MARCH 8, 2022 — Through a suite of impactful programs that enable business owners and entrepreneurs to receive strategic counsel and business planning services, the UTSA Institute for Economic Development (IED) generated an overall direct economic impact of $3 billion for the Texas economy in 2021.
Two programs set up by the institute to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs with COVID-19 pandemic relief, including financial assistance via the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans assistance, were among the resources that generated this multibillion-dollar impact.
Established in 1979, the IED is part of the UTSA Division of Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise. The institute is home to 10 centers and numerous programs that facilitate economic, community and business development at the local, regional and national levels.
“The IED is a vital component of UTSA’s knowledge enterprise and their $3 billion economic impact for the state of Texas is staggering,” said Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA vice president for research, economic development, and knowledge enterprise. “Combining this milestone with the larger, ever-evolving UTSA innovation ecosystem and a focus on technology disclosures, patents and proofs-of-concept, our division is poised for growth and increased support of our stakeholders which includes faculty, students and research partners particularly in the downtown core.”
During the 2021 fiscal year, the Institute:
As businesses in San Antonio, in Texas and around the nation continue to work to gain strength in the midst of the pandemic, the IED is guiding clients and advising constituents on how to rebuild and move forward.
San Antonio physician Esteban Lopez tapped the IED for support in these uncertain times.
Lopez contacted the UTSA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for help in opening Hopscotch Health, a pediatric urgent care facility in San Antonio. Tracie Shelton Hervey, a certified business advisor at the SBDC, collaborated with Lopez to research and develop a strategy for the facility’s launch. With additional help from UTSA-hosted SBDCNet, the team identified two locations that best fit the targeted demographic for his clinic.
To date, Lopez has already created five new full-time jobs and sees his two clinic locations as the beginning of a larger network. He plans to open six more locations in San Antonio in the coming years.
“The SBDC was an invaluable resource to help me go from an idea to a business that’s now helping care for thousands of children across the region during the pandemic,” Lopez said. “The SBDC helped me every step of the way. They are a great service to budding entrepreneurs.”
“Dr. Lopez’s story demonstrates the success one can achieve—even in tough times—when we have the will and access to resources,” added Rod McSherry, UTSA associate vice president for innovation and economic development. “Fortunately, our Institute at UTSA provides resources to help many Texas small businesses get started and continue growing. This growth is important to Texas because these small businesses are the economic engine of our great state.”
UTSA is an urban serving, Tier One research university that is committed to tackling society’s grand challenges. It is driving San Antonio’s knowledge economy, living out the notion that great universities need great cities and great cities need great universities.
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