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State of the Burg Recap

By Jim Mikula, President/CEO

Last Wednesday, the Chamber held its annual Economic Summit, State of the Burg. We had over 150 registrations, which is 25% growth over last year. Thank you to all of our sponsors, please see our thank you ad in this issue of the Standard-Radio Post. The sponsors provided the resources for the Chamber to organize and hold this important event.


Dr. Helen You from the Texas Demographic Center presented a lot, repeat, a lot of statistics. The audience paid close attention with many taking detailed notes and others taking pictures of the slides. She confirmed what we all thought: Texas has had the fastest population growth in the nation since 2020! In 2022 our state’s population crested 30 million and in 2023 the population reached 30.5 million. That means the state’s population grew almost 1,300 new residents per day. Of those newcomers, 47% migrated from other states along with 25% international migration, and the balance was natural growth.


Not surprising 87% of the growth came to a familiar triangle that has Dallas/Ft Worth at the top, Houston at bottom right and San Antonio at bottom left. A surprising statistic, at least to me, is the migration within the state from small (population-wise) counties to counties within the triangle. The top inbound migration into Bexar County came from seven Texas counties and same for Travis County. The cities that were in the top ten contributors of newcomers into Travis County were Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and San Mateo—all California cities. The areas that contributed to Bexar County growth were surprisingly Honolulu, Duval County Florida and Maricopa County Arizona.


In 2002 44% of jobs in Fredericksburg were held by residents and by 2022 this number dropped to 27%. Top cities exporting workers to our town are Kerrville 5%, San Antonio/Boerne 4.2%, and Harper/Stonewall/Comfort/Llano at 3.5%.


The Fredericksburg Entrepreneurial Initiative “FEI” was officially launched at the summit. Mayor Hoover shared his vision for the initiative, Tim Lehmberg of the EDC provided some history and statistics, and Andrea Olsen-Condon provided an outline of the initiative with its three components.


Some of the stats Tim shared:


·         Over 80% of jobs in our community come from 5 industry sectors: Hospitality, Education & Health Services, Trade/Transportation/Utilities, Manufacturing and Construction

·         From 2013 to 2023 our economy added over 2,800 jobs—a 29% growth and 230 businesses—a 23% growth


Tim also did some research on the impact of Entrepreneurship on economies which include:

·         The standard of living is raised

·         New jobs are created

·         New businesses drive market innovation

·         Economic independence is heightened

·         Community development is enhanced

·         Capital investment is encouraged and attracted


Next week, you’ll be able to read an interview of Andrea Olsen-Condon in the Standard-Radio Post, and she will provide more details about the FEI 3 components: Start Up Studio, 2nd Stage Studio, and the Trial Balloon Society.


A special thank you to Brian Heath for an excellent closing keynote speech. If you see him ask about his Fire Ant business analogy.


Later this month, all the presentations will be available on the Chamber’s website for members.

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