Austin Chamber: Jimmy Kimmel is a Small Business Champion

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The Austin Chamber of Commerce has named Jimmy Kimmel a Small Business Champion.
The Austin Chamber of Commerce has named Jimmy Kimmel a Small Business Champion.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce has named Jimmy Kimmel a Small Business Champion.

A few extra pounds aren’t the only thing Jimmy Kimmel picked up last week during his trip to Austin.

The ABC late-night host, who taped a week’s worth of shows at the Long Center for the Performing Arts as part of South by Southwest, has been named a Small Business Champion by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Because Kimmel loves to eat, the award was made to resemble a brisket rib.

The chamber points out that Kimmel and his crew – almost 300 people came to town to help produce the show, according to the Los Angeles Times – had a major impact on the city’s economy. They stayed in our hotels, dined at our restaurants and shopped at our stores, among other things.

Kimmel and pal Matthew McConaughey even made a few cheesy commercials for locally owned Vulcan Video.

North Austin restaurant Chez Zee is among the businesses that benefited from having “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in town.

“We heard Jimmy liked banana creme pie, so we added the pie to our menu and sent him one,” said Sharon Watkins, Chez Zee’s owner. “Not only did the camera crew come back for dinner at our restaurant the next night and took another pie back for him, but we also sold five times as much banana creme pie as any other dessert following Jimmy’s tweet.”

This was the second year Kimmel came to town during SXSW. No word yet on whether he’ll return in 2016.


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