

Business Digest: Radio Shack to close 8 Central Texas stores

RETAIL 8 Central Texas RadioShack stores to close Eight more Central Texas RadioShack stores are set to close as the electronics retailer continues to struggle financially. The Fort Worth-based company, which just filed bankruptcy for the second time in two years, shuttered a number of locations in 2015, in an earlier round of closings that affected seven Austin-area stores. Some of the remaining...
Alaska Airlines adding nonstop flights from Austin to San Diego

Alaska Airlines adding nonstop flights from Austin to San Diego

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is getting nonstop flights to yet another destination. Alaska Airlines said Wednesday it will start daily service from Austin to San Diego, Calif., on Aug. 28. Outbound flights will leave Austin at 8:30 a.m. each day, arriving in San Diego at 9:30 a.m. Return flights depart San Diego at 6:55 p.m., landing in Austin at 11:35 p.m. The new service will operate using...
In February TV ratings, KXAN wins mornings, evenings

In February TV ratings, KXAN wins mornings, evenings

KXAN continues to be Austin’s No. 1 choice for TV news, winning virtually every head-to-head competition in February, according to the latest Nielsen ratings. The city’s NBC affiliate took the top spot at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. At 4:30 a.m., KXAN and KVUE tied, while KVUE is home to Austin’s top-rated midday newscast. KXAN’s margin of victory, in most cases...
Stratus wraps up review, plans no changes

Stratus wraps up review, plans no changes

Austin-based Stratus Properties Inc. said Wednesday that it has concluded a strategic review of the company that included approaching more than 100 prospective buyers. Of the 105 firms approached, 24 asked to review financial documentation and 10 indicated they would be interested in a transaction, Stratus said. However, since none of the proposed offers were at or above Stratus’ current stock...
8 Central Texas RadioShack stores set to close

8 Central Texas RadioShack stores set to close

Eight more Central Texas RadioShack stores are set to close as the electronics retailer continues to struggle financially. The Fort Worth-based company, which just filed bankruptcy for the second time in two years, shuttered a number of locations in 2015, in an earlier round of closings that affected seven Austin-area stores. Some of the remaining locations added Sprint stores in hopes of attracting...
SXSW: Buzz Aldrin wants USA to go to Mars

SXSW: Buzz Aldrin wants USA to go to Mars

If you think the space race is over, think again. Even though NASA has dramatically scaled back its operations in recent years, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin says there's still hope for America to create a permanent human settlement on Mars. It's something he's pushing hard for, as evidenced in an interview Tuesday at South by Southwest. The 87-year-old told an overflow crowd at the Austin Convention...
Watch YouTube star Casey Neistat swish through Austin during SXSW

Watch YouTube star Casey Neistat swish through Austin during SXSW

Ever wanted to see Austin through the eyes of a tourist during South by Southwest? YouTube star Casey Neistat gave his six million subscribers a glimpse into his trip to the Live Music Capital of the World on Monday. Neistat, who recently sold his video startup to CNN, was in town to discuss his partnership with the news network. In his video, titled “Nintendo Switch on an Airplane&rdquo...

Business Digest: Wholesale prices up just 0.3% in February

ECONOMY Wholesale prices up just 0.3% in February WASHINGTON — Inflation at the wholesale level rose at just half the rate in February as the previous month, as a surge in energy prices slowed. The Labor Department said Tuesday that its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, increased 0.3 percent in February following a 0.6 percent rise in January...
WATCH: Take a look inside ‘The Mummy’ virtual reality experience at SXSW

WATCH: Take a look inside ‘The Mummy’ virtual reality experience at SXSW

If you haven’t heard yet, “The Mummy” is getting a remake starring Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis. Visitors to South by Southwest got an inside look at the new film in virtual reality form at the “The Mummy Zero Gravity VR Experience” in the Austin Convention Center. 512Tech’s Omar Gallaga gave a look behind the scenes at the experience: <div><...
Texas senators slam film incentives program

Texas senators slam film incentives program

The Texas Film Commission was likened to a “central planning” agency on Tuesday, with some state lawmakers calling the incentives it disburses to lure in movie, television and video-game productions a form of corporate welfare. The comments came at a Legislative hearing over one of several bills filed during the current session that would abolish both the flim commission and its incentives...
PHOTOS: SXSW Day 5, March 14

PHOTOS: SXSW Day 5, March 14

Photos: ‘Cyber Teleportation Tokyo’ brings Japan to SXSW on March 13, 2017

Photos: ‘Cyber Teleportation Tokyo’ brings Japan to SXSW on March 13, 2017

Gander Mountain declares bankruptcy, plans to close 32 stores to start

Gander Mountain declares bankruptcy, plans to close 32 stores to start

Outdoor specialty store chain Gander Mountain followed the lead of other sporting goods retailers in recent months and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. The Minnesota-based retailer, which specializes in hunting, fishing and camping equipment, said in a press release that it will close 32 “under-performing retail locations” out of its 162 stores over the next few weeks. &ldquo...

