SEDC Hosts Fourth Annual Business Appreciation Luncheon
The City of Seguin Honors Local Businesses

The  Seguin Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) is dedicated to maintaining and improving the economic climate of our city. Partnerships with our local business sector are key to achieving those goals.  The SEDC  finds it crucial to take the time to honor our local businesses and highlight the crucial role they play in Seguin's vibrant economy. 



"A key element in the success of economic development is a culture that creates opportunities for new business as well as sustained business excellence for existing businesses. The SEDC is proud to honor a few of those businesses each year that are a "REAL" part of that culture by recognizing their outstanding achievements," said Robert Haynes, SEDC Board President.   

Every year, SEDC staff hosts a Business Appreciation Luncheon to thank those partners for their dedication to our city's present and future economic growth.  This year's Annual Business Appreciation Luncheon emphasized industry involvement in the community, contributions to charitable causes and overall quality of life.  The 4th Annual Business Appreciation Luncheon was held Thursday, August 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Texas Theater. Mr. Aaron Demerson, Director of Employer Initiatives, for the Texas Workforce Commission was   the keynote speaker During the event, the SEDC recognized local companies who continue to make an impact in our community.

Five awards were presented to various local industries and businesses during the event including: Large Business, Small Business, Safety Excellence, Community Service and New Business of the Year.


Recognized as the 2015 Large Business of the Year was HEB (pictured above). This established retailer has been a part of the Seguin community since 1964. On January 15,2016 HEB celebrated the grand opening of their new 100,000+ square foot grocery store that replaced the former facility that served Seguin residents for more than 30 years. The new Seguin HEB features the "True Texas BBQ in store restaurant, expanded seafood, produce and meat departments, a Healthy Living department and organic produce section, a larger wine and beer selection, more options in the deli and a bakery, and an updated Floral By Design, which includes online ordering and delivery options. With 340 employees, the Seguin HEB is proud to serve the community with fresh food and outstanding customer service on a daily basis.


This year, the SEDC was proud to award Tank Partners as the 2015 Small Business of the Year (pictured above). Located at 501 East Baxter Street, Tank Partners manufactures, stores and transports API 12 F steel tanks and fully galvanized stairways and walkways primarily to customers involved in the Eagle Ford Shale play. On January 13, 2016, Tank Partners partnered with the SEDC to host the "Manufacturing Job Creation Symposium" at the Texas Theater in Seguin. This event focused on the importance of manufacturing and job creation within the South Central Texas region. Over 70 business representatives from all parts of the world attended this symposium. As a result of the symposium, Tank Partners was able to secure new business ventures with Freight Farms and Intelligent Building Systems. Freight Farms, a supplier of hydroponic urban grow solutions-fruits and vegetables in shipping containers selected Tank Partners as their preferred manufacturer of their "Leafy Green Container." Freight Farms also plans to expand their partnership with Tank Partners in 2017 to produce a larger version of the Leafy Green Machine. Australian based Intelligent Building Systems is a worldwide leader in creative new building systems and materials. Tank Partners has become Intelligent Building Systems' North American manufacturing partner and will be setting up a display village at the Tank Partners facility by the end of 2016. Tank Partners currently has 22 employees,  and with these new business partnerships in place, the SEDC and Tank Partners expect this number to grow substantially. 


The winner of the 2015 Safety Excellence Award was Caterpillar (pictured above)the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. Creating a safe workplace has been a top priority of Caterpillar.  Caterpillar's 1200+ Seguin employees work around the clock to manufacture large industrial scale engines that are distributed around the globe. Within the past year Caterpillar has hit several milestones relating to environmental and workplace safety including a 97% recycling rate for all waste, a 87% reduction in record-able injuries from this time last year, and a 75% reduction in lost time due to injuries. Every person who leaves for work in the morning should expect to return home at night in good health. Caterpillar's commitment to creating a safer workplace has made it one of the most desirable places to work within the South Texas Region.


This year the SEDC was proud to recognize Cargill with the 2015 Community Service Award (pictured above) Cargill, an animal feed manufacturer located on the northwest side of the Seguin along State Highway 46, has shown a deep commitment to improving the community through various volunteering efforts. Cargill was recently recognized by the Seguin Gazette for its 8th Annual Green Day initiative. Other volunteer efforts include partnering with the Texas Adopt a Highway Program to clean up a two mile stretch of State Highway 46 and donating over $530,000 to the Guadalupe County United Way. Giving back to the community through various volunteer efforts helps make Seguin a better place to live, work, and play. 



