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EDC Establishes New Incentive for Property Improvements

MARBLE FALLS BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT GRANT PROGRAM

“We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.”

As we launch our new Business Improvement Grant (BIG) Program at the Marble Falls EDC, we should be mindful of the above declaration and perhaps amend the statement to better reflect our goals—and to prevent business owners from running away at the sight of an EDC representative.

So, with that in mind, let’s try this:

Marble Falls Business Walk: By the Numbers

Last week, the EDC and Chamber put together the first Business Walk in Marble Falls.  In all, there were 25 volunteers—members of the EDC board, the Chamber board and advisory board, and Leadership Highland Lakes graduates—who interviewed 246 business owners and operators all over town.  Below is a summary of the feedback that came from those conversations.

Business Walk: What to Expect

As business owners and operators, the demands on your time and resources can be quite taxing.  In addition to running your business and managing employees, you receive regular solicitations for financial support from many worthwhile causes.  Based on the number of individual organizations currently operating in the Highland Lakes area, you’ve been generous in your support of local nonprofits such as youth groups, the Chamber of Commerce, your church, and more.  For that, thank you.

Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation Hosting its First Business Walk

Marble Falls Continues to Break Records, Building Permits on the Rise

Based upon all the indicators we typically follow, business is booming in Marble Falls right now.  Records for sales tax collections and hotel occupancy tax collections are being broken month after month, building permits and valuations are on the rise, and ribbon cuttings and grand openings—including for the new Scott & White clinic—are filling up the calendar.  In short, there is a very exciting buzz all around our town these days.

Marble Falls Among Best Small Cities in Texas to Do Business

While you may have heard about Marble Falls’s record-breaking sales tax numbers so far this year—the best 5-month period in our history—did you know that our community is among the best small cities in Texas to do business?

5 Things You MUST Know About the Marble Falls Economy

If you’ve been in Marble Falls lately, you’ve seen that something is working in the way of community development. It is an exciting time for our little town on the water.

Recent Positive Growth Indicators for the Marble Falls Economy

1. The amount of money being spent in Marble Falls right now is unprecedented.

2. Allocation reports from the Comptroller for the First Quarter of 2013 show that sales from November 2012 through January 2013 represent the highest three-month total in the community’s history.

Creative Class Connections

It has been a dozen years or more since I wrote a book report, but I feel compelled to share some thoughts from Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited. I had the opportunity to read the book on a flight to and from a course required for my economic development certification, and I found myself demarcating several passages that apply to the work we’re trying to do here in Marble Falls.

First, here’s a little background on Florida’s Creative Class concept, if you’re not already familiar.

Community Project Update - Clearing Up a Few Misconceptions

Growing communities often face challenges beyond the typical obstacles of project logistics, infrastructure, staffing, funding, and questions about community identity.  Change is difficult, and dealing with change can elicit a visceral response on the part of a community.

A Little Background on a Downtown TIF

This week, the EDC board voted to move forward in obtaining a proposal to create a Downtown Tax Increment Finance (TIF) area.  Because the EDC itself does not have the authority to create and implement a TIF, their action would culminate in a recommendation to City Council to do so.  EDC staff could, however, take a leading role in the preparation and background work—including the hiring of a consultant—and act as a catalyst in creating this important economic development tool.

A Few Highlights from the TEDC Annual Conference

I just got back from the Texas Economic Development Council's Annual Conference in Austin, where I was reminded how fortunate we are to be in Texas and how blessed we are to have the members and leadership of TEDC blazing the way to even greater prosperity.

The conference was not all fluff and optimism, but rather a good balance between new data, techniques, best practices, lessons learned, and cautionary tales.  We heard from thought leaders on a variety of topics, and we used the time between sessions to discuss what was happening in each of our communities.

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