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Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation surveys businesses about outlook

More than 50 companies replied to their survey. The overall outlook is optimistic.
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 6:04 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Brazos Valley business community is continuing to bounce back after a tough 2020.

The Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation released findings of a new survey looking at how businesses are doing in our community.

The survey interviewed businesses ranging in size from fewer than ten employees to more than 500.

Ninety-two percent of local businesses surveyed by the BVEDC said they plan to hire more people by May 2022.

“We’re definitely in a better place. Definitely growth opportunities for our local businesses. That’s not to say that segments of our economy weren’t hit very hard,” said Matt Prochaska, Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation President and CEO.

Prochaska said only eight percent of the more than 50 companies they interviewed decreased in size in 2020.

“Our businesses are extremely optimistic...what we found is is that the businesses are really in a favorable place,” he explained.

“Bryan/College Station seems to be a pretty desirable location for many bio-health companies, so that’s very exciting, creating a lot of new job opportunities and lots of people coming to Bryan/College Station for those opportunities. Production and manufacturing seems to be back in full swing,” said Holly Huddleston, Spherion Staffing Regional Manager for the Brazos Valley.

She said they are seeing job openings in fields across the board.

“We’ve got lots of industries that are thriving and growing here in Bryan/College Station and even more larger companies that are coming to the Bryan/College Station area because of our very rich talent pool and our very desirable location,” she said.

FedEx is preparing a new ground facility site. It’ll be a 7 acre building at Texas Triangle Park.

“Excited of what’s to come, proud of us making it through 2020 through some obstacles but we are still here,” said Huddleston.

Prochaska said the survey was in-depth with area stakeholders.

“It wasn’t just an email that was sent off and hope for responses but actually, really in person, in depth conversation with the leadership of these companies,” said Prochaska. “I think the main thing is that our local economy is resilient.”

We have more information on their findings here and a statement from the BVEDC below.

A Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation survey of dozens of local companies shows signs of an economy which weathered the pandemic-fueled downturn of 2020 and is primed for growth moving forward.

From March to June 2021, the BVEDC conducted its survey in-person, over the phone and via email with high-level executives at more than 50 companies. The vast majority are members of Invest Brazos Valley, the group of private investors helping make economic development in the community possible.

Representatives from 50 percent of the surveyed companies said their revenues grew in 2020, while 42 percent said they maintained. Only 8 percent of companies had revenues which contracted in 2020.

When asked about future hiring, 92 percent of respondents said they planned to add employees by May 2022.

As for the business climate, 90 percent of those surveyed said their view of the Brazos Valley was favorable when it comes to continued expansion. The remaining 10 percent noted that they weren’t planning on expanding here at this time because of their business model for growing their company, not because the Brazos Valley doesn’t present growth opportunities.

“A common thread among the businesses surveyed was that they are anticipating the rebound,” said BVEDC Business Outreach and Engagement Coordinator Kait Jones. “Businesses are already thinking about plans for growth and expansion. The common characteristics of being forward-thinking and flexible helps our community meet these challenges. Knowing what our local businesses have gone through and seeing their confidence makes us appreciate this next chapter of recovery even more.”

The companies surveyed represent a wide array of industries and ranged in size from less than 10 employees to more than 500.

“The results from this survey of the Brazos Valley business community are another reminder that our companies are resilient and strong, even in the midst of the unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said BVEDC President/CEO Matt Prochaska. “We are grateful for the opportunity to engage with and support our local economy, and we look forward to continuing to provide value going forward.”

The June 2021 edition of “Economic Indicators of the College Station-Bryan MSA” showed continued growth in the Brazos Valley economy. The College Station-Bryan Business-Cycle Index has regained significant ground in the year-plus since the worldwide health crisis caused steep declines in the American economy.

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