Riverside Drive, in front of the Long Center
"...This is a banner time of year for Austin: What passes for winter south of the Red River has eased – just in time for the badge-sporting masses to swarm the cash registers along the corridors happily lent to South by Southwest. And this year, spring has been compounded by a very cheery item from City Hall: On March 8, favorite local economist Jon Hockenyos presented a study that suggests that Austin's creative industries were responsible for more than $4 billion in economic activity in 2010..."
"...You'd never have known such sarcasm lay beneath the dais as council members patted consultant Jon Hockenyos on the head and thanked him for a job well done. And perhaps it was well done, if the "job" was to make big-box go away as an "issue" that City Hall might be tempted to, you know, actually respond to in an innovative and, yes, progressive way..."
"...Consultant Jon Hockenyos of Texas Perspectives did the study, with substantial assistance from planning maven Scott Polikov and from city staff. Hockenyos reported to the council that his mission was harder than he (or they) expected, given the difficulty in finding accurate or relevant data about what defines a "big box"; how much market share big-box specialists like Wal-Mart and Home Depot command in any given market (his guess for Austin is 21%); and how those stores compete with local, independent retailers...."
"...Where the Jobs Are The "creative class" and its work may constitute more than half the local economy, but the three big sectors of the local entertainment world are only a fraction of that, and not a very well-defined one. The music industry is responsible, according to economist Jon Hockenyos of economic consulting group Texas Perspectives, for 11,200 jobs in Austin and about $616 million in direct, indirect, and induced economic activity..."
"...Local economist Jon Hockenyos is the guy the city of Austin turns to whenever it needs the guts of a fiscal issue examined. On March 28, he told Council members that they'd better start looking to the local food system..."
"...Almost a year ago, when activists convinced a City Council buffeted by Lowe's and Wal-Mart to ask for a study of the impact of big-box retail, it seemed clear what such a study would conclude: that big boxes harm local independent business a species whose health and welfare is a prime focus of City Hall policy and cost their host communities more than they return in tax revenue. It took until June for the study, commissioned from Jon Hockenyos of Texas Perspectives and Scott Polikov of Gateway Planning Group, to appear at City Hall, by which time the groups who'd sought it including Liveable City, Austin Full Circle, and the Austin Independent Business Alliance were no longer surprised that it came to quite different conclusions...."
"...So it was on Wednesday, although overall economic projections, as delivered by consultant Jon Hockenyos, remain rosy. Hockenyos noted that the Austin region remains the national "economic star," with continued growth and persistent overall prosperity..."
"..."I can't find any reason not to say the Austin area is the strongest regional economy in the country." – Jon Hockenyos..."
"...That was the more or less contradictory message transmitted last Thursday by the city of Austin's budget staff, kicking off the Fiscal Year 2014 budgeting process with a financial forecast and early budget preview. At City Council's morning work session, consultant Jon Hockenyos of TXP, Inc..."
"...In a 2012 study, resident economist Jon Hockenyos considered the growth of the creative sector between 2005 and 2010. In the economic equivalent of putting a photo of Sixth Street during SXSW '06 next to one taken this year, the change is dramatic..."
"...The Fiscal Year 2017 city budget cycle began last week with an April 27 Council work session, and resumed May 4 with more of the same. We're at the forecast and briefing stage – consultant Jon Hockenyos traditionally presents a city and regional economic forecast, and city staff presents gross budget numbers based on what's already in the financial pipeline..."
"...But as explained by Jon Hockenyos of Texas Perspectives Inc., who AISD hired to study the plan's economic impact, that's simply the way business works these days: If Austin doesn't offer the best package, the jobs will go elsewhere. "It's a tough world out there, and a tough game," Hockenyos told the board..."
"...Already, two Todos associates have done work that could have an impact on whether the EUD is privatized. Those two are the state's premier economist, Jon Hockenyos, owner of the economic forecasting firm Texas Perspectives, and Greg Hartman, manager of the southwest region of MGT of America, a national management consulting and public policy research firm...."
"...At a Wednesday work session, City Council received its early five-year financial and budget forecasts, the first from consultant Jon Hockenyos of TXP Inc., the second from Deputy Chief Financial Officer Ed Van Eenoo. Hockenyos described the overall regional expectations for growth as still strong, but not as strong as in recent years..."
"...In general, staff is warning that FY 2017 will be a "tight budget year" – that's virtually a perennial budget office motto (they're constitutionally programmed to make the numbers work, whatever the policy), but it appears to carry more emotional heft than in recent years. In the first place, economic consultant Jon Hockenyos warned that the national and regional economies show some signs of softening after a boom cycle..."
"...For everything from increased access to locally produced foods to reduced crime rates, many look to urban farms to resolve issues of food insecurity in low-income neighborhoods. Austin's burgeoning urban agriculture movement provides ample opportunities to positively impact the community at large. According to TXP economist Jon Hockenyos, in a report commissioned by City Council to address urban agriculture and local food systems, "If local farmers and food artisans are able to produce and sell more to Austin consumers, restaurants, and institutional buyers, each will benefit to the gain of the overall community." Despite this, activists and residents alike have concerns about how the propagation of urban farms contributes to gentrification and land-use planning issues...."
"...You'll be able to hear from experts in entrepreneurship and funding who can give you the lowdown on the current scene and suggest how to make it work for you, as well as from creatives behind some of the city's most successful projects (Alamo Drafthouse, East Austin Studio Tour, Generous Art, Austin Film Society), who can explain what made a difference for them. For starters, economist Jon Hockenyos, who crunched all those numbers on the economic impact of Austin creatives, will break 'em down for you and map out where what you do might intersect with Austin's more traditional businesses..."
"...Not that the candidates looked at all interested in ignoring this crowd. They all sang the praises of local creatives for their contributions to both Austin's economy and its identity, albeit in mostly generic terms – you rarely heard local creatives, companies, or projects cited by name, or creative scene achievements noted beyond what Jon Hockenyos included in his latest economic impact report..."
"...The total economic impact of the film and visual media industry in Austin is $360 million annually, according to a study by favored city consultant Jon Hockenyos released this week. The biz also supports more than 3,000 Austin jobs and $1.3 million in tax revenues, the study found; the effort included various recommendations for strengthening the industry both inside and outside City Hall, and City Manager Toby Futrell has already prepared an action plan in response..."
"...Speaking of big-box retail, the city's study of the impact of such creatures on the local economy originally slated to be done in February is set to be presented by city consultant Jon Hockenyos at this week's council meeting. Aside from whatever goes down with Mueller, no big-box action is expected until the fall. M.C.M...."