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Texas is among the best states for women-led startups in 2023, a new report says.

The Lone Star State landed at No. 5 in Merchant Maverick’s annual ranking of the top 10 states for female business owners, thanks in part to its robust venture capital environment for entrepreneurs.

Texas actually dropped three spots from last year's ranking of No. 2, but climbed up from its No. 6 showing in 2021.

Merchant Maverick, a product comparison site for small businesses, says Texas “boasts the strongest venture capital scene” for women entrepreneurs outside California and the Northeast. The state ranked fourth in that category, with $6.5 billion invested in the past five years.

Other factors favoring Texas include:

  • Women solely lead 22 percent of all employees working for a business in Texas (No. 4).
  • Texas lacks a state income tax (tied for No. 1).

However, Texas didn’t fare well in terms of the unemployment rate (No. 36) and the rate of business ownership by women (No. 29). Other Texas data includes:

  • Average income for women business owners, $52,059 (No. 19).
  • Early startup survival rate, 81.9 percent (No. 18).

Appearing ahead of Texas in the 2023 ranking are No. 1 Colorado, No. 2 Washington, No. 3 California, and No. 4 Arizona.

Another recent ranking, this one from NorthOne, an online bank catering to small businesses, puts Texas at No. 7 among the 10 best states for women entrepreneurs.

NorthOne says Texas provides “a ton of opportunities” for woman entrepreneurs. For instance, it notches one of the highest numbers of women-owned businesses in the country at 1.4 million, 2.1 percent of which have at least 500 employees.

In this study, Texas is preceded by Colorado at No. 1, Nevada at No. 2, Virginia at No. 3, Maryland at No. 4, Florida at No. 5, and New Mexico at No. 6. The rankings are based on eight metrics, including the percentage of woman-owned businesses and the percentage of women-owned businesses with at least 500 employees.


This story originally appeared on our sister site, InnovationMap.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Here's the income it takes to live among the top 1 percent in Texas


Wondering how "the other half lives" is so outdated, especially when we we can easily peek into what life is like for the "one percent." A new report from SmartAsset reveals how much money you'll need to be considered the top one percent in Texas.

With two Austin suburbs landing among the richest cities in Texas in a recent report, it's obvious that the Central Texas landscape is dotted with pockets of wealth. But how much do you actually need in your pocket to have a top one percent income?

In Texas, an annual income of $641,400 will land you at the top, while $258,400 only gets you to the top five percent.

To come up with those numbers, SmartAsset analyzed 2019 data from IRS tax units and adjusted the figures to 2022 dollars using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For comparison, "the average American household earns a median income of under $70,000," according to the study. And per the latest figures from the U. S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Texas (in 2021 dollars) is $67,321. That leaves plenty of us with a long way to go in our financial striving.

So now we know how we compare to our neighbors, but where does that put the affluent population of Texas in comparison with other states?

For starters, Texas claimed the 10th highest income required to reach top income levels.

The one percent income threshold is hardest to meet in Connecticut ($955,000), Massachusetts ($900,000), New Jersey ($825,965), New York ($817,796), and California ($805,519). Only these five states have thresholds that exceed $800,00, and it's a pretty steep drop down to Texas ($641,400) in 10th place.

The five states where it's easiest to attain one percent status (even though that doesn't seem like good news) are Kentucky ($447,300), Arkansas ($446,276), New Mexico ($418,970), Mississippi ($383,128), and West Virginia ($374,712).

The SmartAsset report also included average tax rates for top earners in each state. There was surprisingly little variance in the top 10 states, with Washington state having the lowest rate (25.02%) and Connecticut collecting the highest tax rate (27.77%).

Texas was in the middle of the pack with a tax rate of 25.71% levied on top one percent incomes.