FBI lead lawyer at SXSW: Encryption remains vexing

While praising it for protecting Americans’ privacy, FBI General Council James Baker said that personal encryption remains vexing to the FBI. “The Bureau supports strong encryption. It is a good thing for the government and it’s a good thing for the country, Baker said. “It has huge benefits but some costs. Those costs come to us that have to protect public safety.” Baker...
‘Veep’ panel at SXSW avoids Trump talk, says Season 6 will examine post-presidential life

‘Veep’ panel at SXSW avoids Trump talk, says Season 6 will examine post-presidential life

If anybody was expecting the cast and showrunner of the most acidly cynical show on television to unload on the current presidential administration, Monday’s South by Southwest talk might have been a disappointment. Not only does the upcoming sixth season of HBO’s “Veep” not deal directly with the gigantic shifts in D.C. right now (it was written and filmed last year before...

Business Digest: Whole Foods recalls cheeses over Listeria fears

RETAIL Whole Foods recalls cheeses over Listeria fears Listeria concerns have prompted Austin-based Whole Foods Market to voluntarily recall cheeses sold at eight of its stores in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday. The Andes, Hamden and Walton Umber raw milk cheeses, produced by Vulto Creamery, have been linked to at least six illnesses and two...
Listeria fears prompt recall of cheeses sold at Whole Foods

Listeria fears prompt recall of cheeses sold at Whole Foods

Listeria concerns have prompted Austin-based Whole Foods Market to voluntarily recall cheeses sold at eight of its stores in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday. The Andes, Hamden and Walton Umber raw milk cheeses, produced by Vulto Creamery, have been linked to at least six illnesses and two deaths, the FDA said. Vulto Creamery products are available...

Outdoors retailer Gander Mountain closing 3 Central Texas stores

Struggling outdoors retailer Gander Mountain will close 32 of its 162 stores nationwide. A third of them are in Texas, including three in Central Texas. The Central Texas locations are: 3203 S. Interstate 35, Round Rock 701 E. Central Texas Expy., Killeen 2701 S. Jack Kultgen Expy., Waco The remaining Texas stores set to close include several in the Houston...
Texas bills target ‘wraparound’ mortgage lending practices

Texas bills target ‘wraparound’ mortgage lending practices

The small, often hand-written signs are common sights at busy intersections in Austin and El Paso: “House for Sale. No credit needed. $10k down.” But answering such advertisements is one way unsophisticated buyers come in contact with unscrupulous lenders who specialize in a practice known as “predatory wraparound mortgages,” according to legal aide attorneys and banking regulators...
PHOTOS: Androids at The Wow Factory, March 13, 2017

PHOTOS: Androids at The Wow Factory, March 13, 2017

Photos: Mark Cuban speaks at SXSW  on March 12

Photos: Mark Cuban speaks at SXSW  on March 12

Dallas Mavericks owner and businessman Mark Cuban spoke at SXSW on March 12, 2017.
Want to see Joe Biden at SXSW? Wake up and get a wristband

Want to see Joe Biden at SXSW? Wake up and get a wristband

As if you weren’t already dreading losing an hour of sleep for Daylight Saving Time, South by Southwest organizers have sprung a plot twist on attendees hoping to see former Vice President Joe Biden speak at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. SXSW will distribute wristbands at 8:30 a.m. at the Austin Convention Center box office to see Biden discuss his cancer-fighting initiative, according to the festival...
5 things to know about SXSW today

5 things to know about SXSW today

South by Southwest 2017 is here. Here are five things to know about Day Three of the conference: 1. The Bidens are here: Jill and Joe Biden will speak at an afternoon SXSW session related to the couple’s cancer research initiative. The former vice president and his wife have pledged to continue the work that started with the White House Cancer Moonshot. 2. State politics at SXSW: The controversial...

