Cedar Park, Texas Supports Local Businesses Throughout the Pandemic
The greater-Austin area prides itself on its
weirdness, characterized by the diversity of the population, the charming
personalities of each different neighborhood and suburb, and the unique zest
that locally owned businesses bring. From family owned franchises and doctor’s
offices to thoughtfully created restaurant and bar experiences, Austin’s local
businesses have something for every person’s tastes and needs.
Unfortunately, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it spurred the cancellation of major revenue-driving events like SXSW and ACL. As a result, many of the city’s local businesses took a punch. However, Austinites and city officials alike have come together to help these businesses weather the storm. In Cedar Park, continued support from the City and its residents have helped businesses stay afloat and even grow despite the economic challenges of the current times.
Service Industry Businesses Growing in Cedar Park
The service industry was forced to pivot
quickly due to shutdowns and state-mandated capacity limitations. Many
restaurants had to temporarily board-up their doors or furlough staff, but
several Cedar Park restaurants saw growth during the pandemic.
For instance, thanks in part to economic incentives approved by the City of Cedar Park Economic Development Council, Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Co. opened a second location at Scottsdale Crossing. Also at Scottsdale Crossing, Waterfall Gourmet Beverages, a distributor of drink supplies and coffee products, moved to an expanded 20,000 sq. ft. space.
Healthcare Jobs and Opportunities Expanding in Cedar Park
Recently, Governor Greg Abbott’s Economic Development and Tourism Council approved Cedar Park Regional Medical Center as a Texas Enterprise Zone. The Texas Enterprise Zone program encourages higher employment and economic activity levels by providing state tax relief and incentives for qualified businesses, to allow these businesses to further expand. These state sales tax-funded incentives will mainly be used for the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center to offset hospital construction costs and allow the business to continue to flourish.
More Support for Small Businesses is Underway
It’s no secret that small businesses have been especially hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Cedar Park officials refuse to accept that as the new status quo. Accordingly, the City’s economic development council and its Chamber of Commerce issued $200,000 worth of grants for more than 60 small businesses in the Cedar Park area. The grants were part of the City’s Small Business Assistance Program, which was designed to provide financial assistance to small businesses reeling from the negative effects of COVID-19.
In order to qualify for the program, applicant businesses had to have a fixed permanent address within Cedar Park city limits, have fewer than 25 employees, and submit proof of in-progress SBA or loan application, among other requirements.
“Awarding grants was the way for us to assist…so that they could focus on what’s most important: staying in business and rebounding from the economic setback caused by this pandemic,” stated Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Tony Moline.
Additionally, Williamson County allocated $35,000,000 worth of grants to small businesses impacted by Covid-19 through the WilCo Forward Small Business Grant Program.
Expanding Opportunities for Workforce Education
Part of what makes Cedar Park one of the most attractive communities in which to do business is the highly qualified and skilled workforce. Before, during, and beyond the global health crisis, the City of Cedar Park sought to further equip and empower its labor force.
Correspondingly, with the support of statewide programs like the Texas Workforce Commission’s Skill Development Fund, the City of Cedar Park provides its citizens with accessible career services, job training, and industry-relevant skill development opportunities.
The Skills Development Fund enables workforce training by working with local development boards, public colleges, and even Texas A&M’s Engineering Extension Service to help businesses and people find, get, and keep jobs. In 2019, the fund helped create over 3,000 new jobs and update training for more than 9,000 workers across the state of Texas.
At the local level, partnerships between the Texas Skills Development Fund and the Cedar Park Economic Development Council are empowering employers with grants to develop their workers’ skills. Local businesses like NOV and Voltabox are currently participating in the program, which allows their employees to receive specialized training for high-wage, high-paying jobs in information technology, manufacturing, and more.
Cedar Park, TX: Much More Than a Bedroom Community
Cedar Park may be one of the fastest-growing suburbs in America, but it’s also much more than that. Cedar Park is a vibrant, growing community that’s a great place to live and an excellent place to develop business or grow a current business.
Ready to discover your next big business opportunity in Cedar Park? Learn about business expansion & retention efforts, workforce training opportunities, and more by contacting the Cedar Park Economic Development Council with your inquiries.