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City works to improve music venue loan program

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin’s Music & Entertainment division hopes to make more money available by the end of the year for music venues looking to make capital improvements and become more profitable. That could happen with a proposed expansion of the Music Venue Assistance Loan Program, a revolving loan fund created in 2012 and initially intended to help clubs pay for sound mitigation equipment and decrease the risk of fines from noise complaints. That mechanism has been underused, and department officials are exploring making the money available for improvements that could generate revenue – such as adding a commercial kitchen – and increasing the loan maximum to $50,000 from its current $35,000 limit. Brian Block, entertainment services manager, said staff is gathering input from music venues on how to best alter and deploy the loan program, which would be presented to the Austin Music Commission for an endorsement before heading to City Council for approval.

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