About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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Help for more venues coming soon?
The city’s Economic Development Department is exploring ways it could expand eligibility for its Music Venue Assistance Loan Program, a $140,000 pool approved by City Council in 2012 to help local live music venues make sometimes-expensive modifications to their sound equipment. Currently only expenditures to help make venues compliant with noise ordinances are allowed, with businesses only eligible if their current lease is at least as long as the loan term. Alex Lopez, deputy director for the department, said city staff is looking at how to make that money available for improvements such as kitchen upgrades or enhanced sprinkler systems to increase a venue’s capacity, both of which could help increase revenue to the historically thin-margined businesses. There is no timetable for an adjustment to the program’s guidelines, and Council would need to approve such changes.
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