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Boomtown: Pushing past the pandemic | KVUE special

This is Boomtown: Pushing Past the Pandemic, a KVUE special presentation.

KVUE staff

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It's been about one year since the coronavirus pandemic overwhelmed Central Texas. And with that came loss and devastation.

Many beloved businesses shut down, and some closed their doors for good.

And with travel coming to a halt, tourism in Austin is also suffering, forcing industry leaders to make tough decisions. This is "Boomtown: Pushing Past the Pandemic," a KVUE special presentation.

Despite the uncertainty, many businesses excelled and expanded even more. And it's not just local businesses – companies are moving to Central Texas to start fresh. Texas is adding 1,000 new residents per day.

The big companies that are moving to and expanding in Austin are getting big incentives to do so. Austin has nine active incentive agreements, totaling more than $112 million.

The KVUE Defenders have learned Samsung is negotiating a deal right now to build a new chip factory on land it already owns near its Northeast Austin plant. It's asking for the maximum rebate on property taxes from Austin and Travis County.

Apple, Tesla and Samsung are set to receive even more from the county. Travis County has eight active incentive agreements.

With or without incentives, Austin is seeing a common goal among businesses –to keep this Boomtown growing for generations to come.

At Austin's airport, construction on a major expansion project is delayed. The airport was supposed to start the bidding process for some contracts this summer, but now they're waiting for passenger traffic to return. Much of the expansion was driven by demand, which dropped 62% overall in 2020. The airport still plans to double in size by 2040, but it's still not clear when that will start.