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Business leaders, local officials optimistic at Bryan-College Station's Economic Outlook Conference

Posted at 6:48 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 11:40:41-05

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — After an unthinkable year for local businesses in Brazos County, the twin cities have gotten through 2020, and the coronavirus pandemic in much better shape than most MSAs in the state of Texas.

“In 2020, our construction industry really sustained in terms of commercial and residential development and I feel like a lot of that is driven by Texas A&M University but also our three and a half population growth,” said Natalie Ruiz, Director of Economic Development for the City of College Station.

While Texas A&M University truly fueled the local economy of 2020, Brazos County continued to see people moving in 2020 with over 500 single-family homes added in College Station alone.

“Currently our population is just under 125,000. Over the last ten years, we’ve seen an annual increase averaging about 3.5% per year. So, that’s a little over 4,000 new people into the City of College Station," said Ruiz.

With roughly 77 people a week moving to College Station alone, a large part has to do with job creation that the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation has played a large role in.

“What happens is, as we do work with these primary employers to recruit them to the area, and those jobs get created, then that allows for greater growth in terms of our retail, our restaurants, our hospitality, hotels and all of that really drives that economic engine for growth within the Brazos Valley,” says Matt Prochaska, President & CEO of the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation.

When looking at the centralized location of Brazos County to the larger metros across the state, BVEDC says, that's what attracts companies to want to set up shop here in Bryan-College Station.

Tuesday, BVEDC welcomed Matica Bio to the Brazos Valley, marking the first project of 2021.

“The quality of life and the location of the Brazos Valley offers, as well as our wonderful talent base really makes for a competitive community, in a very attractive community, for people to move to and I think that’s why we are seeing so many companies look at our area, and that job creation will result,” says Prochaska.

Throughout Wednesday's conference, local business leaders and officials are optimistic that the local economy is heading in the right direction for 2021.

“I always have an optimistic outlook, now, in visiting with some of our retailers and restaurants, they also share that with us. We’ve some really difficult times over 2020, but once we’re able to have events back at Texas A&M campus, and in other facilities throughout College Station, we’ll have larger events and our visitors back as well,” said Ruiz.

25 KRHD was a proud media sponsor of this year's Economic Outlook Conference.