AUSTIN, TX – The City of Austin’s Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Program and Circular Economy Program offer business support and information services to local circular businesses looking to grow their business. Circular businesses provide products and services that that make zero waste in Austin possible by keeping resources in use in our economy instead of the landfill. These types of businesses include thrift stores, repair shops, recyclers, sharing services, and more.
According to the 2020 Austin Recycling Economic Impact Study, circular businesses are part of a growing industry in Austin with a large economic impact, supporting over $1 billion in local economic activity and over 6,300 jobs. The City is offering specialized assistance to promote job creation and connections within this industry to assist with growth and expansion.
“Even during these difficult times, circular businesses are resilient, and can lead Austin towards a more sustainable future,” says Skyra Rideaux, Economic Development Services Coordinator. “Circular businesses are transforming the economic landscape to become more zero waste, by making use of existing resources, and creating jobs to benefit Austin’s growing economy, which we are excited to support.”
The program also offers bi-monthly networking opportunities, known as Circular Meet-Ups, for the local circular economy business community. These meet-ups have already created tangible results for participating companies. At the program’s first Circular Meet-Up in December 2020, two local circular businesses, Luxe Refill and Trashless, met and formed a quick and successful partnership. They have now integrated their services online and rented a shared space to help grow their businesses. “The Circular Meet-Up was exactly what I needed to make a successful connection, and helped us grow our businesses together,” said Cristina Guerra, founder of Luxe Refill.
If you’re a circular business in Austin looking for assistance, connect with a program coordinator for a consultation and register for the next networking event on Tuesday, April 6, 12–1 p.m.
The Circular Economy Program is committed to equity and supporting entrepreneurship within underrepresented communities. The current, linear economic system has disproportionately harmed these communities; the program's vision aims to address this inequality, and ensure every person has equity access to economic opportunities to thrive. Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs and business owners from other marginalized populations are encourage to reach out for support.
About the Circular Economy Program
Two City of Austin departments, Austin Resource Recovery and the Economic Development Department, have teamed up to launch the Circular Economy Program. The program’s mission is to attract, retain, and grow businesses, non-profits, and entrepreneurs in the zero waste industry in order to create well-paying local jobs, attract investment, and support the necessary infrastructure for a resilient circular economy in Central Texas.
About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. Austin Resource Recovery offers free, voluntary and confidential consulting services to help Austin businesses reduce waste and comply with the City’s recycling ordinances. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s road map to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040. Learn more at austinrecycles.com.
About the City of Austin Economic Development Department
The City of Austin Economic Development Department supports business growth, creative industries, and local communities. These programs build an equitable, sustainable economy to improve the lives of all Austin residents. To learn more about helpful resources, visit www.austintexas.gov/edd or like us on Facebook @AustinEconDev and follow @AustinEconDev on Twitter.