New businesses and developments in Brazos Valley highlight thriving economy

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:32 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Economic indicators show growth in new businesses wanting to make the Brazos Valley home or expand their operations here. If you look anywhere throughout the Brazos Valley, you’ll see plenty of new developments, coming soon and now hiring signs.

According to a Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center report, many economic indicators show the region is bouncing back from the pandemic.

Matt Prochaska, president and C.E.O. of the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation, says compared to last year, the number of new projects, jobs, and money companies are willing to invest increased significantly.

Figures show that year-to-date projects saw an increase of 38%, up from 61 to 84. The number of average jobs that these new businesses bring with them is up from 240 jobs to 436 jobs, an 86% increase.

These businesses also require more space than previously used. In 2020 the average company needed 199,405 square feet compared to 350,216 square feet in 2021. The area that saw the most growth, according to the report, is the financial investment that businesses are willing to make in the Brazos Valley. In 2020, the average industry invested $113 million compared to $312.6 million in 2021.

“Our business cycle index improved again by .1%. Our unemployment rate has also dropped a little bit, and then real taxable sales have also gone up,” said Prochaska. “We’re seeing a lot of really positive trends in the midst of still questionable times with the latest information that we’ve received with COVID and all, but overall very positive indications.”

Juanita’s Tex Mex Cantina, Gringo’s Tex Mex and Whole Fried Chickens are just a few of the new businesses opening soon. David Cantu is the general manager of Porters Dining + Butchers, the parent company of the new Juanita’s Tex Mex location opening soon at Century Square. He says that things are looking up despite a year of issues, including problems in the supply chain, product inflation, and labor shortages.

“At Porter’s, we’ve struggled through them and fought through them and really moved forward and were looking forward to a better year next year for employment issues, and hopefully, the supply chain issues are getting resolved soon,” said Cantu.

Glen Brewer, President and C.E.O of the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce, says his outlook on the new year is positive.

“I think we’re going to have a good year,” said Brewer. “We’re always cautious. There are always things on the horizon, you never know what they are, but I think we’ve proved that we can survive this pandemic, and we can probably survive anything.”

An opening date has not been set for Juanita’s Tex Mex Cantina, Gringo’s Tex Mex or Whole Fried Chickens.

To read the full report from the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center click here.

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