Enrique Peña Nieto, the newly-elected president of Mexico, takes power on Saturday and inherits a nation that is suffering from a long-running conflict against drug traffickers and an economy that is improved but still anemic. On this side of the border, Mexico watchers are hoping Peña Nieto will be the pragmatic problem solver that he promised during his presidential campaign.
Bexar County is offering classes to help certain small construction businesses get a leg up in securing contracts for new business or increasing their business.
The program is being offered to help the small construction industry business learn about the bonding process for contractors. The information offered can help businesses overcome industry challenges to help them gain surety bonds or increase their current bonding capacities.
The program is free to owners of construction-related businesses that meet minimum size, sales, and activity criteria.
“That is right up there with the biggest industries that we have in San Antonio,” said Chamber President and CEO Richard Perez. "Salaries have grown, so this is a place for young people to really find excellent jobs that will fulfill the needs of their families and themselves as being citizens of this community."
A rebounding economy and growing consumer confidence may contribute to a successful holiday shopping season this year.
The consulting firm Accenture reported that this year 52 percent of consumers will increase their spending by $250 or more. On the whole, the report says people are expected to spend $582 for the holiday. 53 percent say they will brave the crowds on Black Friday.
"We actually started preparing right after the season ended last year,” said Scott Redman, store manager at Wal-Mart in the 8500 block of Jones-Maltsberger.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has awarded $1.3 million to the Alamo, Coastal Bend, Laredo, South Texas Junior and Victoria Colleges to train and educate workers for the Eagle Ford Shale oil and natural gas boom.
"It's going to train up to 800 individuals to go to work very quickly and be able to make a living wage and be able to make a living wage and support their families and help improve the Texas economy,” said THECB Commissioner Raymund Paredes.
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro is not finished jet-setting following the elections. He will now head to Great Britain to talk to politicians, business leaders and top government officials in hopes of strengthening business relationships.
As an invited guest of the British government, Castro’s main mission is economic development.
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.
Tourism brings in over $10 billion per year, and one out of every eight employees in San Antonio work in the industry. City leaders figured that's a lot of San Antonians greeting a lot of guests, so they adopted a program to help prepare those who are most involved with visitors.
Another study looking at how income compares to housing prices in the 25 largest cities in the United States shows how even in San Antonio, which is in the bottom five lowest income cities, the lower income levels mean many families can't afford median priced homes. The Interest.com study shows that San Antonio's median income falls below the income required to purchase a median priced home, but only slightly. This .55 percent difference earns San Antonio a C- in the Income.com study. -------------------
Just to compare, Detroit is also in the bottom five cities with the lowest income and finds itself in a much better position because of how the median income compares to the price of a median priced home. The percent that Detroit's median income exceeds the income required for a median priced home is 45 percent.
A median-income household can only afford a median-priced home in 14 of the nation's 25 largest metropolitan areas Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis-St. Paul are the most affordable cities, according to Interest.com's first Home Affordability Study. San Diego, New York and San Francisco are the least affordable.