Last, but not least, the SEDC awarded the Park Plaza Hotel and Chop House as the 2015 New Business of the Year (pictured above). Downtown Seguin is a historic and unique place where locals and tourists can shop, dine and unwind. This year's New Business of the Year recipient gave new life to a historic downtown building. The Park Plaza Hotel is a charming five-story hotel steeped in 100 years of rich history and tradition. Originally designed by architect Leo MJ Dielmann, one of the most successful architects of his time, the hotel originally opened in 1917 and was a point of pride for the approximately 5,000 locals who called Seguin home at this time. Over the years, the property has changed hands many times. It has been used as dormitory's for Texas Lutheran College, an apartment building between 1964 and 1978, and was then converted into an office building in the 1980's. ln 1979, the Park Plaza Hotel building earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. ln December 2015, the hotel opened its doors again. Renovations to the facility were done by award winning designer, Kathy Anderson, who kept the flavor of the early 20th Century architecture, and added modern touches and amenities throughout the hotel. The Park Plaza Hotel also offers a full service restaurant and bar called The Chop House. Centered around a farm to table concept, the Chop House menu provides patrons with a diverse selection of items including prime beef, steak, seafood, mesquite chicken and other savory entrees, influenced by Texas and American Southwest Traditions. The reincarnation¬°on of the Park Plaza Hotel ¬°n historic, downtown Seguin has created a new gathering place for locals and provides visitors with a taste of Real Seguin.

"We are proud to honor the contributions these businesses provide to our community including quality jobs, a diversified tax base and community service.  The SEDC finds this event crucial, as we want to take the time to  recognize the important role our local businesses play in the community and in Seguin's local economy. We really try to honor our award recipients by highlighting recent achievements contributions they have made to the City of Seguin. We congratulate these businesses on all of their success, and look forward to years of continued partnership," said Josh Schneuker, Interim Director of Economic Development

Local Retail Recruitment Efforts Continue
The SEDC Attends Retail Live! in Austin, TX


The landscape of the Interstate 10, Highway 46 and Highway 123 corridors quickly change as the city of Seguin sees business expansion city-wide. With increased employment opportunities, new housing developments and increased traffic counts, the city's growth is apparent. Seguin has seen the pace of commercial development greatly increase in the past two years as many nationally known retailers enter, return and expanding in the market. 

Rapid growth has cultivated a prime local real estate market, with 1,750+ new single family rooftops planned - Seguin will soon become home to a substantial amount of people. The city's newly adopted 30,006 population figure will soon swell as more and more people choose to live, work and play in Seguin. In response to the city's abundant growth, the Seguin Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) staff continues to place retail recruitment as a high priority. 

This month, SEDC staff continued retail recruitment efforts at the third annual Retail Live! expo held on Thursday, August 18, 2016 at the JW Marriott located in downtown Austin.

This trade show is similar to many of the retail industry's regional networking events; there was an exhibit part of the program as well as a reception. The key element that differentiates this expo is that only retailers are allowed to exhibit at the Retail Live! trade show (other than a few VIP sponsors). This allows the brokers, landlords, developers, city representatives and other related industry professionals who attend the program to present their projects or services to only these retailers.  Another factor that differentiates Retail Live! from other industry trade shows, is that attendees have the chance to present their site location to those retailers  without a pre-scheduled meeting I n just a few hours, SEDC staff had the opportunity to network directly, and engage in conversation with retailers actively expanding in our area in a more laid back, intimate manner, in comparison to other industry recruitment events.  

According to the Austin Business Journal, Stacey Gilham, founder of Retail Live!, says that "having been on the landlord side of the business nearly 15 years now, one of my frustrations has always been that in spite of having premier listings to present at places like International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) ReCon or the state convention it was next to impossible to get the meetings with the retailers that I wanted. So many of us are vying for their time and the reality is they only have so many meeting times available. For selfish reasons I wanted to create an alternative that was less hectic yet afforded the same opportunity to get to those retailers." 
After attending Retail Live!, SEDC staff believes that Gilham's mission to create a less hectic, more casual retail recruitment event came to fruition. By not having to pre-schedule meetings at Retail Live!, staff was able to engage in casual conversation with retail representatives. SEDC staff found that most of the impromptu meetings at Retail Live!, allowed for more laid-back, continued conversation with retailers following up prior, formal meetings attended during ICSC RECon this past May.
 

Participation in Retail Live! allowed SEDC staff the opportunity to interface with key decision makers of retailers, restaurants, developers and brokers in order to gain intelligence about their expansion plans, and market Seguin's retail opportunities. While in attendance, staff was able to meet face to face with over 15 key decision makers and showcase Seguin's abundant growth.

