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Businesses in Brazos County are booming with unemployment nearly returning to pre-pandemic numbers

Business Boom
Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 20:08:22-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on many businesses in Brazos County. But the Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center released some economic numbers showing things are rebounding.

Margie's Bar and Grill has been a part of this community for more than 40 years and they say business is booming.

Businesses like Margie's Bar and Grill say foot traffic is picking up now they look to give their employees more opportunities to earn some extra cash.

”Looking really good actually we have a few new employees," said Manager Justin Wager. "It’s more than what we had during the pandemic. Our mornings are starting to get a lot more busy. We used to only need like two employees to do the mornings, now we're looking to push it to four."

Although many businesses suffered during the COVID pandemic manager Justin Wager says their family business held on.

“I’ve seen a lot of people coming out," said Wager. "It’s about time people got out, I think they’re ready to get out and explore new things, we’re one of those places people like to see because they never heard of us. We’re pretty small pretty hidden I guess and when people find out it explodes."

Economic research numbers show an increase in non-farm employment essentially helping increase the local business-cycle index.

”We’re seeing continued growth with the 20-year economic index at about 217 for the month of February,” said Matt Prochaska, President and CEO of the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Brazos county’s current unemployment rate sits at 3.8 percent, which is well under the nearly 9 percent seen during the pandemic.

“As we do recover from the pandemic one of the things that we’re seeing is the resiliency of our economy, as well as our location advantage, is allowing us to be competitive,” said Prochaska.

Now businesses in downtown Bryan are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

“We feel really honored by that," said Wager. "That people came, ate, spent their money here, supported us through one of the hardest times I think we’ve ever seen.”

As the business cycle continues to increase business owners in Downtown Bryan hope to continue supporting one another as best they can.