The 10 states with the highest earnings required to be a one-percenter and their tax rates are:

  • Connecticut ($955.3K, Tax rate 27.77%)
  • Massachusetts ($896.9K, Tax rate 26.4%)
  • New Jersey ($826K, Tax rate 27.36%)
  • New York ($817.8K, Tax rate 27.48%)
  • California ($805.5K, Tax rate 26.78%)
  • Washington ($736.1K, Tax rate 25.02%)
  • Colorado ($682.9K, Tax rate 25.24%)
  • Florida ($678.8K, Tax rate 25.23%)
  • Illinois ($666.2K, Tax rate 26.23%)
  • Texas ($641.4K, Tax rate 25.71%)

If you're on your way to being a top earner and want to do a deeper dive on those numbers, you can view the full report on the SmartAsset website.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

This is how long Austin home buyers need to work to save for a down payment


With home prices rising for most of 2022 in Austin and around the country, thoughts about saving for a down payment have been distressing, to say the least.

SmartAsset.com, a consumer-focused financial information and advice website, analyzed and ranked the 50 largest U.S. cities on how long it takes the average household to save for a home, with calculations for a 12 percent or 20 percent down payment. The study compared the median household income and median home values for each area to determine the rankings.

The new study says Austin buyers will need to work for 3.64 or 6.07 years, saving up for a 12 or 20 percent down payment on a median home value of $482,900 with a median income of $79,542. Compared to Los Angeles where it takes the longest (11.6 years) and New York (10 years), that's somewhat encouraging.

Compared to other Texas cities, however, it's less encouraging: Austin was the only Texas city to rank in the top third, tying with Las Vegas for 14th place.

Dallas came in 24th, right in the middle of the pack, as did most Texas cities. With a median income of $57,995 and a median home value of $267,600 in Dallas, only 2.77 years of work and saving would be needed for a 12 percent down payment.

That's comparable to Houston, where the median income of $55,499 and median home price of $236,700 placed the city 31st out of 50. Houstonians need to work, on average, 2.56 years to save for a 12 percent down payment and 4.26 years for a 20 percent down payment.

Elsewhere in North Texas and around the state:

  • Fort Worth ranked 27th with 2.19 or 3.65 years of work needed to save for the $249,000 median home price on a $68,235 median income.
  • Arlington came in at number 32 with 2.55 or 4.25 years of work needed to save for the $254,700 median home price on a $59,889 median income.
  • San Antonio placed 38th with 2.16 or 3.60 years of work needed to save for the $197,600 median home price on a $54,923 median income.
  • El Paso came in 48th with 1.97 or 2.98 years of work needed to save for the $152,800 median home price on a $51,241 median income.

Texans looking to save for a shorter time without moving too far away might look to Oklahoma, where Tulsa ranked 42nd (2.02 or 3.37 years,) and Oklahoma City tied with Memphis, Tennessee for 46th place (1.97 or 3.22 years.)

Courtesy of Loren Hotel

Austin booms as one of the top 10 U.S. markets for new hotels underway

Room for growth

A hotel boom is underway in the Austin area. As of the second quarter of 2022, 80 projects featuring 10,306 guest rooms were in the planning or development stages in the Austin area, according to a new report published by hospitality data provider Lodging Econometrics.

Austin ranks 10th in the U.S. for hotel construction.

Dallas leads all U.S. regions, with 173 hotel projects with 20,707 guest rooms in the pipeline. Big D is followed by Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, and Nashville, the report says.

“While some might expect Miami or New York City to lead the U.S. in terms of the number of hotel projects underway, that distinction actually belongs to Dallas … ,” says The Points Guy travel blog, which points out that Dallas has led all U.S. locations in hotel development for four consecutive quarters.

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • Houston ties for seventh place, with 94 projects featuring 10,247 guest rooms
  • Fort Worth-Arlington ranks 15th, with 65 projects with 8,005 guest rooms
  • San Antonio ranks 21st, with 46 projects featuring 5,116 guest rooms

Brian Hughes, managing director of JLL Hotels & Hospitality, tells the travel blog that “a heavy trend of corporate and population migration to Texas” has lifted hotel performance in the state as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.

