Bexar County taps UTSA to conduct African American Business Enterprise (AABE) Research Study

Bexar County taps UTSA to conduct African American Business Enterprise (AABE) Research Study

Study aims to identify opportunities to stimulate local AABE outreach, economic growth and development

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(Feb. 17, 2016) -- Bexar County has partnered with UTSA to conduct research that will provide greater insight into how the county can support and strengthen African American Business Enterprises (AABEs). The UTSA study was contracted after Bexar County identified a gap in qualified AABEs that can participate in Small, Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (SMWBE) and related contract programs in the Alamo region.

The Center for Community and Business Research in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development is conducting the study, focusing on AABEs in eight counties in the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA: Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson.

By the end of the study, UTSA researchers will have:

  • Identified and compiled a comprehensive list of AABEs in the Alamo region that can be used to increase the number of AABE bidders for County contracts in Goods, Commodities, Services, Construction Services and Professional Services
  • Identified best practices that will help Bexar County build a business program to stimulate local AABE outreach, economic growth and development
  • Identified and guided AABE businesses to the appropriate certification(s) needed to conduct business with government agencies
  • Reinforced Bexar County’s economic development efforts toward the AABE community

UTSA’s survey will include items about capacity and business relationships within the private sector, and with local governments and public agencies such as cities, counties, special districts, public utilities, school districts, soil and water conservation districts and other entities. Potential HUB and minority businesses will be included in the 360-degree view of procurement and certification processes.

Additionally, UTSA researchers will conduct telephone interviews with AABEs in the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA. They will also complete GIS regional mapping to record data on firm characteristics such as business relationships with local governments and public agencies, industry, services and resources, associations and partners, certification and business capacity.

The Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce, the NAACP San Antonio Chapter and the Black Book Business Directory are actively supporting the Bexar County study. The results of the study will be available June 2016 after a Commissioners Court vote. Bexar County plans to publish an online directory of vendors.

The UTSA Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. Its centers and programs provide professional business advising, technical training, research and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders. Its programs serve San Antonio, the Texas-Mexico border area, and regional, national and international stakeholders. Together with federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, the Institute fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA’s community engagement mission.


AABEs are encouraged to participate in the study during February and March by visiting

To share information for study consideration (business experiences, membership lists from local business associations and community groups, contact information for a local AABE), send an email to (subject line: AABE study) or by calling Dr. Dan Sass at 210-458-7498.

Learn more about the UTSA Institute for Economic Development at

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