Experts have mixed opinions about the health of our economy in 2019 but, for the most part, it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur in San Antonio. Tech, manufacturing, and healthcare—the leading industries—are expected to grow 7-15% by 2023. Large employers like Oracle, Rackspace, USAA, HCA, Martin Marietta, Christus Health and Accenture dominate the list, but more and more supporting small businesses are thriving as they provide research, development, and services.
Rackspace has helped other tech startups sprout, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is doing the same for promising new biomedical companies. Part of this entrepreneurial energy is thanks to the number of young professionals flocking to the city. Over the past five years, San Antonio has experienced double the national average of millennial population growth for a large metro area.
A Place for Entrepreneurs
If you think Austin’s the only area hub for entrepreneurs, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for support in San Antonio. Take a look at this San Antonio Startup Ecosystem map to get an idea of how entrepreneurship in the Alamo City is maturing.
Are you seeking resources? Do you own an established small business and are afraid of losing out to newcomers? The City of San Antonio partners with organizations like Launch SA, LiftFund and Maestro Entrepreneur Center to provide services, funding and support to local startup founders and established entrepreneurs alike. SCORE San Antonio and the San Antonio District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration continue to provide both online and in-person consulting and resources. And, increasingly, large employers in San Antonio are supporting small businesses through programs like the U.S. Air Force’s blueSHIFT, which uses a “shark tank-like format” to hear ideas pitched from entrepreneurs interested in contracting opportunities.
Incentives and Tax Abatements
The City of San Antonio recently updated its tax abatement guidelines for 2019 to help qualified businesses create jobs in target industries, make significant capital investments, and partner on policy areas such as sustainability initiatives and small-, minority-, women-, and veteran-owned business enterprise contracting. If your business already commits to these and other similar areas—even through small initiatives like lunch-and-learns and paid internships—a tax abatement might be within your reach.
Longstanding abatements are available including Economic Development Incentive Fund (EDIF) Performance Grants, E-16 Economic Development Rider, San Antonio Economic Development Corporation Investment Fund, SAWS Impact Fee Waivers, Development Services Fee Waivers and Foreign Trade Zone no. 80. Tax rebates like the San Antonio Skills Development Fund, State Enterprise Fund and State Enterprise Project Designations are also offered.
New opportunities include the Upskill Project for employers who provide low-barriers to entry jobs, agree to partner on inclusive hiring from distressed communities, and build workforce development partnerships through local non-profits. As the San Antonio Express-News reports, upskilling is a major hurdle in the local economy, particularly for small business owners facing a skills gap in their workforce.
If you’re a small business owner in San Antonio, don’t overlook these opportunities to get ahead in 2019. For questions about tax abatements and tax-wise business planning, feel free to contact us.