What is a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Program?
Our Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Program uses business visits, events, and research to learn about our local business practices, future plans, and current challenges. When we are able to identify a business that needs help, we connect them to local or state resources. Our local businesses know they can count on us!
Studies show that 76 percent of new jobs are created by existing local businesses. On average, only about 15 percent of new jobs are created by new, external businesses. Our BRE team wants to make sure our local businesses grow successfully, able to create and retain investment and jobs in Converse. Local businesses, please contact your EDC for a BRE visit.
Here is how we help:
- Exploratory meetings to learn more about your business.
- Assist with property searches when your business is ready to expand or relocate.
- Connect your business to other businesses.
- Connect your business to state, and local resources.
WORKFORCE & TRAINING
- Connect with Workforce Partners (TWC, WFSA, Alamo Colleges)
- Find your next employee with easy job postings at area colleges.
- Connect you with low and no-cost employee training and internship programs.
- Connect with Small Business Assistance Partners
MARKETING & PROMOTION
- Access to Marketing Resources
- Assist with marketing and advertising in the region.
- Promote your Business to Converse with Ribbon Cuttings.
- Profile your business the EDC’s interactive Business Map.
Putting the Spotlight on our Converse Businesses
Celebrating Converse Businesses by taking a moment to spotlight the owners and individuals who have collaborated with the EDC on successful retention and expansion projects.
Assisting A Long Standing Businesses Find a New Location
Nestor Santizo, the owner of Jireh Granite, a family-owned countertop fabrication business, met with EDC staff multiple times to discuss his need for a larger facility in Converse. Since 2004, the company’s year over year growth caused them to surpass their existing footprint. In addition to needing a larger building the owner desired to increase the businesses visibility by relocating to a main commercial corridor.
The EDC staff helped compare several tracts of land based on the availability of infrastructure and preferred traffic counts. The EDC also acted as a liaison with the city staff during permitting and development. The EDC will promote the opening of their new 12,500 SF showroom, slab yard and fabrication shop located at 9192 FM 78 with great visibility in the first quarter of 2023.
Converse EDC Assists Local Business to Expand
Regular one-on-one meetings with local businesses are one of the best tools of the Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Program. These vital meetings help the EDC discover more about day-to-day operations and future projections of our local businesses. With these continued conversations, the EDC is better equipped to assist with information and resources needed for expansion, relocation, workforce, supply chain, and marketing.
A recent meeting with San Antonio Masonry and Steel revealed a necessity to expand their footprint and expand one of their fastest-growing product lines. With no room on their existing property for this project, San Antonio Masonry and Steel along with the EDC looked at adjacent parcels. In the following weeks, the EDC diligently worked to find the property owners of an ideal adjacent property. Through multiple searches, emails, and phone calls with the Bexar County Tax office, it was determined the property was in probate. Eventually, the heirs were found, contacted, and amenable to selling the necessary property. Additionally, in the research of land, it was discovered that the city also owned a small parcel adjacent to the property. The City Manager was contacted and a formal request to vacate the property has begun. San Antonio Masonry and Steel is now on a path to enable the necessary expansion for continued growth.
Ongoing relationship building with our businesses is essential to keep the BRE Team nimble and able to respond with assistance in multiple areas of expertise. No job is too large or small for the EDC to assist. Call us today at 210.659.9163 to schedule your meeting.
San Antonio Masonry and Steel is a one-stop shop for masonry and steel products offering an extensive collection of masonry tools and supplies. For more info click here: https://samasonry.com/
Why a Converse Business Moving into the Old Fire Station is Economic Development.
In addition to attracting new businesses to Converse, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) goals include retaining and expanding Converse businesses through their Business Retention and Expansion Program. We ask a lot of questions to identify things we may be able to assist with for continued growth. We hold the information received during the interviews extremely confidential and utilize it to help with things like finding new and/or larger spaces, working through resources needed to expand existing spaces, grants through the EDC or other sources, regional workforce, and educational programs to grow employees, and research other options needed as well to highlight a few options.
A recent example is a longstanding relationship with North East Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing which has been in Converse for five decades. This company was looking for a new space because their current building was limiting their growth and their ability to hire additional staff; this is the type of situation where economic development departments can assist.
North East Air needed a much larger facility and was searching with a Commercial Real Estate Broker outside of Converse. Due to our relationship with North East Air, the company called the EDC to inquire about the future plans for the EDC-owned retired Fire Station. There had been several recent inquiries on the building. Through the process of interested businesses touring the buildings, North East Air ended up being the buyer of the property.
This shows how keeping in contact with local businesses can help keep them and the jobs they represent in our community. North East Air can now serve more customers, grow their staff, and be more prosperous over the next fifty years in Converse. It also gives the old fire station a new life.
This also creates a second opportunity, as Northeast Air moves out of the S. Seguin location, a new business can move into this highly-visible location in Converse. We cannot wait to see North East Air flourish in their new home!
North East Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Services is a third-generation, veteran-owned business providing HVAC and plumbing services since 1971. Find out more here: https://www.northeastairconditioning.com/