BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The City of Brownsville is spending $1 million to overhaul its permitting system, interim city manager Helen Ramirez has announced. 

The reason for doing it, Ramirez said, is to make it easier for businesses to relocate to the city.

Ramirez announced the news during a recent conference titled: “The Future of Aerospace, Defense & Energy.” Held at the Brownsville Events Center, the conference was co-hosted by SelectUSA, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation. Ramirez is executive director of GBIC.

SelectUSA is a program run by the U.S. Department of Commerce that seeks to attract foreign direct investment to the United States. Every June, SelectUSA hosts a major summit near Washington, D.C. In addition, it has regional spinoff events. 

Brownsville was the only city in Texas to be selected for a spinoff event. GBIC had to select two industries to focus on and it chose aerospace and energy.

In a speech at the spinoff, Ramirez gave a shout out to J. Brant Arseneau, founding partner at 9Point8 Capital and a founder of Spaced Ventures. Both have a presence in Brownsville. She also praised Natalie Rens, founder of Astreia, a company that is building Habitat Zero, a community of 125 homes designed to support Brownsville’s growing aerospace hub.

Both Arseneau and Rens spoke at the spinoff event.

“The fact that they are locating here, they are growing here and believe what we are doing and then tell the world about us is very important because this is a great place to do business,” Ramirez said.

“It is an easy place to do business. We are not Austin. We do not want to be another city. We want to be us. We don’t want to be known for a permitting process that takes a year and a half to two years. We don’t and we won’t be that. That is why we redid our codes. The city is doing a new permitting system, spending a million dollars on just how do we streamline permits because we know it can be difficult.”

Ramirez added: “So, it is those types of things that the city is doing, that the county is doing to really accelerate the Space economy in our region.”

Th podcast below features Ramirez’s remarks at the aerospace conference. 


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