Austin businesses prep for SXSW
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
While many locals head for the hills during South by Southwest, those who stick around are in for long days.
With the conference just a few short weeks away, local businesses are preparing for the busiest couple of weeks in Austin each year.
"The month of March accounts for about forty percent of our yearly revenue," Chris Nielsen, owner of Electric Cabs, said.
Nielsen’s company operates a fleet of electric vehicles—think golf carts—as cabs throughout downtown.
"Nobody is prepared for South by Southwest, but we're getting better every year," Nielsen said.
Paul Arcediano's R&R Limousine and Bus operates a fleet of 90 vehicles and they plan on adding 15 more before the conference.
"We started out with I think 15-vehicles the first year, the next year we doubled that and we have been doubling the size of the project every year," Arcediano said. "Every year the challenge is hiring these temporary drivers, bringing them on staff just to work these big events."
The drivers must pass a background check and have a license with the city.
But it is more than just drivers needed—there's also a move to fill temporary positions from custodians to administrative employees.
"Whether it is a part time job or a job as a temp, it is an opportunity to work to get a paycheck to increase your exposure as a good applicant,” Rudy Herrera with Goodwill Staffing said. “What we find is that employers thorough that relationship will take some of our folks on full time."
Nielsen's fleet of vehicles will expand as well, from 18 to 25. He expected to bring on about 30 more employees. It’s an investment he thinks should pay off as long as the people keep coming.
That's everybody's fear,” he said. “There is nothing worse than having a business asset that is not generating revenue."