Leading SA: San Antonio Chamber of Commerce CEO says diversity of SA’s economy is its blessing

The Chamber of Commerce has several initiatives in the works

SAN ANTONIO – Families, businesses and communities are still dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

To break down the state of the Alamo City’s economy, Richard Perez, president and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, joined Leading SA on Sunday to discuss the community’s unique set of circumstances.

Well, I would say the state of the economy is growing. It’s stable, and it seems to be showing some very, very strong signs, particularly in the tourism and hospitality area,” Perez said. “But I will say there are other areas of the economy like construction, health care, cybersecurity, manufacturing, those all seem to be going very, very well and strong. And so, you know, the diversity of our economy is our blessing.”

Perez said one of the chamber’s top priorities is to connect the downtown area with a common vision called the “One City Initiative.”

“What is one of the main drivers of downtown? That’s the tourism and hospitality industry,” Perez said. “So, our One City Initiative is an attempt to bring all of the players in the downtown area that are already in that space to come together and have a common vision... and bring people back into the downtown area and get our blood pumping.”

The recent news of the Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament coming to the city, Perez said, brings in a good sense of cautious optimism. He said the tournament will be an opportunity for catering, shopping and the city will have 35,000 hotel room nights during the tournament with all the teams in town.

RELATED: San Antonio area gets entire NCAA women’s basketball tourney

“It’s going to be a fantastic shot in the arm. We have been working so hard to really bring confidence to not only our own citizens, but to the rest of the country that San Antonio is still open for business,” Perez said. “We need to use masks. We need to social distance. We need to use sanitizer and that sort of thing. But we are a town that loves sports and our ability to host the NCAA tournament is second to none.”

You can watch the rest of the interview with Perez in the video player above.

Related: Leading SA: City’s chief innovation officer calls community’s COVID technology pivot ‘a gift and a curse’

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