AUSTIN, Texas - City of Austin officials canceled South by Southwest, putting an end to the ongoing debate questioning if the festival should go on as planned amid Coronavirus fears. Now that it is not happening, local businesses say they are preparing to take a major hit financially because fewer people are expected to show up.
City officials even standing up to help. Mayor Steve Adler alongside other city officials released a minute-long video to twitter to help businesses who rely on SXSW for money. “We canceled South By this week. There are a lot of people that are hurting because of that. Now is the time that we should be going to restaurants, going to clubs, buy musicians merchandise, helping one another,” Mayor Adler said in the video.
The Mayor pushing people to go out and #StandWithAustin. An effort to help those businesses that might struggle now that South by Southwest has been officially canceled.
“I think everyone's a little nervous,” said Joshua Shepherd. Shepherd is a sales associate for Little Limbo on South Congress and says he never expected SXSW to get shut down.
“I think I was very alarmed just because I know how much money it brings into the city and how much we sort of like extend hours and get extra help for this part-time in the year,” he said.
Shepherd says he still thinks business will be good that week, just not as good as it should be so he is behind people offering some assistance to local businesses and the employees that call Austin home.
“Austin should come out and continue to support the city, especially with this huge revenue that it's going to lose,” he said.