Finding ways to create some money magic

In taking over Scott Burns’ column, I promised to perform some money magic — to show you ways to better manage your finances and safely raise your living standard. I can’t do this on a one-on-one basis. But let me point you to an online tool, called ESPlannerBASIC, that can help perform an array of money miracles. My company, Economic Security Planning Inc., provides this tool for...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

HOSPITAL GROWTH St. David’s South Austin Medical Center plans $58 million expansion: St. David’s South Austin Medical Center said it plans to start construction this year on a $58 million expansion that will mean added facilities, increased services and new jobs. The project will include expanding the hospital’s emergency department, adding patient rooms and beds and creating additional...

Up the Ladder

HEALTH CARE EDAP has named Noah Bartsch vice president of global medical, regulatory and quality affairs. He will be based in Austin. INSURANCE UnitedHealthcare has named Aaron Daniels vice president of key accounts for Central Texas TECHNOLOGY RealMassive has named Patrick Lashinsky chief executive officer. Xplore Technologies has named John Graff vice president of marketing.
Talking Trump tweets, Wikileaks and surveillance

Talking Trump tweets, Wikileaks and surveillance

Two panels on data security and online privacy during South by Southwest Interactive’s government track were particularly salient Friday after a newsy week that included Wikileaks’ release Tuesday of documents on how the government hacks your tech and President Donald Trump’s accusation Saturday that former President Barack Obama had illegally tapped his phone.  Scott Shackford...

Business Digest: Waymo escalates legal battle with Uber

TRANSPORTATION Waymo escalates legal battle with Uber SAN FRANCISCO — A self-driving car company founded by Google is presenting new evidence to support allegations that a former manager stole technology sold to Uber to help the ride-hailing service build its own robot-powered vehicles. Waymo, a project hatched by Google eight years ago, wove its tale of deceit in sworn statements filed Friday...
Welcome to Austin! Now, meet Mexico at SXSW

Welcome to Austin! Now, meet Mexico at SXSW

For the second year in a row, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) will open its doors and will host Casa México. The event is organized by a private and public coalition of six entities spearheaded by Mexican Consulate and the Tecnológico de Monterrey university along with the City of Austin, among others.  This three-day event, which began on March...
A decade in, The Domain has made its mark on Austin

A decade in, The Domain has made its mark on Austin

Austin’s rapid transformation isn’t limited to just downtown. Over the past decade, local developer Endeavor Real Estate Group has worked to transform about 300 acres of land once owned and occupied by IBM into The Domain – a bustling mix of shops, restaurants, offices, hotels and apartments off MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) in North Austin that real estate firms nationwide have tried...
Photos: A decade of the Domain in Austin

Photos: A decade of the Domain in Austin

Over the past decade, local developer Endeavor Real Estate Group has worked to transform about 300 acres of land once owned and occupied by IBM into The Domain – a bustling mix of shops, restaurants, offices, hotels and apartments off MoPac Boulevard.
Contractor building Austin’s Fairmont hotel files $27 million lawsuit

Contractor building Austin’s Fairmont hotel files $27 million lawsuit

The general contractor building what will soon be Austin’s largest hotel has filed a lawsuit seeking at least $27 million in damages against a subcontractor that allegedly caused the project to fall behind schedule. That hotel, the 1,048-room Fairmont Austin, at 101 Red River St., is supposed to open Aug. 9 and its developer says that will still happen, despite the looming court battle. &ldquo...
5 things to know about SXSW today

5 things to know about SXSW today

South by Southwest 2017 has arrived. Here are five things to know about the first day of the conference: 1. Be ready for rain: You’ll need your umbrella Friday and Saturday, although sunshine will return Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures will climb to near 80 on Friday and Saturday, making for a muggy weekend as storm chances rise to 50 percent. A cold front arriving...

Business Digest: Austin adds nonstop flights to tech hubs

AIR TRAVEL Austin adds nonstop flights to tech hubs Good news for tech travelers: Austin is getting new nonstop flights to technology hubs San Jose and Raleigh-Durham. Alaska Airlines will begin new daily nonstop service between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. The flight, which will launch on Aug. 27, will depart Austin at 3 p.m. and arrive...
Tyson Foods, largest meat producer in U.S., invests in meatless future

Tyson Foods, largest meat producer in U.S., invests in meatless future

The new head of Tyson Foods, the largest meat processor in the United States, said he sees a possible meatless future for the world’s 9 billion people. Tyson CEO Tom Hayes, who took over the reins in December, said during an interview with Fox Business that he doesn’t believe that the increasing market for plant-based protein is a fad. “Protein consumption is growing around the world...
Yeti competitor RTIC will redesign ‘confusingly similar’ coolers, mugs

Yeti competitor RTIC will redesign ‘confusingly similar’ coolers, mugs

New details are emerging about a now-settled lawsuit filed by Austin-based Yeti against a competing company whose product designs were allegedly a little too close for comfort. In multiple filings in U.S. District Court obtained Wednesday by the American-Statesman, Yeti, which makes higher-end coolers and thermal mugs, says the competitor, RTIC, has agreed to “redesign the accused products.&rdquo...

