Happy Birthday L’Oca d’Oro. Below is the toast from our event last night:
I want to thank all of you who came out tonight and I want to thank all the folks who contributed to the evening, the many donors to the silent auction, Banner distilling, Susto Mezcal & Goodnight Loving Vodka for making Eva & Elena’s amazing cocktails possible and Chefs Michael Fojtasek, Fermin Nunez, Sarah Heard & Nathan Lemley & Mari Soto. If you haven’t been to Olamaie, Suerte, Foreign & Domestic under new management, or Sweet Ritual, you need to make that happen.
Speaking to you today, I’m so grateful that we have formed relationships with friends and colleagues who support each other and who we can celebrate with, because you can not successfully run a small business in America today on your own. I saw firsthand over this last year, in court and at the Capitol, the forces lined up against us – the larger corporations, their trade associations who claim to speak for all business and the politicians who are friendly to their cause. What has kept us willing and able to do business in a way that is healthy for us, our employees and our community is the idea of Good Work Austin.
GWA started as a group of businesses working with City Council to write a paid leave ordinance that would be a progressive benefit for workers and not overly burdensome on business. We continued to work together recognizing that to achieve bigger goals, we would need to formalize this association. Good Work Austin is now a 501c3 and by the end of the year we will have completed a unique website complete with support and resources for businesses looking to eliminate waste, source locally, reduce utilities consumption, transition to Open Books management and One Fair wage. All of this in ways that will be helpful to their businesses’ culture and their bottom line. GWA will provide inexpensive access to direct primary care and a cost sharing community as well as mental health & wellness benefits with Capital Area Counseling, based on a system that HAAM has already set up for Central TX musicians. GWA will advocate for rewards and incentives for its members to create upward pressure on the folks who are doing the bare minimum to support their workers and our community and for legislation to level the playing field. Finally, GWA will aggressively promote its members and help to educate consumers about our values and the benefit that GWA businesses provide to Austin.
In 5 years, we imagine Good Works in Dallas, Houston & San Antonio changing the way Texas does business, and, what’s maybe even more important, ensuring that no small business has to face this struggle alone.
Thank you again and Happy Birthday to my best friend and business partner, Fiore & L’Oca d’Oro!