ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLAN
In January 2012, the City of New Braunfels retained the services of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a membership organization of over 4,200 economic development professionals, to facilitate the economic development strategic planning effort. IEDC’s educational and technical assistance offerings are designed to help its members create more high‐quality jobs, develop more vibrant communities, and generally improve the quality of life in their regions. The City of New Braunfels Economic Development Strategic Plan is the result of an eight‐month study and planning process that included the involvement of many city and regional stakeholders. The process included an extensive economic overview and analysis of the City’s economic development delivery system and it nurtured a bottom‐up approach to devise strategies for pertinent issues facing New Braunfels in their path to sustained growth and economic prosperity. The economic development strategic planning process was organized and led by New Braunfels Mayor, The Honorable Gale Pospisil, with the help of the City and Chamber staff and sixty, Mayor-selected New Braunfels residents to help drive the planning process. Outline below are the four committees objectives (and progress) which helped develop the vision, mission, goals, objectives, strategies and action items found in New Braunfels’ strategic plan.
- Mission: Exam local/regional innovation clusters to identify business attraction/relocation prospects, inform economic development marketing strategies and identify financial resources for commercial/industrial development.
- Goal: Secure suitable building space to attract and retain primary employers in New Braunfels consistent with the community’s identified target industries.
- Objective: Facilitate up to 350,000 square feet of suitable building space for primary employers in New Braunfels by 2017 to proactively support targeted industries.
- Progress: An RFP has been drafted for presentation to the NBIDC on March 19, 2014. The NIBIDC will enter into agreements with qualified developers to underwrite a portion of the costs associated with performing due diligence or a prospective site, waive all permitting and other city-controlled fees and will provide no less than 25% of the costs associated with delivering infrastructure to the site. The NBIDC will also evaluate other economic development incentives to create the development of 350,000 square feet of industrial and related commercial space by 2017.
Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development Committee
- Mission:Exam the needs of existing small businesses, current entrepreneurship initiatives and available financing options for start‐ups.
- Goal: Organize local and regional economic development stakeholders to create micro-loan fund opportunities to grow New Braunfels’s small businesses, to promote job creation and retention, and to enhance access to capital.
- Objective: Build a micro-loan fund of minimum of $25,000 annually for New Braunfels businesses.
- Progress: The community has selected PeopleFund of Austin, TX, a certified buy-down initiative to assist micro, start up and first-stage companies that will commence soon. Local stakeholders include the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and the Hispanic Business Alliance via the Center for Entrepreneurship.
- Mission: Exam the community’s sustainability initiatives, current infrastructure & utility needs and cultural & recreational services.
- Goal: Facilitate large downtown investment to support tourism and cultural & recreational amenities in New Braunfels
- Objective: Facilitate a downtown hotel adjacent to the New Braunfels Civic Center with a capacity of 130-150 rooms and a minimum of 5,000 square feet of meeting space.
- Progress: Market Study updated internally, City Hall being relocated to the former Albertson’s Grocery Store, creation of public/private partnership guidelines and criteria to solicit and evaluate proposals from development groups.
Workforce Resources Committee
- Mission:Exam the areas of workforce readiness & shortages, housing availability, existing workforce training providers and opportunities to expand postsecondary education offerings.
- Goal: Foster a robust workforce readiness environment in New Braunfels
- Objective: Act upon the Mayor’s Higher Education Task Force initiatives to expand educational opportunities.
- Progress: Voters approved $4 million towards estimated $6.3 million cost in the 2013 Bond. Grant was submitted to Economic Development Administration for $1.25 million. Commitment of $660,000 from Seguin EDC and up to $320,000 from New Braunfels Industrial Development Council (New Braunfels EDC)