Support Small Business in Austin: Call to Action
Keep Austin Weird, Keep Austin Thriving
Small business is a huge part of what makes Austin uniquely weird. Establishments have modified or temporarily paused their services due to COVID-19. Some offer pick-up and delivery services. However, for businesses relying on people to pack the venue, donations are crucial to upkeep revenue. In our community, the additional cancellation of SXSW calls for collective effort to support local businesses. This includes bars, music venues, and some restaurants. GoFundMe, Venmo, and online tip jars are the best hope for some of these companies. Listed below are businesses facing the threat of closure. The fundraisers help them to stay alive and financially recover. Businesses will likely have to wait until later phases to re-open, so donations will help tide them over until then.
Now, a number of businesses can survive by closing just some locations, but this is not the case for all. Recently, the legendary, single-location restaurant Shady Grove closed its doors permanently. While we can certainly try to visit every small business that needs help, it’s going to be critical that we also donate when possible. So, check out these Austin, TX businesses’ fundraisers.
Austin Small Business Fundraisers
- Since 1991, club-goers at Flamingo Cantina could dance to salsa and other Latin music. They are also heavily involved in SXSW. Therefore, the cancellation of the event has impacted them. Donate here.
- Malone Coffee is asking for donations to “keep roasting”. They are family-owned, so donations will go towards the business and the family. Donate here.
- Antic Screen Printing has a campaign set up to help small Austin businesses. They offer items for sale, such as reusable bags. Also, masks are also available. Proceeds go to local shops. If you are a self-sustaining business owner, you can contact them for a relief grant. Contact Antic or purchase their products here.
- Amidst COVID-19, Asian-Americans have faced discrimination. Asian restaurants are being avoided, so they need our help. Help out everyone that makes Austin a great community. Mama Noy’s Kitchen is currently asking for assistance. Donate here.
- Wicked Wings just had to close their Kyle location, but their South Austin location is still in business. Fundraiser proceeds go to re-opening the Kyle location. Donate here.
- At Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, heavenly smells of bread and cookies fill the air. Owned and operated by the chef, this cute bakery is hoping to continue to serve up sweets. Donate here.
- The Continental Club, a legendary South Congress night club, has started their own fundraising company. This will pull the venue out of temporary closure. Buy their merchandise here OR add to their virtual tip jar here.
- Craft Kollective is a beverage company, offers beer delivery in exchange for donations. They serve local beer, aiding the community. Donate here.
- Cafe 1, home of edible arts, is a small, family-owned business that would appreciate orders and donations. They can create custom cakes, too! Donate here.
- Loved by UT students, Les Bobos Crepes is located on West Campus. This family and college-friendly eatery needs funds to keep serving up good food. Donate here.
- Located on Research Blvd, House of Three Gorges offers authentic Chinese cuisine. They are also available for takeout as well. Donate to their relief fund here.
- Last, Pizzeria Grata hopes to be rollin’ in the dough again in order to keep serving South Austin. Donate here.
Staff Relief Fundraisers
- Originally a food truck, Cheer Up Charlie’s has a patio bar and venue downtown. It’s been in operation for 10 years. The staff currently relies on your virtual tips. Donate here.
- Live video performances on The Little Longhorn Saloon’s Facebook page encourage tippers to raise money for the venue’s staff. Donate at: Venmo account: @terry-gaona or PayPal account at email@example.com. Check out their Facebook page and give during their live streams.
- Austin wouldn’t be the same without food trucks, like Kerlin BBQ. Their smoke stack is currently not grilling any meats right now, but they hope to support their staff with relief funds. Donate here.
- Elysium Austin, a local music club is selling merchandise and has posted its Venmo and PayPal information. To purchase T-shirts for $25 or to simply donate, visit Venmo: @Elysium-Austin or PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations will go to staff and musicians.
- The Last Straw, a tiny, cozy bar downtown, has set up a GoFundMe for their employees. Donate here.
- Family-owned Contigo, a local eatery known for its quaint atmosphere is perfect for romantic dates. They are currently open for take-out and delivery. Donate here.
- Bout Time II is known to patrons for its vibrant nightlife. The modern club hopes to reopen its doors again. Help the staff in the meantime and give to their GoFundMe. Donate here.
- Mort Subite, a Congress Ave. bar, is deeply considerate of their bartenders. They have started a fundraiser for them. Donate here.
- Texas Mist, another music venue with a lounge patio, is hoping to reopen soon. Here is their GoFundMe to make their atmosphere even more awesome. Donate here.
- Bars have been hit especially hard since they are popular hang-out spots. Donations to The Iron Bear and these types of businesses would be the most appreciated. Donate here.
- Empire Control Room and Garage is offering a one-year membership purchase in exchange for free access to live music at the venue for a year when they start back up again. Membership proceeds go to the staff. Purchase membership here.
- Hops & Grain, an East Austin brewery, offers locally crafted beers and ales. They have shared their GoFundMe and would appreciate any effort to help. Donate here.
- Finally, Austin bar, Drink.Well. needs an extra hand. The 8-man team, serves coffee, tea, and more. They are temporarily closed, but hope to get the family business going again. Donate to staff here.
Other Ways to Help
- Buy merch! Many of these establishments offer t-shirts, hats, and stickers.
- Order directly through the restaurant when possible.
- Tip more when you can.
These bars, restaurants, cafes, and music venues would appreciate any help with staff pay and bills. Giving will be rewarded with the unique, friendly vibe that only Austin, Texas can provide. Stay safe and shop small, shop local. Now, let’s support Austin businesses!
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