‘All sectors and regions of Mission are firing at full force,’ says MEDC CEO
The city of Mission is taking steps to boost the regional economy. Wednesday, the RGV Partnership partnered with the Mission Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) at the CEED building to interest investors in commercial property and entrepreneurial development through tours.
“Through the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, our responsibility is a four-county region [including] Starr, Willacy, Cameron,” said RGV Partnership CEO Daniel Silva. The partnership advocates for infrastructure, economic development, healthcare, education, and ports of entry. “There’s a need for us to come together as a region.”
Since January, the RGV Partnership has traveled across the Valley to cities such as Weslaco, Edinburg, Raymondville, and South Padre Island each month to increase networking of potential local and nationwide investors.
“What they’re doing is that they’re providing the opportunity for every EDC, every city, to talk about themselves in front of bankers, developers, business people, to let them know what they’re doing in their community,” said Teclo J. Garcia, CEO of the Mission Economic Development Corporation.
Local business leaders, including developers, attorneys, architects, bankers, and accountants, participated in a briefing before taking a windshield tour across South Mission.
Garcia stated that the RGV Partnership and MEDC firm have three financial goals for the city’s expansion.
“We work with all those folks to try to locate them in Mission, create new opportunities for investment, and to create jobs and enhance the workforce,” he said.
With a city population of 86,223 with an unemployment rate of 5.9% in 2022 and a metropolitan population of 900,000 with 6.5% unemployment in 2022, Mission plans on growing the workforce via promoting chains and local businesses.
According to the MEDC CEO, Mission is a year away from the Anzaldua’s Bridge becoming a commercial hub that will create a rise in trade.
“We’re trying to prepare and be ready for that when that happens,” he said, with private sector industries already showing interest. “But people, especially in the private sector, have noticed that’s going to happen, so they’re buying up properties.”
Killam Development, a South Texas real estate developer, currently has a 3,400-acre tract north of the Anzaldua Bridge home to hundreds of acres for residential, commercial, and industrial areas.
“We look forward to the new leads on development and investment from this tour,” said Rene Alcala, the director of business development for Killam Development.
According to an official press release with the MEDC, Killam’s Sharyland Business Park “is nearly complete and sold out.”
To promote marketing and entrepreneurship, Garcia invited Yaw Sam, a 2020 University of Texas Rio Grande Valley graduate and Sefwi, Ghana native who headquarters his business, Brand Geniuz, in the CEED building. Brand Geniuz is a marketing company that connects local businesses with social media influencers.
“I wanted to make an impact,” said Sam. “I have seen the impact social media has had on a lot of businesses around the world. And I really strongly believe we can do that here in the Rio Grande Valley.”
Businesses such as Junior’s Super Market have utilized Brand Genuiz for marketing. The Valley-based company has also expanded its clientele to San Antonio, Austin, and Houston.
Sam’s networking business is one of 25 tenants inside the 55,000 sq. ft. building, including Jitterz Coffee, the 5×5 Brewery, and Teach For America.
“There’s something to be said about folks who are a little bit older and have accumulated some wealth, and they can invest,” said Garcia, emphasizing the ability to bridge the age gap between RGV entrepreneurs. “But we also have to have this youthful energy — people who can come to the table and disrupt or be very innovative about something new that we in this older generation aren’t thinking about.”
Investors and local business leaders later toured the Anzaldua Bridge, the Sharyland Foundation, and the Mission Event Center via bus.
“All sectors and regions of Mission are firing at full force,” said Garcia in an official press release. “Retail, commercial, and industrial and moving forward rapidly, especially in South Mission. That’s why it was key to bring business leaders and investors to see in person the tremendous opportunities here.”