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.

12:24 PM Apr 20, 2020 CDT

State parks, historical sites reopen as first step in Gov. Abbott's plan to revive Texas economy

While state parks reopened across Texas on April 20, restrictions remain in place for parks visitors.


Texas Workforce Commission processes a year and a half worth of unemployment claims in one month

Since March 14, the Texas Workforce Commission has helped more than 1.2 million Texans apply for unemployment benefits.


Sales tax holiday for emergency supplies to take place April 25-27

Officials clarified that products bought online still qualify for the exemption and urged residents who visit retailers in person to follow social distancing guidelines.




Residential work sites across Austin to pause work April 16 to review coronavirus safety protocols

A nationwide effort seeks to briefly pause work sites and use the time to educate developers and workers on coronavirus safety education.


Here's a breakdown of 4 financial relief programs aimed to save small Texas businesses

The webinar highlighted four Small Business Association programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, the SBA Express Bridge Loan and SBA Debt Relief program.


By the numbers: New coronavirus information from across Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott released data April 13 on how Texas is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic statewide.



Goldman Sachs, LiftFund partnership will release $50 million in loans for Texas small businesses

As Texas is facing its highest rate of unemployment claims in recent history, a total of $50 million in loan funds is now available for small businesses across the state to provide economic relief.


Projections showing major Austin metro job losses also predict significant re-employment by end of 2020

The president of the economic strategist firm said, unlike during the 2009 financial crash, there are no systemic issues in the economy.


Laura Huffman named as new president and CEO of Austin Chamber of Commerce

Huffman previously worked as a regional director for Texas at the Nature Conservancy, an environmental nonprofit, and prior to that, she served as assistant city manager in Austin.


More Texans have filed for unemployment in past three weeks than in all of 2019

For the second week in a row, more than 6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, according to federal data.



With Texas Workforce Commission overwhelmed by surging unemployment claims, Central Texas residents try to hang on

The Texas Workforce Commission received 1.7 million calls from individuals seeking assistance with unemployment benefits in a 24-hour period on March 26.


Survey finds Texas brewers losing more than 70% of revenue because of coronavirus

Brewers across the state are renewing calls for Gov. Greg Abbott to grant temporary waivers for shipping, delivery and tax relief.


Has your Austin-area small business been affected by the coronavirus? Here are resources you can access.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a short-term loan program intended to help cover payroll and a separate, long-term loan program intended to help business owners stay afloat.


Sen. John Cornyn discusses provisions laid out in CARES Act

The $2 trillion package provides funding to help fight the virus and to provide financial assistance for Americans during the pandemic.



Texas sees 77% increase in unemployment insurance claims during week ending March 28

Texas ranked fifth among states in the U.S. with 275,597 initial claims filed the week ending March 28.


UPDATE: Abbott executive order deems residential construction as an "essential service" across the state

If Austin's residential construction ban holds, housing inventory may disappear within a few short months.


Official: Increase in calls for statewide unemployment benefits is ‘almost vertical’

According to Serna, on an average day the Texas Workforce Commission’s four call centers statewide receive 13,000-14,000 calls; on March 22, the agency received 100,000 calls regarding unemployment insurance benefit inquiries.


‘We know firsthand what it’s like to depend on every paycheck': In light of COVID-19, Lake Travis-area restaurant owners work to support furloughed staff

Owners of the League Kitchen & Tavern and Tony C's Coal Fired Pizza created a GoFundMe in support of their 200-person team.



‘I’m worried about my staff’: Austin restaurants, bars prepare for unprecedented forced closure in response to coronavirus

The order issued by the Austin mayor and Travis County judge shutters all bars and dine-in service at restaurant until May 1.


Central Health will explore minimum wage bumps for its employees

The health care district is considering increasing its minimum wage to $15 per hour.


Texas oil and gas industry could see a major slowdown in 2020

The oil and natural gas industry paid a record-setting $16.3 billion in taxes and royalties to local governments and the state in 2019, the Texas Oil and Gas Association announced Tuesday.


Study pertaining to Rollingwood’s main commercial corridor highlights redevelopment goals

Among other findings, the study highlights the city’s need for multilevel development along Bee Caves Road, the city’s main commercial thoroughfare.