Lake Travis - Westlake

Stay informed about the latest local news in Lake Travis and Westlake, including LTISD and EISD coverage, the real estate market, and news from Austin City Hall.

3:49 PM May 22, 2020 CDT

Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox updates community as state rolls out Phase 2 of reopening plan

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox has been updating the community on a weekly basis through Facebook live broadcasts. Cox’s May 21 update came on the heels of a number of business openings as Texas enters Phase 2 of Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening plan.


Unemployment rate in Travis County shoots to 12.4% in April; Austin metro jumps to 12.2%

The local unemployment rate remains below the statewide and national rates.


Budget cuts slated for Texas state agencies, higher education institutions in 2020-21 biennium

Texas state agencies and institutions of higher education to expect a 5% reduction in budget plans for the 2020-21 biennium as part of the state's response to the economic ramifications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.



State, federal officials offer resources, advice for Texas small business owners

“Small businesses are having to pivot, and we are seeing that. We are having businesses that had one business model that had to change," said Adriana Cruz, executive director for economic development and tourism in the Office of the Texas Governor.


Texas has doled out $6.4B in unemployment benefits, projects state fund to run out by end of May

Officials anticipate drawing from federal funds to ensure no delays in benefit payments.


Plano-based J.C. Penney files for bankruptcy protection as store closure announcements loom

Plano-based J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy protection May 15, a move the company said would help it navigate the difficult business climate during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Nationwide sales of retail, food services plummet in March, April amid social distancing, stay-at-home orders

As many businesses are operating on decreased capacities or have shut down completely, one side effect is a dip in monthly sales for retail and food services.



National unemployment sees largest-ever month-over-month increase in April

Unemployment numbers hit a record high in April, the highest level recorded since 1948, when these reports were first issued.


Lakeway officials discuss possibilities for ample hotel tax fund to provide COVID-19 relief

Mayor Sandy Cox said she has been engaging in discussions with the Texas Lodging Society and Gov. Greg Abbott’s office with regard to using hotel occupancy tax money to aid recovery efforts from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Texas COVID Relief Fund launched to bring financial help to communities in need

The funds raised will be distributed to nonprofits, school districts and government organizations across Texas to help promote economic development, health care and education.


March sales tax revenue in western Travis County shows slight year-over-year decreases for some cities

The office of the Texas comptroller released city-by-city numbers for March sales tax revenue May 6, and officials said the figures shown for Texas cities represent the last month before the effects are shown of what COVID-19 has done to municipal revenue.



Texas saw a 9.3% drop year over year in sales tax revenue generated based on March sales

Sales tax revenue collected by the state of Texas in April totaled $2.58 billion, a more than 9% drop compared to April 2019,


43.39% of restaurant owners choosing to reopen dine-in service May 1, Texas Restaurant Association survey shows

Texas restaurants have not been permitted to offer dine-in services since mid-March but could start again beginning May 1.


Mayor Sandy Cox updates community as boating, skateparks, various businesses reopen in Lakeway area

Phase One of Gov. Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas began May 1.


Rollingwood officials approve $100,000 COVID-19 economic relief program

During a special called meeting April 30, Rollingwood officials voted to approve a project to provide financial relief for businesses within city limits.



Lake Travis community leaders hopeful county assistance program can help area businesses

Community leaders in the Lake Travis area are hopeful a new financial assistance plan from Travis County will add another layer of help to small businesses in more obscure geographic regions of western Travis County.


Most Austin brewpubs will not open May 1 despite green light from governor

Only a few brewpubs in and around Austin have announced plans to open their doors to customers May 1, even as revenue continues to dwindle statewide.


DATA: See how many people in Lake Travis-Westlake have filed for unemployment since mid-March

The Texas Workforce Commission has released new data showing 920,604 people statewide have filed for unemployment from March 18-April 18.


Gov. Greg Abbott: Alcohol to-go sales in Texas to continue beyond May 1, could last 'forever'

As some Texas restaurants and businesses prepare to reopen with limited occupancy starting May 1, to-go alcohol sales will be allowed to continue, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Gov. Greg Abbott.



Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce surveying business owners on impact of COVID-19

The Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce Covid-19 Business Impact Survey also asks business owners questions based on federal assistance they have sought as well as on the status of any federal assistance applications and how much money they requested.


Three deaths, 49 new coronavirus cases reported in Travis County on April 23

The total number of cases in Travis County has reached 1,312.


Lakeway city manager: No economic disaster in forecast “even under the very worst scenario”

Lakeway City Manager Julie Oakley forecasts the city will see a realistic variance from its budget of a deficit of $1.1 million.


Q&A: New Austin Chamber CEO Laura Huffman says community safety, opening the economy do not have to be 'forced trade-off'

Huffman, an Austin native and a former assistant city manager, officially stepped into her new role April 20.