UTSA Institute for Economic Development reports $1.4 billion in economic impact

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(Jan. 14, 2013) --The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development clients generated $1.4 billion in business growth during fiscal year 2012 including $1.06 billion in increased sales, contracts and exports, and $330 million in new capital. This is the first time the institute and its clients have exceeded the $1 billion threshold.

"These remarkable numbers show how UTSA is, in many ways, already providing a Tier One level of service," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "In the past year alone, the institute has expanded its reach throughout the Eagle Ford region at home and internationally in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is the impact a Tier One institution creates. I am so proud of the great work that is underway."

The UTSA Institute for Economic Development is comprised of a dozen centers and programs that provide professional business advising, technical assistance, training, research and strategic planning services to entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders. The institute primarily serves San Antonio and the Texas-Mexico border area, as well as national and international stakeholders, fostering economic development in support of UTSA's community-engagement mission.

During FY 2012, the UTSA Institute for Economic Development:

  • Served 37,306 business and community clients including 23,253 training participants, 8,073 consulting cases, and 5,980 research tasks and projects
  • Helped launch 496 new businesses
  • Helped expand 476 existing businesses
  • Supported the creation of 4,307 new jobs and helped its clients retain 5,778 jobs

The record $1.4 billion in small-business client growth is indicative of Texas leading economic recovery and expanded capacity of the institute's programs. During FY 2012, the Institute of Economic Development also partnered with industry and government to conduct research and develop programs to meet a variety of business and economic opportunities. Highlights include:

  • Studies quantifying the game-changing Eagle Ford Shale energy development economic impact with 42,000 jobs to-date and 117,000 forecasted in the next 10 years, plus related studies on the labor market, housing and health-care service implications
  • Adding a Carrizo Springs office for the Rural Business program and creation of an Eagle Ford Shale Community Development program with support from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. (UTSA professors and students from the College of Architecture and College of Public Policy work with the institute to help Eagle Ford businesses and communities make the most of this unprecedented growth opportunity.)
  • Adding the U.S. Department of Defense Procurement Technical Assistance Center to help small businesses win government contracts and a Veterans Business Assistance Program with Chase Bank Foundation support
  • Adding a New Orleans office for the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster Assistance program for businesses to recover from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill economic effects
  • Adding a New Braunfels office of the Small Business Development Center to cater to high-growth Interstate 35 corridor businesses
  • Expanding the Minority Business Development Agency program to advise high-growth firms in both government contracting and exporting

UTSA's work to extend the Small Business Development Center model in Latin America was recognized by President Obama when he initiated the Small Business Network of the Americas last April at the Summit of the Americas. Strengthening entrepreneurial economies south of the border helps stabilize democracies, mitigate migration and builds market access for trade growth between small businesses here and there.

To date, the institute has guided establishment of 108 SBDCs in Mexico, 10 in El Salvador, 2 in Colombia and 1 in Belize. The U.S. State Department Pathways to Prosperity program has engaged UTSA to establish SBDCs in the DR-CAFTA region including Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Panama, plus the South American markets of Colombia and Peru. The Organization of American States and U.S. OAS Mission have engaged UTSA to establish SBDCs in the Caribbean region including Belize and the island nations of Jamaica, Barbados, Dominica and St. Lucia.

The institute also executed an agreement with Brazil's Small Business Agency, SEBRAE, to connect their 1.1 million clients to the U.S. SBDC Network and LAC markets through the SBDC Global website, an international trade platform developed by the UTSA International Trade Center.

"At home and abroad, small businesses provide the dynamism and diversification for healthy economies," said Robert McKinley, UTSA associate vice president and director of the Institute of Economic Development. "Our team of UTSA professionals is providing Tier One services as evidenced by these excellent results and extensive reach."