7 meetings to attend as city of Austin revamps its economic development policy

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Austin economic development

Officials and residents are talking about economic development at Austin City Hall all week. As part of the city’s economic incentive policy update, Austin will host seven “community conversations” to engage residents on the topic of economic development and how to retool its policies to serve all Austinites.

It has been 14 years since the city of Austin developed its economic incentive policy. Austin’s priorities and economic conditions have shifted since then, and the city is now in the midst of revising that policy—from bringing big business and high-skill tech sector jobs to incentivizing the creation of middle-skill jobs aimed at improving the economic prospects of Austin’s working class.

The city has used economic incentive deals to recruit businesses, such as Samsung, Athenahealth and, most recently, Merck & Co. Inc. Incentivized businesses receive tax breaks from the city in exchange for creating jobs as outlined in their agreements with the city.

The economic development policy is slated to be updated to address such issues as inequity between the city’s white and minority populations as well as between white- and blue-collar residents and the city’s increasing unaffordability, Mayor Steve Adler said Monday at a news conference kicking off a week of scheduled conversations about the economic incentive policy update.

“It is important we open up opportunities for all people in our city,” Adler said.

Here is the schedule of events this week:

Small business

Monday, June 5
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
7201 Colony Loop Drive, Austin

Business expansion

Monday, June 5
6-8 p.m.
Virginia L. Brown Recreation Center, Room B, 7500 Blessing Ave., Austin


Tuesday, June 6
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center, 2901 Montopolis Drive, Austin

Real estate

Tuesday, June 6
6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Ruiz Branch Library, 1600 Grove Blvd., Austin

Business recruitment

Wednesday, June 7
8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Whole Foods North, Community Room, 11920 Domain Drive, Austin

Creative sector

Wednesday, June 7
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Spicewood Springs Branch Library, 867 Spicewood Springs Road, Austin

Nonprofit and social enterprise

Thursday, June 8
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Dove Springs Rec Center, 5801 Ainez Drive, Austin