UTSA Small Business Development Center opens office in Carrizo Springs

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(Nov. 14, 2011) -- The Rural Business Program, part of the UTSA Small Business Development Center, will open an SBDC Information Center in Carrizo Springs. The center is in the Middle Rio Grande Development Workforce Solutions offices at 307 West Nopal St. The new center will reinforce the SBDC community and business development efforts to help communities become sustainable during the ongoing oil and gas extraction projects in the Eagle Ford Shale region.

>> An open house commemorating the SBDC Information Center opening will be 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17. The public is invited to attend the special ceremony and listen to presentations on small business opportunities within the Eagle Ford Shale area.

The Eagle Ford Shale, believed to have one of the most significant oil and gas deposits in the country, provides more than 12,000 workers with full-time jobs. Communities are welcoming the growth brought by the activity that includes challenges associated with the dramatic economic upturn.

"The Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas play will bring economic prosperity to the region and for the state," said Gil Gonzalez, director of the SBDC Rural Business Program at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

The center is a partnership of the Rural Business Program, South-West Texas Border SBDC Network and Sul Ross State University-Rio Grande College SBDC. Resources available at the SBDC Information Center will include consulting for small businesses, workshops for communities and a Bid2Biz Pipeline publication to help connect oil and gas companies to small businesses in the area.

"All of us working in the Rural Business Program are looking forward to the opening of our office in Carrizo Springs and the opportunity to enhance local business development within the Eagle Ford Shale area," said Marc Roy, project manager for the Rural Business program.

The center is one of the recent efforts by the UTSA Institute for Economic Development to provide expertise related to issues surrounding the Eagle Ford Shale play.

The Rural Business Program in collaboration with the Center for Community and Business Research (CCBR) at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development released the paper, "Workforce Analysis in the Eagle Ford Shale," in May 2011, which analyzes the potential impact of oil and gas activity in the region.

Additionally, the Rural Business program will conduct a strategic analysis of the Middle Rio Grande regionwith the UTSA College of Architecture focusing on sustainable choices for the growing demand for housing in the Eagle Ford Shale region. The housing study is scheduled for completion by February 2012.

Activity will continue to grow in the area, and by 2020, the economic impact is projected to reach more than $10.1 billion with 31,705 new jobs in the six-county area in which the shale is concentrated.

"Our goal is to integrate business, community and workforce development services under one roof to create the synergy for sustainable development for the region," Gonzalez said.

For more information, contact the UTSA Rural Business Program at 210-458-2046 or email marc.roy@utsa.edu.