Another plus, it says, is Texas’ business-friendly tax structure. This draws companies to the state, which then feeds demand for hotel rooms to accommodate business travelers.

“Encouraged by 2022’s upward trend in hotel performance, owners, management groups, developers, and investors are moving forward with development plans as evidenced by increasing counts at every stage of construction,” Lodging Econometrics says.

Austin housing market to see most dramatic shift in 2023, forecast shows

The times are changing

A new forecast envisions a massive shift in Austin’s homebuying market next year.

By July 2023, the Austin metro area is projected to witness the most dramatic swing from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market among the country’s 100 largest metro areas, according to the Knock real estate platform.

In a buyers’ market, sellers typically accept a lower price than they listed their houses for. The opposite is true in a sellers’ market, where homes often sell for more than the list price. The Austin area is projected to have the lowest sale-to-list-price ratio in July 2023.

Knock notes that the median sale price of a home in the Austin area climbed 71 percent during the height of the pandemic, compared with 39.9 percent nationwide.

Knock predicts the median home price in the Austin area will reach $594,893 in July 2023. That would represent a 15.5 percent jump from the $515,000 figure reported by the Austin Board of Realtors for this July.

“As the market continues to become more balanced, 15 of the 100 largest housing markets are projected to favor buyers by July 2023, while 27 more are expected to move to neutral territory, where neither buyers nor sellers have the upper hand,” Knock says.

Knock’s outlook for the Austin homebuying market isn’t as dire as the one expressed by Americans in a new survey.

In the survey, conducted by the Consumer Affairs website, 33 percent of respondents singled out Austin as the U.S. market mostly likely headed for a housing crash. That was the highest percentage for any market cited in the survey.

As a whole, local real estate professionals don’t fear a housing crash here, but they do acknowledge the Austin market is cooling off. For example, homes for sale in the Austin area spent an average of 22 days on the market this July, up 10 days from July 2021.

“The Austin real estate market’s inventory and mortgage interest rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels in recent months. It’s not the intense sellers’ market it was a few months ago, and sellers should reset their expectations,” Ryan Leahy, regional president at Austin mortgage lending company HomeTown Texas, says in an Austin Board of Realtors news release.

“For the first time in a long time,” Leahy adds, “buyers have more flexibility and leverage in the transaction.”

Austin housing inventory skyrockets to highest levels since 2018

Real Estate Report

More signs of relief for the Austin housing market. The latest monthly report from Austin Board of Realtors, released Tuesday, August 16, offers indications that the market is continuing to stabilize.

There are still new records to report, but “In every aspect of our market," says Cord Shiflet, 2022 ABoR president, in a release, "Realtors are seeing positive signs that Austin’s housing market continues to normalize.”

One of the most promising signs is an explosion of inventory in the Austin-Round Rock metro area. In July 2022, the region's housing inventory reached 2.7 months — the highest level seen since November 2018, ABOR notes, and an increase from the 2.1 months reported in June 2022.

“On top of rising housing inventory, home price growth is much closer to the 4-5 [percent] annual growth that is typical for a healthy market," Shiflet says.

In July 2022, the median metro home price reached $515,000, and while that's still the highest price on record for the month of July, the year-over-year growth rate of 8 percent is considerably lower than the pace we've come to expect.

Meanwhile, the median price in the city limits clocked in at $633,000, and a median-priced Travis County home was $610,000. While both represent an approximately 11 percent price increase from July 2021, the county median has dropped slightly from June 2022.

And, good news for prospective buyers: "[Last month] homes sold slightly below list price for the first time since December 2020, proving that buyers are gaining negotiating power in the market,” according to Shiflet.

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Austin Top Chef winner debuts new National Geographic series, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Austin Top Chef winner debuts new National Geographic series during SXSW. Available on Disney+, Restaurants at the End of the World is a docuseries following Kish on adventures to off-the-beaten-path pockets of the planet.

