UTSA institute awarded $780K to help Texas border cities revitalize economy

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(March 25, 2010)--The UTSA Institute for Economic Development (IED) has been awarded a three-year, $780,000 grant from the North American Development Bank (NADBank) and the Community Adjustment and Investment Program (CAIP) to create sustainable new jobs and expand and diversify local economies in major Texas border communities.

The funds will support research and assistance to local governments, rural areas, communities and businesses on which there has been a direct or indirect impact by NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement). Targeted areas include communities in the Rio Grande Valley within Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy counties; the Del Rio area in Val Verde County; the Laredo area in Webb County and El Paso.

"Many communities across South Texas are experiencing a declining tax base, lack of small-business development and population flight due to lack of jobs," said Al Salgado, director of the South-West Border SBDC Network. "This project is designed to assist rural communities that must grow their own business base because they are not positioned to attract major manufacturers and research projects with state incentive funds, as do the larger cities."

In addition to the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network, other institute centers will contribute expertise. These include the Rural Business Program, Center for Community and Business Research, International Trade Center, Southwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, SBDC National Information Clearinghouse and six SBDC Network centers in the targeted counties. This project is a partnership with the U.S. Treasury Department.

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For more information, contact Lynn Gosnell at 210-458-2958.