In the week of March 28, 275,597 Texans filed for unemployment which increased by 77% from the past week.
“I was unemployed for a couple of weeks, but I’m lucky enough to get a job again with them as a part of the essential management team,” executive sous chef at local restaurant Foxhole Chris Oliver said. “Living paycheck to paycheck is difficult enough, especially when you live with other people and split the bills.”
Citizens can help support local businesses by ordering takeout, buying gift cards and tipping extra.
“I see a lot more people going out of their way to help friends and family, and I see a lot of understanding from people you never would have expected it from,” Oliver said. “I think people are learning acceptance and understanding through all of this and it’s bringing people together.”
Harold Cook, former executive director of the Democratic Party of Texas, promotes the idea of tipping extra through the hashtag, tipping for two.
“Maybe this idea isn’t for you, but I keep thinking I might do a one-person movement, #TipForTwo, tipping double my typical 20% in Austin during when #SXSW would have been, to help Austin service industry folks shoulder their tremendous losses,” Cook said.
Programs such as the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program, Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the City of Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program have been introduced in order to protect local businesses, thereby protecting and stimulating the economy.
“This will definitely affect how I approach business and life, I will definitely always try and support local because they are the businesses that are most likely hit the hardest in times like these, and local businesses are owned by people in the community who have so much more invested within the community, as opposed to large businesses that have national or international reach,” Oliver said.