Harlingen is marking National Economic Development Week from May 9-15, 2021 to celebrate the contributions of positive economic development and explain the role of the profession in our local community, including stewardship of:

● Policies that government undertakes to meet broad economic objectives including inflation control, high employment, and sustainable growth.

● Policies and programs to provide services such as building highways, managing parks, and providing medical access to the disadvantaged.

● Policies and programs explicitly directed at improving the business climate through specific efforts, business finance, marketing, neighborhood development, business retention and expansion, technology transfer, real estate development and others.

Now in its sixth year, National Economic Development Week was created by the International Economic Development Council, the largest professional membership organization for economic developers, in 2016 to recognize the unique role that economic development has in creating vibrant communities with strong economies.

Over the span of five years, more than 450 campaigns have been created throughout the United States and Canada, creating millions of impressions, hundreds of news stories, blog entries, videos, events and other activities. Cities, counties and states recognized the week in past years through official proclamations, local community events, and informational campaigns online and through social media.

Small businesses throughout the state have had their share of challenges this last year but through it all, they have remained the backbone of our economy. They have created new jobs and supported local communities.

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, nearly half of the state’s workforce is employed by 2.8 million small businesses, which account for 99.8% of all businesses in Texas. This incredible statistic shows how vital these businesses are to our economic success and continued recovery. 

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Raudel Garza, manager and CEO of Harlingen Economic Development Corporation. The above commentary first appeared in an electronic newsletter sent out by Garza and HEDC.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows Raudel Garza.

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