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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Souly Austin, the Economic Development Department’s program that creates neighborhood-specific merchant associations, was recently recognized by the Texas chapter of the American Planning Association. The group awarded Souly Austin with a Planning Achievement Award for Economic Development Planning, recognizing the six merchant districts formed to date that have brought together more than 1,200 businesses to implement enhancement projects, organize festivals and form other partnerships to encourage economic growth. Other city efforts recognized at the awards include the Strategic Housing Blueprint Implementation Atlas, the Strategic Mobility Plan and the Brush Square Master Plan. Souly Austin is currently accepting applications from businesses interested in forming an association, participating in economic analysis and capacity building workshops, and more. Typically two new business areas are organized as Souly districts each year. Applications are open until Oct. 30.
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