During the meetings staff marketed Seguin's retail opportunities by highlighting the Seguin's strong retail trade areas, the city's significant primary job creation over recent years, increased retail activity (sales tax, hotel occupancy tax), updated traffic counts and community draws such as the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center and Texas Lutheran University. In most cases, the contacts SEDC staff met with had a good working knowledge of Seguin and expressed interest in future projects. SEDC staff returned from the conference with key industry contacts and valuable information on future growth plans. 


Moving forward, Seguin staff has devised an in-depth strategy for following up with these key decision makers in order to ensure that Seguin's growth is communicated clearly as these retailers, restaurants, developers, and brokers choose a home for their next business venture.




Make Downtown a Destination for Locals
The City of Seguin Hosts 
Texas Downtown Association Round Table


 
2015 was a big year for downtown Seguin, Texas. With more than ten buildings sold,  several new businesses locating to downtown, and multiple expansions occurring, almost $5 million have been reinvested in downtown Seguin in 2015 alone. 

Progress in downtown revitalization is often a story of patience and incremental growth. This type of change does not happen overnight, but the City of Seguin's revitalization and development efforts remain relentless.

The City of Seguin will host dozens of downtown professionals and businesses from across the region for a Texas Downtown Association Round Table. The Round Table will feature the discussion of bringing locals back to downtown, which was the highest requested subject of the membership of the association.



"We were very excited to be asked to host a regional Round Table," said Kyle Kramm, Seguin Main Street and CVB Director, "This will be the first Round Table to be held in Seguin, and we are glad to have the opportunity to show off our community."

The Round Table will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on August 31 at the new Seguin Library on Nolte Street. Local businesses will be panelists on a variety of topics, including what made them decide to move their business to downtown Seguin and how local philanthropy has helped them build their customer base. 

Kramm says that sometimes the best leads for new downtown businesses are already in your town. This panel discussion will explore how some born and raised Seguinites decided to move their businesses downtown. Kramm says that the Round Table will allow attendees to hear what triggered these local downtown business owners' decisions and why they think downtown is
important.

The Round Table will also provide discussion on Seguin Main Street's new transformation strategy on making downtown Seguin a destination for locals. The strategy is a product of a Community Survey and Vision Workshop hosted this past May. Using the 749 survey responses and the input from the 60 people who attended the workshop, the Seguin Main Street Advisory Board and staff have been hard at work developing Transformation Strategies, or the work plan to bring the community's vision to fruition.

                          Main Street Program Community Survey

During the community Vision Workshop, the discussion focused heavily on what the Main Street Program needs to do to bring locals back to downtown, and so this has become the Main Street's top transformation strategy. Using the responses from the survey, Kramm says that Main Street Program is aware of what the community would like to see downtown, with restaurants ranking at the top.

After the discussion of the transformation strategy, an optional tour of downtown Seguin will be given by the Seguin Main Street staff. 

Local businesses and individuals are invited to attend the Round Table as well. The Round Table registration fees are $40.00 for members of the Texas Downtown Association and $50.00 for non-members. Visit http://www.texasdowntown.org/regional-roundtable.html to register for the Round Table.


Attention Local Small Business Owners!

Learn how to hire for small business in this free, comprehensive workshop, hosted by the UTSA Small Business Development Center. Learn what regulations apply to your hires, from payroll taxes to employment laws. Learn tips on how to avoid expensive pitfalls of hiring and managing employees. Learn about cost savings tools that will help your small business as you grow.


Hiring Smart Workshop
What You Need to Know 

Date:
Sep 13, 2016 11:30am - 1:00pm

Fee:
None 

Location:
210 East Gonzales Street, Seguin TX 78155-5643

Register Here: 
http://utsa.ecenterdirect.com/events/25304

Registration Deadline: 
Sept. 13, 2016 @ 3:00 PM (CDT) 

Point of Contact:
SBDC Training Team (210) 458-2460
This is a free event! Registration is encouraged as seating is limited. The workshop will be held at the Seguin City Council Chambers - 210 East Gonzales Street, Seguin TX 78155.

CONTACT US:

Josh Schneuker
Interim Director of Economic Development
jschneuker@seguintexas.gov
(830) 401-2415

Ashlynn Tovar
 Economic Development Analyst
atovar@seguintexas.gov
(830) 401-5005

Karlee Scheel
 EconomicDevelopment Specialist
kscheel@seguintexas.gov
(830) 386-2545


Seguin Economic Development Corporation
1-888-4-SEGUIN