U.S. Chamber names San Antonio one of 7 'enterprising cities'

Business-friendly culture cited


SAN ANTONIO – In the same week the nation's first all-digital library opened its doors and the one-millionth pickup truck rolled off the assembly line at the Toyota plant, San Antonio was designated an "enterprising city" by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"That means we are on the cutting edge of innovation, the cutting edge of job creation, the cutting edge of economic development," said Richard Perez, president and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

San Antonio was among seven cities to be dubbed "enterprising cities." 

The others were Irving, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Memphis, Tenn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Salt Lake City and Sioux Falls, S.D.

The study that selected San Antonio applauded a culture of public and private partnerships working together to better the business climate.

Job growth was a big reason, as well. San Antonio added 20,000 jobs to the economy in 2012. The 6 percent unemployment rate is lesser than the state and national rates.

The study also pointed to other attributes that make the city business-friendly, like the bond issues for city infrastructure and education, including the new Pre-K 4 SA program.

"We have available land at a reasonable cost. We have a good power company that supplies electricity cheaply. We have a low cost of living," said Steve Waters, chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and general counsel of USAA Real Estate.

Citing an increase in exports from $5 billion in 2008 to $14 billion in 2012, the report credited an intensive globalization campaign.

Just this week, a group of Japanese executives visited the city to explore opportunities.

"The global market recognizes San Antonio now," said Mario Hernandez, head of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.  "That wasn't always the case."

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