AIBA Proposes A Better Process

Austin politics today are often unnecessarily divisive and destructive. Our community faces challenges in dealing with employer-employee issues such as paid sick leave, livable wages, and predictive scheduling. We have a great opportunity to come together to address these issues and find solutions. We are a smart, creative city. We can find solutions to even the most difficult problems—if we work collectively and respectfully. We need A Better Process.

Local businesses are a crucial part of our community. Entrepreneurs with the vision and drive to create small local businesses exemplify the hopes and dreams of everyone who wants to control their economic destiny. Their employees are part of their team, some consider them family. Local business owners care for their team in every way they can. We’re stewards of culture and commerce.

Cooperation will achieve the best results

Last year, AIBA formed a Better Process Committee tasked with researching other cities and states to find better processes to achieve our shared community goals. What we found led us to create a proposal for a better process to address employer-employee issues.

First, we propose a local study of each issue to identify the full scope of the problems. Accurate data and understanding the scope of a problem will lead to better, more targeted, solutions that help those who need it the most and won’t give state lawmakers cause to deprive us of local control.

The second step is to convene a Workplace Task Force of organizations representing all segments of business and employee organizations. This task force would be charged with reviewing the study of each problem and finding solutions to recommend to the City Council.

The third step is to take the time to do an impact study of any proposed policies. The speed of enacting the paid sick leave ordinance created an ordinance fraught with unintended consequences and left some feeling excluded.

Good government governs in the best interest of all the people, not just one group. Local policy should not provide benefits for one segment by punishing another. By working collectively, other communities have found ways to address their issues that worked for everyone. AIBA is proposing that Austin do the same. We are asking the Austin City Council to adopt A Better Process.

2019 Independent Business Survey Results

This was originally published by the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR). AIBA members participated in the study.

The results of the 2019 Independent Business Survey from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance demonstrate the strength and resiliency of small, independent businesses. They also speak to the forces independents see as significant threats and roadblocks to their businesses: a playing field made uneven by policies that favor their bigger competitors, highly concentrated markets for key supplies and services, and difficulty securing capital, among other barriers.

As we have documented in previous surveys, independent businesses have proven nimble during a period of dramatic shifts in technology and consumer habits. Much of their resilience can be traced to the distinct benefits they provide to their customers, industries, and communities.

Yet, despite these competitive advantages and their broader importance to the U.S. political economy, independent businesses are under threat and declining in most industries. The findings of our 2019 Independent Business Survey suggest that the problem isn’t changing technology or consumer habits. Instead, independent business owners say they are often competing on a unlevel playing field. Many public policy decisions in recent years have fueled market concentration and favored their big competitors….READ MORE.

AIBA Member Showcase Videos Available

AIBA members can receive a free Facebook video. Just sign up! Once a week, AIBA shoots a short video promoting one of our members. It’s then posted on Facebook and made available to the member for their use. This only takes about 15 minutes. Did I mention that it’s free? I have openings beginning next week. Email Rebecca to reserve your’s.

The video can be a demonstration or instructional video up to five minutes or a quick pitch of what you can offer customers. We can do a walkthrough of your business or set up a stationary shoot. It’s up to you.

Check our Facebook page for the latest video of the Business Success Center.

AIBA KOOP Radio Show is Silent

Members have been asking about the local business community radio show we’ve been working on with KOOP Radio. Last fall we were invited to create a radio show that focused on local business and our role in the Austin community. We worked with KOOP Radio to develop a radio show appropriate for public radio and to train to become a programmer at KOOP. The Koop Programming Committee decided that a show about local business did not fit within the station format and denied our application. Since we have developed a show outline and content, we are exploring other options to use the material. We’ll keep you posted.

DSD Seeks Your Opinion on Gender-Neutral Diaper Changing Stations

On June 19, 2019, the City Council approved Resolution No. 20190619-093 directing the City Manager to work with stakeholders to develop regulations in support of the goal of ensuring universal, gender-neutral access to diaper changing accommodations in public restrooms. The resolution initiates an amendment to City Code and proposes that the regulations extend to public serving non-City facilities with mercantile and assembly uses.

The Development Services Department is hosting two stakeholder meetings, the details of which are listed below. At each meeting, City staff will provide an overview of the preliminary draft of the regulations, solicit stakeholder feedback, and respond to questions.

Please register for the option that best suits your availability.

  • Thursday, August 15th, 1:30-3:00PM
    -or-
  • Monday, August 19th, 10:00-11:30AM

The meetings will be held at One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Road, in Room 400.

Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can provide any additional information in advance of the meetings.  Many thanks in advance for your participation.

Unconventional Austin Turns in Petitions

AIBA has endorsed the petition created by Unconventional Austin to require a vote on the expansion of the Convention Center and to reallocate some of the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) revenue to support music, arts, parks and local businesses (Read more about our support). The issue at had is not whether to expand the Convention Center or not, but rather should the public have a vote on expansion and should the HOT revenue be allocated in a different way. The distribution of Hot revenue to support the things tourists really come here for is more in alignment with other cities in Texas.  Whether you are for or against expansion, you should have the right to vote.

Bill Bunch, director of SOS Alliance, met supporters at City Hall today to submit 30,000 signatures to place this issue on the November ballot.

Now work begins to educate people and to get out the vote. Unconventional AUstin has post cards and posters. If you would like some of these for your business, please let me know, rebecca@ibuyaustin.com.