The TAB team traveled to McAllen for the Rio Grande Valley Business Summit, presented by SpawGlass. We were proud to welcome roughly 150 attendees, including Mayor Javier Villalobos who introduced our main event: an armchair discussion with Governor Greg Abbott and TAB Board Vice Chair Massey Villarreal.
The two covered Texas' award-winning economic climate, which landed Army Futures Command, Tesla, and countless other innovative companies. The Governor touted Latina-owned businesses as the fastest growing segment, underlining that these businesswomen know what they're doing, and the government needs to continue staying out of their way.
“It’s nice to know how interested the governor is in Texas, but also in female business owners and how much availability the state has out there for women that are leading their own businesses,” said Hammond, president of Atlas Electrical, Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration and Plumbing Services Inc. (KRGV was one of several local media outlets that covered the event).
TAB recognizes Texas is above the rest because we believe in free enterprise, working to keep regulations light -- in support of businesses large and small. Governor Abbott explained, “We do care about those trophies that we get involving big business, but 90% of all businesses in Texas are small businesses and they employ about half of all employees in the entire state. So, small businesses literally are our primary focus."
Adriana Cruz, Executive Director of Economic Development & Tourism for the Office of the Governor, moderated a panel on small business resources for Texas businesses.
Panelists, which included Texas Workforce Chairman Bryan Daniel, gave presentations on the various programs and support available to entrepreneurs. Texas Facilities Commission, University of Texas RGV, and the Office of the Governor were all represented.
TAB CEO Glenn Hamer gave a supply chain status update. We have been studying critical supply chains in partnership with TIP strategies, conducting surveys, meeting with industry sector leaders and hosting regional roundtables. A few of our recommendations at this stage include investments in ports and infrastructure, as well as the passage of America COMPETES Act. This federal legislation works to increase U.S. manufacturing of semiconductors and has the opportunity to reform immigration laws so that the U.S. is able to attract and retain world-class talent, both of which would power our economic growth.
In Texas, two of our economic drivers are trade and energy. We are the largest exporting state in the nation, exporting more than New York and California combined. Texas also leads the nation in oil and gas production and is advancing in multiple areas related to renewable and low-carbon fuels. Eduardo Campirano, Port Director & CEO for the Port of Brownsville, led a panel on the RGV's energy industry, which included presentation by NextDecade and Enbridge. TAB supports and encourages state and federal investments in critical infrastructure, especially ports, to further support exports and trade.
The event concluded with the Governor's Reception, sponsored by Pathfinder Public Affairs, where guests were able to continue these conversations and take photos with the Governor. Shoutout to Sergio Contreras and our friends at RGV Partnership for helping connect the valley's leadership and business community to this event. And of course, none of this would be possible without our long list of sponsors, including SpawGlass, Texas A&M, Google, Texas Regional Bank, UTRGV, A&T, Greater Brownsville, VTX1, Texas Gas Service, Atlas, Pathfinder Public Affairs, and a dozen more!