Armadillo Awards Party Coming Up

1,141 Nominees
29,190 Votes
35 Finalists
5 Armadillo Award Recipients
1 Amazing Indie Biz Party

Don’t miss it—April 25!—RSVP

The votes are in and party preparations are almost complete. Join us for a spectacular party celebrating your favorite local business. Party starts at 5:30. Show starts at 7.

And it’s the Indie Biz party of the year. Come meet the who’s who of local business and newcomers alike. We will announce and honor five finalists in each of seven categories as well as the winner of the Armadillo. 

Where else can you get…

• Fabulous local food from your favorite local restaurants. Hoover’s CookingWheatsville Food Co-opEldorado CafeAmy’s Ice Creams and Tiff’s Treats will be serving! And Hoover’s will be tending bar with their award-winning margaritas and more.

• Local Entertainment from Rick “Daddy” McNulty, who will be playing the best of local Austin music at the pre-awards and after party. The Rollergirls are in the house! TXRD (Texas Roller Derby) will rev up the party with a wild ride. World Famous Bob is our dynamic comedic MC!.

• Local stuff: Be sure to get your raffle tickets for the Dillo Fundraiser Raffle. Five fun collections showcase the best of local business products and services. So far this year we have Tickets to everything, Music Classes, Massages, Stetson Hats, A Boat Cruise, Locally Made Chocolate, Taco Socks, Gift Certificates Galore, T-Shirts, Underwriting on KOOP, Leather Brief Case, Liquor, Ice Cream, A Snowball Party Truck and so much more. 

Take a chance on collections of items donated by your favorite local businesses such as Keep Austin Weird, Out & About, A Family Affair-Pets Included Too and others. Your tickets will be ready for you at the awards when you donate to AIBA. The party is free so you’ll have a little extra for tickets. 

• Armadillo Balloon Hats. Yup, only at the Armadillo awards can you get your very own Blue Dillo Balloon Hat custom made by Bobby Cordell.

It’s all waiting for you at the Armadillo Awards Party. RSVP now.

TexHealth – Your Answer to Recruiting & Retaining Great Employees!

Here is what one TexHealth business owner said on a recent anonymous survey, “The service that TexHealth provides is vital to my small business. Not only did affordable health care allow my husband and I to realize our dreams of starting a family, but it helps my small business to thrive. I am able to offer benefits to my employees that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford and assists me in recruiting and maintaining amazing staff. It helps level the playing field for small business with big corporate businesses. Austin prides itself on supporting small business and I think TexHealth is the definition of small business support. I just really can’t say enough about what they mean to my family and my staff.”

Here’s another testimonial from the same survey. “I highly recommend all small business owners contact TexHealth to see if they are eligible for the insurance subsidy. Our staff really loves and appreciates it and it makes a big impact in their health and their sense of security. It’s quite an easy program to get involved with and worth every minute of a business owner’s time to make the connection. Offering affordable insurance is one of the ways that we support and retain our staff.”

According to the Affordable Care Act, small businesses do not have to offer health insurance if they employ 50 or fewer employees. What most small business owners have found though is that they have a higher turnover rate if they don’t offer benefits. Some industries even compete for employees based on the benefits they offer. The story that is most often heard is that a small business loses its employees to the competitor down the street because they offer health insurance. At the same time the policies that are offered are too expensive for many employees because the employer can only afford to pay 50% of the premium for each employee.

So what options does a small business have if they need to compete and retain talented employees but they cannot afford to pay more than 50% of the premium for a health insurance plan? The answer is TexHealth. Employees who cannot afford to pay their 50% of a health plan have TexHealth to help them with their share. You see, TexHealth is a “three-share” plan. In a three-share plan there are three premium payers, the employer, the employee and TexHealth. The employer pays their 50% share of the premium and the employee’s 50% share is divided between the employee and TexHealth. TexHealth will reimburse the employee one-third of the total premium up to $110 per month for their health insurance premium. The business has to have an office in Williamson, Travis, Hays, Burnet, Bastrop, or Milam County and the employee cannot earn more than $49,960 per year from the business. For more information – www.texhealthct.org or call 512-524-2618.

City of Austin Small Business Program Celebrates National Small Business Week

We’re celebrating National Small Business Week May 6 – 10 with a great slate of exciting options.

The City of Austin Small Business Program is excited to announce this year’s National Small Business Week! Join us for five days of free sessions covering funding, marketing, legal, and business planning. See the full line-up and register!

The week is kicked off with a special start:
Chat with a Dynamic Austin CEO
Join us for an intimate conversation with one of Austin’s dynamic entrepreneurs, ABC Home and Commercial Services owner and CEO, Bobby Jenkins.

Local KVUE news anchor and reporter, Jenni Lee, will open up discussions with Jenkins as he covers the journey of the original ABC Pest Control brand to its expansion as a full-service company with over 800 employees throughout the state.

Following the discussion, the 6th Annual City of Austin Business Awards will recognize entrepreneurial excellence in our community. REGISTER NOW.

AIBA is participating in National Small Business week as well. In partnership with the Small Business Program, we are presenting Amy’s EDU: The Scoop on Entrepreneurial Secrets on Wednesday, May 8. RSVP Now.

Donate to the Dillo Fundraiser Raffle

The Armadillo Awards are rapidly approaching on April 25 and it’s time to build the amazing array of items in the Dillo Fundraiser Raffle. We’re asking each of our members to donate to one (or more) of five collections:

Mind Your Own Business, everything B-to-B
A Family Affair—Pets Too!, all things family oriented from activities to products
Out & About, wining, dining and entertainment
Health & Wellness Austin Style, anything that helps us be well and happy
Keep Austin Weird, the wonderfully eclectic items that are Austin weird

The Dillo Fundraiser Raffle is part of the show at the Armadillo Awards Party. Attendees purchase raffle tickets (the fundraising part) and pick the collection or collections they wish to take a chance on. The winning ticket for each collection is drawn onstage between the award category presentations. We welcome all goods and services in the form of certificates, gift cards, and items of all sizes and shapes. With your donated item, your business gets lots of promotion on the website, through social media and at the Armadillo Awards. Contact Dixie Patrick, 512-441-2123. for pick up or delivery arrangements.

Donate and bring more customers in your doors while helping AIBA!

Our Advocacy is Spreading!

I am occasionally asked to speak to other business groups on a variety of topics. Its a great thing to do to spread the word about AIBA and I love connecting with other organizations. Recently I was asked to speak to two different groups on advocacy. I spoke at the Greater Austin Restaurant Association and to the Austin Founder Lions Club last week. Interesting that they both picked the topic of advocacy.

What I learned from these two groups is that businesses aren’t happy with our current city leaders and are interested in being more active. This is a good thing and I both encouraged them to become more active. After almost 15 years in City Hall advocacy for local business, I’m pleased to help lead the way for others. My talks are candid and direct and I hope lead to a greater level of activism.

Speaking of activism, the Austin Founder Lions Club is hosting the Ninth Annual Sporting Clay shoot-Out that benefits the Austin Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and are looking for teams to participate. If you’re interested in a shooting competition with NFL legends, this is for you. Fore more information and to register or sponsor, see the form online.

New Email Invoices

We’re getting settled in our new member management system, Wild Apricot, and learning it’s wonderful and wacky ways. You may have noticed that we’ve gone to email invoices. Our new system allows you to login and renew your membership and update your information. It’s so easy!

New members are given a password when they join but renewing members need to choose “Forgot Password” and set a password to login.

We know this is a change and we all get so many email but be sure to watch your inbox for items from AIBA. Thanks!