2. Boutique Austin hotel amplifies the vinyl bar scene with a moody new listening room. Hotel Magdalena opened a chic listening room on South Congress with speakeasy vibes, called Equipment Room.

3. 11 reasons to escape the Austin bustle with a day trip to Dripping Springs. Despite rapid recent growth in the Austin area, Dripping Springs still has many of the small-town features that its local residents — and transplants — all love.

4. Gothic Austin home sells after catching the eyes of onlookers during the Modern Home Tour. This all-black Victorian house sold shortly after an architecture tour brought Austinites through homes across Austin and the Hill Country.

5. Austin home buyers have more power when it comes to inventory, report says. Buyers are gaining more leverage through inventory increases across the Austin-Round Rock metro area, according to recent data from the Austin Board of Realtors.

Blossom into a new Easter or Passover tradition with these spring treats and feasts around Austin


Easter and Passover (April 9 and April 5-13) are right around the corner; you might want to consider solidifying any plans before it gets any nicer outside and the crowds come out. Whether you’re enjoying the holiday with your friends or family, or taking yourself out to brunch, we’ve gathered a basketful of egg-cellent happenings for you to hop to in Austin.

Check back here for more recommendations as businesses finalize their plans.

Easter brunches and egg hunts

Fairmont Austin's Easter brunch and egg hunt
Come for the brunch, stay for the egg hunt. The first brunch we’re eyeing is at Fairmont Austin downtown on Red River Street. They’ll host two different brunch buffets at 10 am and 1:30 pm on Easter Sunday. Guests can take their pick of an egg-stravagant spread of seafood, oak-smoked prime rib, and other delicacies. After you’ve had your fill, head to the rooftop for the hotel’s brunch attendee-exclusive Easter Egg Hunt at 11:30 am or 3:00 pm. Word on the street says the Easter Bunny might make a special appearance. The Tiny Tails petting zoo will also be at the hotel to show off the cutest animals for friends of all ages. Brunch bookings can be made via OpenTable.

Fareground's Easter brunch specials and egg hunts
For an afternoon of fun for children of all ages, consider bringing the family to downtown Austin’s first food hall, Fareground, for their Easter Egg-Stravaganza. From 12-3 pm, there will be plenty of brunch specials at the food hall's many eateries while children can enjoy sweets like cotton candy and get their face painted. There will be three egg hunts throughout the afternoon for three different age groups. Free general admission reservations can be made via Eventbrite.

Aba's Easter weekend brunches
Mediterranean cuisine lovers can spend their Easter brunch on the patio at Aba, Austin’s premiere Mediterranean restaurant on South Congress. Their exclusive Easter special on April 8 and 9 includes a spring frittata with lump crab, English peas, shaved asparagus, avocado, pickled fresnos, and parmesan. Guests can also pick a weekend favorite like the short rib shakshuka or khachapuri. Reserve on Tock.

Kalahari Resorts' Easter brunch buffet
If you live farther north, Kalahari Resorts in Round Rock will host their own Easter brunch buffet from 11 am to 3 pm with a delightful assortment of local charcuterie, fresh crudité, soups, and more. Children aged three and under eat free. The resort will also have two Easter egg hunts for two age ranges at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. Brunch tickets can be made on Tock.

TRACE's April drag brunch
Though this brunch isn’t Easter themed, Trace (stylized TRACE) inside the W Hotel is going all out for its April Fool’s Comedy Drag Brunch from 11 am to 4 pm on April 9 with some of Austin’s favorite queens, The Beckies. The iconic duo are the restaurant’s regular brunch hosts every second Sunday of the month. Their performances begin at 11 am and 2 pm. Reserve ($10 per person) on OpenTable.

