2022 Texas Innovation Corridor Fam Tour spurs regional economic development
June marks one of my favorite events as an economic developer: the annual Texas Innovation Corridor Familiarization Tour (also known as Fam Tour).
This two-day event, which ran June 16 and 17, is organized every year by the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP). The Fam Tour showcases Hays and Caldwell counties to some of the nation's top site consultants, demonstrating why a company should locate or expand to the Texas Innovation Corridor.
These site consultants are critical players when it comes to economic development. As location and strategy experts, companies hire these individuals to help determine where a business can best grow. They will use data analytics, asset research, and several other factors to recommend sites during their recommendation process. However, when they are already familiar with a region's strengths and challenges (not to mention the essential partners in a specific community), they can often provide first-hand knowledge in their recommendations to company clients for strategically relocating or expanding to the area.
The Texas Innovation Familiarization Tour serves as the vessel to introduce that information. Over two days, GSMP hosted consultants throughout the region to familiarize them with regional assets, developers, and infrastructure operators. These site selectors visited innovative regional companies like C-FAN, ENF Technology, and Veritacor, which enhanced each consultant's knowledge of what is possible here. Consultants also met with and engaged in first-hand conversations with key decision-makers, utility providers, and city representatives. This tour provided a unique experience to these national leaders that truly captured what makes the Texas Innovation Corridor such a great place to be doing business.
During this tour, GSMP also received critical feedback, specifically regarding the questions of what companies are saying, thinking, and expressing interest in regarding our region. After all, communication is a two-way street, and listening to this feedback provides invaluable information to GSMP staff. This knowledge is essential for kicking off new strategies and conversations to make Hays and Caldwell Counties an even better locale for growing businesses, new investments, and good-paying jobs.
All of these reasons make the Fam Tour an integral part of economic development in the Texas Innovation Corridor. It is not a coincidence that projects are moving faster, nor is it by accident that our region is being considered for more significant investments. This fiscal year alone, more than $32 billion is represented in our pipeline of potential investment. A considerable portion of that interest comes from site consultants who became familiar with our area during a previous Fam Tour and gave recommendations to companies based off their experiences.
That breeds success through and through. This fiscal year alone, GSMP has announced eight company locations or expansions, bringing more than $2 billion in new capital investment to the Texas Innovation Corridor. We anticipate that number growing into double digits in the next few weeks.
With a new wave of site consultants now familiar with the Texas Innovation Corridor, we will certainly see more projects that bring investment dollars, tax revenue, and jobs to our communities.
If you have questions about site consultants and their role in the Fam Tour, I'm delighted to expand on their essential functions. I can be contacted at JasonG@greatersanmarcostx.com.