Austin, Texas


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Austin Business Signs

Originally, Houston was designated as the Republic of Texas’ capital.  However, during a buffalo-hunting expedition between 1837 and 1838, the Republic’s Vice President Mirabeau B. Lamar visited what would become the Austin area and proposed the capital be relocated there.  The city was initially incorporated as Waterloo in 1839, but soon the name was changed to Austin, after the Republic’s first secretary of state, and ‘Father of Texas’, Stephen F. Austin.

Austin is still the capital of Texas today.  With a population of 885,400 (according to the 2013 US Census Bureau estimate), Austin is the second largest state capital in the country.  The city is the 11th most populous in the country and the fourth most populous in Texas.  Austin sits in the heart of the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area, which has an estimated population of 1,883,051.

Austin is a center for government and education, housing the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin.  It is also known as a hotbed for technology and business.  Multiple Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or regional offices in the city.  These companies include Apple Inc., eBay, Google, Advanced Micro Devices, IBM, Texas Instruments, Oracle Corporation, Intel, and Whole Foods Market.  Nearby Round Rock, which is a suburb of Austin, serves as the worldwide headquarters for Dell.

Austin is also a bustling center of culture as well.  Its current official slogan boasts Austin as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, a reference to its live music scene.  Austin has more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city, which includes the famous nightclubs of 6th Street and the annual music festival known as South by Southwest (SXSW).  PBS’ show, Austin City Limits, which is recorded at ACL Live at The Moody Theater, is the longest-running concert music program on American television.

Austin has several more nicknames, including the ‘Violet Crown’, for the wintertime violet glow of color across the hills just after sunset.

Austin has another well-known slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.”  This motto has a fascinating origin.  In his 2010 book, Weird City: Sense of Place and Creative Resistance in Austin, Texas, Joshua Long claimed that “Keep Austin Weird” was coined by local Austin Community College librarian Red Wassenich, and his wife, Karen Pavelka, in 2000 while they were giving a pledge to an Austin radio station.  Wassenich and Pavelka were concerned by the city’s ‘rapid descent into commercialism and over-development’ and wished to promote local, small businesses.

Austin isn’t well known for its professional sports teams.  In fact, it is the most populous city in the US without one.  However, it is well known for its University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Longhorns.  In 2005-06, its football team was named the NCAA Division I FBS National Football Champion, while the Longhorns baseball team won the College World Series.  The Football Longhorns play home games in the state’s second-largest sports stadium, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, which seats over 101,000 people.

Do you want to ‘Keep Austin Weird’?  Do you own a small business in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area, or are you thinking about starting one?  These resources could help:

Apply for a Business License in Austin

Business in Austin

Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce

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Let people know about your business!  Get in touch with one of our authorized members:
Dripping Springs, TX