Economic success helps drive business to the Brazos Valley, surpassing pre-pandemic levels
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – A new report is telling businesses that the Brazos Valley is the place to be.
This has large companies and small local businesses opening up around the area.
The co-owners of a new local business are from Houston and Austin. But, when they pictured their axe-throwing business, they pictured the Brazos Valley.
“I think that having a more outdoor, rugged, type of community kind of helps us build that even more. Fewer people that are kind of timid about these things,” co-owner of The Cut Axe Throwing, Nick Roth, said.
But, there were other factors for the owners too.
According to the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation, the area has not only recovered from an economic hit during COVID-19 but has surpassed pre-pandemic economic levels. This includes Bryan College Station having the third lowest unemployment level in the state, at 3.4% of people unemployed. During 2020, unemployment in the area reached over 8%.
But BVEDC President and CEO, Matt Prochaska, said the most important indication is the business cycle index. What started at 100 points 20 years ago has since jumped to 219 points. Prochaska said this is what is most attractive to large businesses looking into the area.
“Our local economy in the Brazos Valley has effectively doubled which is amazing. Many, many communities can’t say the same kinds of things but were very fortunate to live and work in such a vibrant community such as the Brazos Valley,” he said.
The Cut made the corner of George Bush Drive and Texas Avenue home, for just that reason.
“We wouldn’t have put it here just based on the college and the college town on its own but the growth of the area,” Roth said.
Prochaska said their statistics are also telling them that the loss of students during the summer, is not hurting business like it used to.
“We’re seeing more of a retention of our student population and less of a dip overall, particularly in some of the retail sales but also with some of our hotels and tourism,” he said.
Roth said he is excited for the future of his new business in College Station and to see the continued growth in the Brazos Valley.
“My wife graduated from Bryan in 2003, just the difference between when she lived here till now. The populations much improved regardless of whether schools in session or not so the growth was a big driver of why we came into this area.”
The BVEDC gathers research with the help of the Private Enterprise Research Center in order to provide an insight into the area for companies that do work business to business, like the bio-corridor and factories. Prochaska said this is turn brings business-to-person opportunities to the area like retail and services.
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