Business Digest: Military official cancels SXSW visit

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST Military official cancels SXSW visit South by Southwest saw another high-profile speaker cancel, as Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday he will no longer be attending due to “scheduling conflicts.” FBI director James Comey on Monday also cancelled his SXSW appearance. Selva was to be interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper in...

Austin’s Amplify Snack Brands sees revenue jump in 4th quarter

Austin-based Amplify Snack Brands saw its revenue surge in the fourth quarter in the wake of its acquisition of U.K.-based snack foods company Tyrrells, the company said Wednesday. The snack foods company reported revenue of posted revenue of $88.6 million in the fourth quarter, a 91 percent jump from the same quarter the previous year. That topped Wall Street forecasts, as analysts surveyed by Zacks...
Report: Ivanka Trump’s merchandise sales surging, jumping despite boycott

Report: Ivanka Trump’s merchandise sales surging, jumping despite boycott

Following the election of President Donald Trump, multiple retailers made headlines when they decided to drop his daughter Ivanka’s name-brand retail items. Nordstrom, Shoes.com and Neiman Marcus were just a few of the outlets that chose to no longer carry items from the first daughter. “It’s not a political decision for us. We carry thousands of brands and making edits to our...

Some in Texas health sector have questions on GOP plan

Advocates for low-income Texans warn that the state’s bill for Medicaid costs is likely to grow — which could potentially lead to loss of benefits for some residents — if Republicans move forward with their newly released plan to dismantle and replace the Affordable Care Act. The proposed legislation, which the GOP dubbed the American Health Care Act, comes as budget writers in Austin...

Business Digest: Former UT star Young partnering in real estate firm

REAL ESTATE Ex-UT star Young partnering in real estate firm Vince Young, an NFL veteran and former University of Texas football star, has opened a residential real estate brokerage focused on Central Texas. Young is starting Vince Young Realty Partners along with Chad Mize, a real estate agent and co-founder of local startup Network Systems Resale, and Rick Orr, a real estate agent and founder of...

Austin businesses sue, claim illegally denied access to visa program

Thirty businesses, including 12 with roots in Austin, are suing U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly , claiming they have been unlawfully denied access to the country’s H-2B work visa program. The plaintiffs say they have lost significant money and suffered damage to their reputations after the federal government refused to approve their requests for visas, according to a lawsuit filed...
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center plans $58 million expansion

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center plans $58 million expansion

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center said it plans to start construction this year on a $58 million expansion that will mean added facilities, increased services and new jobs. The project will include expanding the hospital’s emergency department, adding patient rooms and beds and creating additional parking at the medical center, 901 West Ben White Boulevard. Construction is expected...
Whole Foods closing Austin catering kitchen; 93 jobs at risk

Whole Foods closing Austin catering kitchen; 93 jobs at risk

Whole Foods Market will close its centralized Austin catering kitchen next month, transferring catering operations into its stores here – a move that could result in up to 93 jobs being lost, according to a letter the Austin-based retailer sent the Texas Workforce Commission. Most of the employees currently working at the catering kitchen, at 6201 Bolm Road in Austin, are expected to find work...
Former UT star Vince Young partnering in real estate firm

Former UT star Vince Young partnering in real estate firm

Vince Young, an NFL veteran and former University of Texas football star, has opened a residential real estate brokerage focused on Central Texas. Young is starting Vince Young Realty Partners along with Chad Mize, a real estate agent and co-founder of local startup Network Systems Resale, and Rick Orr, a real estate agent and founder of RealSavvy, a home-search platform, and TabbedOut, a mobile application...
Whole Foods closing Austin central catering kitchen, 93 jobs at risk

Whole Foods closing Austin central catering kitchen, 93 jobs at risk

Whole Foods Market will close its centralized Austin catering kitchen next month, transferring catering operations into its stores here – a move that could result in up to 93 jobs being lost, according to a letter the retailer sent the Texas Workforce Commission. Most of the employees currently working at the catering kitchen, at 6201 Bolm Road in East Austin, are expected to find work at Whole...
Study: Texas, other states should rethink use of economic incentives

Study: Texas, other states should rethink use of economic incentives

Taxpayer-funded incentives for economic development are most cost-effective when they’re temporary, focused on high-wage employers and mandate specific criteria such as customized job training, according to a new report that dings Texas and other states for a scattershot approach to business recruitment. “There’s not enough targeting going on,” said Timothy Bartik, senior economist...

