It’s the most asked question of every economic developer. Most of the time, it’s one of two answers – “Potentially…” or “Yes”.
Opening the doors for business is the last possible piece snapped into the “have a new business” puzzle. There are a pile of known and unknown pieces to be sorted before hanging that first framed dollar on the wall.
Like what you ask? For starters, does the right amount of property exist in a usable or accessible location? If so, will the owner actually sell? Is it for a prices that the business can cover and still make enough profit to survive? Is the space move-in ready or does it need more upfront investment? Will the buyer walk in to a surprise raised price on closing day? Will the buyer discover undisclosed structural damage from decades ago during a remodel?
If the business relies on local support, are there enough households in the area shopping locally for what they sell? Is it a product or service consumers will be inclined to buy here on a regular basis? Is there enough daytime population or exposure to support growth?
If the business serves needs outside of Groesbeck, a critical factor is an available workforce. What type of talent and employee skillsets does the business need to function?
None of these are points for dramatic effect but real challenges and matters of consideration for hopeful businesses to get from “potential” to “yes”. Crossing the finish line takes a lot of the right circumstances, in the right timing with the ability to survive the obstacles you never see coming.
In January of 2019 GEDC started working with a Hillsboro-based manufacturing company. One of their major service partners was established in Groesbeck. The move would drastically reduce the transport costs between the two businesses and increase margins for both. The existing company would gain strength and the new company would bring full-time jobs. We explored options to relocate the company to the Groesbeck industrial park for the next two years. There were property surveys, letters of intent, negotiations, engineers involved and drawings produced. Even with all of our agreements and best efforts, unforeseen circumstances didn’t align at that time.
We didn’t get that business into the industrial park. Nonetheless late last month, a crowd of community leadership, Chamber members, fellow business owners, employees, family and friends gathered to celebrate their grand re-opening here in Groesbeck – as the newly expanded S&S Machining and Fabrication. In 2022, circumstances shifted towards opportunity. Rather than build, the Hillsboro-based manufacturing company acquired that trusted service partner (S&S Machining). They relocated, expanded the building and combined all of the operations in Groesbeck. In that short time, the re-vamped S&S has made major investments to grow cnc precision machining and added equipment rental operations with more developments planned.
Moral of the story? We don’t always get a new business the first time, the second or in this case – the way we planned but here we are just the same. To celebrate the improved S&S Machining Fabrication and Equipment Rentals, there was free food, drinks on the house, iced coffee, prize raffles throughout the night, cake and live music. It was a good time that night but for the future of our community, it represented a more important picture to take in. The celebration for the community is a strengthened local business. The expanded facility and new services have opened additional job and career options. Beyond any of prizes raffled, our local economy takes the biggest win with additional product exports, trade and services that infuse new dollars into Groesbeck households.
So, back to that number one question. “Are there any new businesses coming to town?” Potentially. There is always something in the works. When one does get all the pieces in place for the resounding “Yes! We have new business coming in!”, we ask one thing of you:
Look beyond drive-thrus and new meal combos. Groesbeck doesn’t have the real estate, population density or anchors required by big retail or fast food. Until it does, they won’t invest. Don’t let that cause you to overlook the job creators that are having a positive and sustainable impact every day. Don’t overlook the added job opportunities, training experience, healthcare and benefits that help start and stabilize households. The ultimate goal is a healthy, growing local economy that’s poised for long-term stability. To that goal, Groesbeck has seen steady business growth for several years. The skyline we drove by 5, 3 and even 2 years ago is not the one we drive by today. Don’t look past the hardworking businesses that are a crucial part of making that happen.
If you have any questions, would like to know more about GEDC’s Economic Quarterly, the health of our local economy or state of business growth, don’t hesitate to reach out to TK Presley at firstname.lastname@example.org.