Passover meals

Aba's passover dine-in and take-out
In addition to its Easter specials, Aba will also offer guests a special Passover dine-in or take-home meal by Chef CJ Jacobson. The to-go package includes hummus, matzo crackers and crudité, potato and Brussels sprout latkes, slow-braised short rib, and much more. The dine-in Passover specials will be available April 5 and 6, but to-go specials must be pre-ordered by 3 pm on April 4. Pickup is available between 11 am and 5 pm on April 5 and 6. Reservations for both offers ($58.95 per person) can be made on Tock.

L’Oca D’Oro's Passover Seder
Neighborhood Italian restaurant L’Oca D’Oro is bringing back their omni-denominational Passover Seder. Chef Fiore Tedesco will delight guests with his version of a traditional Seder meal on April 10 and 11. The first celebration will be led by Cantor Sarah Avner (Beth Israel), and the next by Rabbi Neil Blumofe (Aguadas Achim). Reserve ($100 per person) on OpenTable.

Sweet Treats

What’s Easter without a couple extra desserts to take home? SusieCakes is baking up its SusieChick lemon cake, Easter carrot cupcakes, peeps sugar cookies, dessert decorating kits, and more for the occasion. Their festive Easter treats will be available through April 9.

Bakery Lorraine
Bakery Lorraine at the Domain is accepting pre-orders for its classic seven-inch Easter carrot cake. The luscious dessert serves 10-12 people and contains pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and is topped with a cream cheese frosting. Fill out a form to preorder ($80) by April 4 to pick up on April 8, just in time for your Easter feast.

Popular restaurant in Austin suburb brings spinoff bar and live music to Leander

Down the Rabbit Hole

A new bar is hopping into a growing Austin suburb: After the success of opening the Lucky Rabbit in the Lake Travis area last year, Matt Morcher, Sandra Cleveland, and Matt and Shelly Delahoussaye are set to open a new spinoff neighborhood bar in Leander next week.

Located located in the San Gabriel Ridge shopping center at 2080 N. US-183 unit 145, The Rabbit Hole will open on Friday, March 31, starting at 2 pm. The team will celebrate with a grand opening party, featuring live music by Luke Daniel from 6-9 pm and Carter Whitaker from 9 pm - midnight. A special time-related happy hour will offer new specials for guests to enjoy at the top of every hour.

The name is, of course, a small nod to The Lucky Rabbit, but also an invitation to "go down the rabbit hole” — whether with friends and family or passing time solo. The bar will serve high quality cocktails in a swanky space, bringing in live music acts most weekend nights for locals to enjoy.

The 68-seat interior play on the theme of time and the trippy experience of going down the rabbit hole, featuring exposed brick walls with murals of clock-like rabbits and gears painted by local artist Sarah Blankenship, along with a variety of light fixtures featuring Edison-style bulbs and gears that light the space.

The drink menu carries that theme through its featured cocktails, with rabbit names like Bug’s Old Fashioned (rye, demerara, bitters, orange, luxardo cherry); the 24 Carrot Gold (vodka, triple sec, blood orange, lime, bitters); and the Bubbly Bunny (gin, lavender, lemon, prosecco). Perfect as we head into hotter temperatures, frozen drink option include traditional and flavored margaritas, the Hot Hare (Spicy Mango, Chamoy, Tajin rim), or the Perky Bunny (Red Bull floater, Pop Rocks rim). Local beer and wine is also available, as well as bar snacks. Heartier food options will also be available to order from neighboring restaurants, Sabino’s Pizza Pub and Ah Thinh Asian Cuisine.

Morcher and Cleveland are veterans in the industry with a big heart for the local community:

“Sandra and I live in the area, and we often found ourselves looking for a nearby neighborhood bar to hang out in," said Morcher via release. "We saw this space, and felt that there was great potential to make it into a fun local spot — so we just decided to create one ourselves! We’re excited to be bringing this to an underserved area here in Leander, Liberty Hill and beyond. It was tough to find a place out here with affordable craft cocktails, great service, and live music on the weekends. We’re thrilled to be able to bring that to our community.”