The new year is only two months away and the city’s economic development leaders are thinking about what challenges and opportunities await in 2013. This week, the city’s Economic Development Foundation presented an action plan to the council committee that looks closely at economic progress in San Antonio.
"We want to be successful,” said the foundation’s president, Mario Hernandez. “What better way to be successful than to establish high goals for economic development?” he asked.
The action plan includes focusing on aligning with Mayor Julián Castro’s SA2020 vision, retaining and expanding local businesses, marketing and imaging to companies outside the city, creating a 13-member executive committee, and daily interaction with city staffers.
Hernandez said the foundation’s annual budget has increased from $1.3 million each year, to $2.5 million, a growth justified by last year's numbers. He said 24 companies relocated to San Antonio with an employment potential of nearly 5,000 workers, and once they reach full staff will have an annual payroll of $1.6 billion.
Recruiting new businesses in 2013: Case in point, Toyota
Hernandez said the auto company only had four percent of the marketplace in San Antonio in 2002. "If you will establish a plant here, your percentage of sales in Texas and in San Antonio can go up dramatically,” he said he explained to company officials. “So that's part of our job is identify those that have a market driven need to expand. Convince them they can do business and be profitable in San Antonio."
The Eagle Ford Shale oil and natural gas exploration is also a part of the foundation’s action plan. Hernandez says San Antonio, although north of the major exploration areas, contains the largest employee pool for the companies.
"It's once in a lifetime opportunity and we're trying to maximize that,” said Hernandez.
The Economic Development Foundation will present the plan to the full city council during the Nov. 15 City Council meeting.