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UTSA’s Downtown Campus To Host Big-Time Small Business Panel Discussion Today


San Antonio has been selected to host a stop on the Small Business Administration’s tour of U.S. cities as part of National Small Business Week. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will lead a discussion on access to capital for small business development in the Central Texas Corridor.

Robert McKinley, who leads UTSA’s Institute for Economic Development, said that the San Antonio area was unique for a variety of reasons — and is a hot market both for businesses that want to locate here and for organic growth. “Demographically we are a young market. We have a high Latino population. It is said that San Antonio’s profile demographically looks like the United States in 2040.”

Contreras-Sweet, a member of President Obama’s cabinet, will be joined by former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Henry Cisneros, also a former San Antonio mayor, and the Austin-based Congressman, Lloyd Doggett, for the panel discussion.

McKinley said one of the other factors that made San Antonio unique was that business was good. “We had a very good economic year last year. Approximately 38,000 jobs [were] created in San Antonio, is what the Federal Reserve reported, which, in a work force of about 1,060,000, is close to 4 percent job growth. That’s very high.”

He added that he believed a lot of young professionals viewed the city as very “accessible.” “We’re getting a lot of hi-tech young firms that maybe looked at Austin but the cost of business, the cost of living, and regulations are higher in Austin. We’re seen as a quality of life place and a growing place.”

More than 300 people are expected for the event at UTSA’s downtown campus Wednesday.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.