The economic impact of the Coronavirus and the SXSW cancellation on the Austin economy is profound. For context, over 285,000 people attended SXSW in 2019 resulting in $355.9MM of economic output for the City of Austin.
The majority of this impact came from people spending money in and around the Austin area over two full weeks. With the cancellation of SXSW 2020, much of this revenue is lost and local businesses are suffering. Said another way, the impact of the SXSW cancellation is comparable to cancelling the Super Bowl, which generates approximately $350MM of economic output for the city that hosts the event.
Small Business Community
On a micro level, one such business impacted by the cancellation is an Airbnb-style hotel called Inn Cahoots on East 6th Street. Inn Cahoots generates revenue through bookings and corporate events, much of which occurs annually during SXSW. It’s possible that revenue could be further impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) if it spreads across the US over the coming months. Future impacts will likely come from bans on corporate travel and general declines in spending across the hospitality industry, which Inn Cahoots relies on.
In short, the economic impact on businesses like Inn Cahoots is sure to be felt for years to come. To respond to these deeply challenging circumstances, a group of local small business owners and business leaders have come together to form Rally Austin. Rally Austin’s mission is to support Austin’s small business owners NOW in their greatest time of need. Now is the time for the community and its “rAllys” to unify and support our small business community in Austin. Please join me in supporting this important mission as we rally around small business and revitalize the community.
Allan Rayson, Market Executive for Regions Bank in Austin, TX