Business Digest: Exxon to spend $20B on Gulf Coast projects

OIL & GAS Exxon to spend $20B on Gulf Coast projects HOUSTON — Exxon Mobil Corp. says it plans to spend $20 billion over 10 years on refineries, chemical and liquefied natural gas plants along the Gulf Coast. Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said Monday that the company would expand current plants and build new ones, mostly designed to create petroleum products for export. Woods said the work would...

At Capitol, advocates oppose changes to Medicaid funding, Obamacare

Health care advocates from across Texas rallied at the state Capitol on Monday, calling on state lawmakers to maintain Medicaid funding and criticizing national Republicans for their plans to repeal the Obama administration’s health care policies. The advocacy group Cover Texas Now, which organized the rally, said about 1,000 people from around Texas signed up for a lunch on the Capitol grounds...
High-tech firms, educators push bills to fund computer science classes

High-tech firms, educators push bills to fund computer science classes

High-tech companies in Austin and across Texas struggle to find workers with the computer science and technical skills they need. More often than not, they have to poach workers from other companies or recruit them from other states and countries. Even at full capacity, the Central Texas higher education pipeline produces only half the computer science graduates needed to fill the open jobs in...

Up the Ladder

Technology Pivot3 has named Mark Maisano vice president of channel sales. Social Solutions Global has named Nikhil Kumar chief operating officer. Planview has named Brian Prokaski executive vice president of commercial sales. RealMassive has named Patrick Lashinsky chief executive officer. Consumer services LawnStarter has named Zak Cocos vice president of growth.
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

NEW FUND Austin’s Next Coast Ventures launches $85 million fund for startups: Good news for Austin entrepreneurs: Next Coast Ventures has closed on an $85 million fund to invest in startups. The new firm, founded by two technology industry veterans, plans to do 20 to 30 deals, with up to three-quarters of them in Central Texas. “We are thrilled with the activity we’re seeing in Austin...

When it comes to Social Security, don’t trust and do verify

I am retiring and dealing with Social Security at age 66 after being married 18 years, divorced six years, and still single. When I attempted to file and suspend, and then file for a restricted benefit based on my ex’s income (so I can delay until age 70 filing for my own maximum benefits), the local Social Security office told me I cannot file on my ex unless she has already filed for benefits...
A year can swing rankings, but Austin economic trajectory still strong

A year can swing rankings, but Austin economic trajectory still strong

What a difference a year can make. The Austin metro area regularly posts some of the country’s strongest economic growth rates, but a report last year raised questions about how broadly Central Texans shared in those gains. This year, the same Brookings Institution Inclusive Growth Index showed Austin made a marked improvement on measures of economic inclusion, at least when compared with the...

Business Digest: Cellular provider revs up for SXSW crowds

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST Cellular provider revs up for SXSW crowds With South by Southwest just around the corner, cellular providers are beefing up their networks to handle all the data hogs bound for downtown Austin. AT&T said Friday it will have 20 percent more capacity during SXSW 2017 compared to last year. The Dallas-based telecommunications giant said it will bring four COWs – or Cell On Wheels...
Austin, Manor school districts launch workforce training academies

Austin, Manor school districts launch workforce training academies

Starting right after spring break, counselors and teachers in the Austin school district will pitch eighth-graders on a new sort of high school – one that lasts for up to six years, but ends with an interview for a job such as a cybersecurity analyst with Dell Inc. or a nurse with the Seton Healthcare Family. Students slated to attend LBJ and Reagan high schools will get the first shot at the...
Jonathan Sessler, UT’s inventor of year, challenges odds in life, work

Jonathan Sessler, UT’s inventor of year, challenges odds in life, work

In his cramped fifth-floor office on the University of Texas campus, just down the hall from the lab where he and his colleagues invent molecules, UT’s 2016 inventor of the year wants to talk about the odds of failure. Jonathan Sessler is a cheerful man who twice survived an aggressive form of cancer. He co-founded a $21 billion biotech company. He is close to fulfilling a promise he made to...

