San Antonio is partnering up with Austin to attract new business throughout ‘megaregion’

The initial focus of the partnership is to lobby for the enactment of a statewide economic development program

SAN ANTONIO — Economic development leaders in San Antonio are working with their Austin counterparts to attract new business in what is believed to be a megaregion forming along the I-35 corridor.

Recently, Greater:SATX formalized a partnership with Opportunity Austin to help advance legislative priorities that will enhance the future of economic development and job creation in Texas.

“We have mutual interest in infrastructure and education, workforce development and most definitely policies that foster economic growth,” said Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, CEO of Greater:SATX.

The initial focus of the partnership is to advocate for the enactment of a statewide economic development program that provides tools for Texas communities to attract, retain and grow existing businesses.

“We need a replacement program so that we can be competitive with other states around the country if we want to be the epicenter of advanced manufacturing, if we want to be innovation and thought leaders in regards to a new economy, then we’ve got to compete,’ said Gary Farmer, chair of Opportunity Austin.

Farmer said even more so now that the Chapter 313 of the Texas tax code has expired. Chapter 313 allowed school districts to invite companies to build in the district and get taxed less.

“We can’t be complacent and just assume that people are going to love us because we’re in the best state in the country. We’ve got to compete, quite candidly,” said Farmer.

Both organizations believe advancing these legislative priorities is the first step, with other opportunities for collaboration between the two metro areas. By creating a formalized alliance, Saucedo-Herrera believes it will help ensure sustainable and smart growth in decades to come.

“We have secured some significant investments in the San Antonio and Austin megaregion, but we need to continue to remain competitive and we need to be tools to be able to do that,” she said.

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