Business Digest: Jobless claims at lowest level since 1973

ECONOMY Jobless claims at lowest level since 1973 WASHINGTON — Just 223,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, fewest in nearly 44 years. The Labor Department says unemployment claims dropped by 19,000 from 242,000 the previous week to the lowest level since March 1973. The four-week average, which is less volatile, fell by 6,250 to 234,250, lowest since April 1973. Overall...
Austin-area alcohol sales flat in January

Austin-area alcohol sales flat in January

Alcohol sales at Austin bars, restaurants and hotels were essentially flat in January, according to the latest figures from the state comptroller’s office. Bartenders citywide poured $53.2 million worth of booze in the first month of this year, up less than 1 percent from $53.1 million in 2015, an American-Statesman analysis found. Across Texas, bar tabs were up 2 percent for the month, reaching...

School for children with dyslexia to relocate

Austin’s Rawson Saunders School is buying property in Southwest Austin that it plans to use as its future campus site, school leaders say. The 33.7-acre site, which Rawson Saunders School is purchasing from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, is near School Road and Patton Ranch Road, not far from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School’s Upper School campus. Rawson Saunders School is currently...
Photos: Get a look at the new Alamo Drafthouse Mueller Cinema

Photos: Get a look at the new Alamo Drafthouse Mueller Cinema

Business Digest: U.S. factories grow at fastest pace since 2014

ECONOMY U.S. factories grow at fastest pace since 2014 WASHINGTON — American factories expanded in February at the fastest pace in more than two years. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index came in at 57.7 last month, up from 56 in January and highest since October 2014. Any reading above 50 signals growth. Factories...
Photos: Peek inside the Austin airport’s South Terminal, still under construction 

Photos: Peek inside the Austin airport’s South Terminal, still under construction 

Alamo Drafthouse debuts at Mueller

Alamo Drafthouse debuts at Mueller

Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse showed off its newest location Wednesday. The theater, which features six screens capable of accommodating anywhere from 45 to 140 movie-goers, is at 1911 Aldrich Street in the Mueller development. It’s set to open to the public March 9, showing a variety of first-run and specialty films – many with a family focus. Features include Barrel O’ Fun, an...
Dallas Fed: Regional economy expands on rising demand, energy recovery

Dallas Fed: Regional economy expands on rising demand, energy recovery

Widespread increases in demand and the continued recovery of the Texas manufacturing and energy sectors fueled solid regional economic growth in recent weeks, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In its chapter of the Beige Book, an anecdotal survey of the economy compiled every six weeks by the Federal Reserve banks, the Dallas Fed said the economic activity in...
Expert: 2017 off to strong start for Austin housing market

Expert: 2017 off to strong start for Austin housing market

Central Texas’ housing market is off to a strong start for 2017, an industry expert said Wednesday. Eldon Rude, an Austin-based housing market consultant, said 26 production homebuilders he tracks reported generally healthy sales for both January and February, “and that bodes well for the spring market.” “We’re in pretty good shape,” said Rude, addressing about...

Business Digest: Consumer confidence at highest level since 2001

ECONOMY Consumer confidence at highest level since 2001 WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer confidence climbed to the highest level in more than 15 years, good news for the economy. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 114.8 in February from 111.6 in January and the highest since July 2001.The index measures both consumers’ assessment of current conditions...
Chuy’s revenue jumps 15 percent in fiscal 2016

Chuy’s revenue jumps 15 percent in fiscal 2016

Austin-based Chuy’s Holdings Inc. saw its revenue jump 15.2 percent in fiscal 2016, hitting $330.6 million, the Tex-Mex chain said Tuesday. That’s up from $287.1 million in fiscal 2015. A good chunk of that growth was fueled by the addition of new locations, the company said, with comparable restaurant sales up just .8 percent year over year. Adjusted net income was $18.3 million, or $1...
Commentary: Texas has much to win and lose with NAFTA renegotiation

Commentary: Texas has much to win and lose with NAFTA renegotiation

President Donald Trump wants to “kick-start” the process to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he has called the “worst deal ever.” Should Texans be concerned? The answer is unequivocally yes. Texas consumers have a huge stake in NAFTA, which currently lowers the price we pay for many goods. One-third of goods imported from Mexico by the U.S. are imported...
Texas service sector growth boosts hiring plans, but concerns persist

Texas service sector growth boosts hiring plans, but concerns persist

Steady retail sales growth helped sustain the expansion of the Texas service sector in February, but some uncertainties about the new White House administration and the energy industry’s recovery added a note of caution to otherwise optimistic outlooks, according to a report Tuesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The state revenue index, a key measure of activity at private service-providing...