Featured: Erika Stubberud, left, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Nursing student from Brownsville, and Alejandra Benítez, UTRGV Environmental Science student from Reynosa, Mexico, in front of the UTRGV sign as winter weather brought rare snow to the campus on Friday, December 8, 2017 in Edinburg. Edinburg’s retail economy during the November and December 2017 holiday season – which feature Thanksgiving and Christmas – showed an improvement of 0.51 percent over the same two months of the 2016 holiday season, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.
Photograph By PAUL CHOUY
Featured, from left: Roberto González, Publisher, Texas Border Business and Mega Doctor News; Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg; and Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, on Thursday, June 22, 2017 inside the multi-million dollar, nationally-rated restaurant, which is one of dozens of construction projects valued at $1 million and higher that have been built in Edinburg during the past two years. Bob’s Steak & Chop House has scheduled its grand opening for the Valley for Friday, July 14, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. It is conveniently located by Interstate Highway 69 (U.S. Expressway 281) at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. More information is available online at https://www.facebook.com/bobsedinburg/. “I had the honor of visiting the new Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg during its preparation for their grand opening. The only comment I have is that the venue is a magnificent place to gather and dine. It will bring patrons from 250 miles’ radius to include South Texas and Mexico,” said González.
As Bob’s Steak & Chop House, one of the latest construction projects in Edinburg valued at $2.5 million, prepares for its grand opening on Friday, July 14, 2017, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation announced that total construction activities in the city reached more than $150 million from January through May 2017, including $10.1 million for the month of May. The year-to-date figure of $150.6 million continues to outperform last year’s pace, when total construction in Edinburg for the first five months of 2016 had reached slightly more than $100 million. For the month of May 2017 – the latest figures available from the city – Edinburg saw construction permits issued for work valued at $10,186,236, with single-family homes and multi-family residences leading the way, at $4 million and $2.7 million, respectively. Those totals do not include the value of any building-related activities at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg because the state government, not the city, oversees all construction at the Edinburg campus. As a result, the city – through its Code Enforcement Department – does not issue building permits for any construction work at UTRGV or its School of Medicine, or count the value of those activities in the city’s monthly and year-to-date figures. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related. In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg, through the Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits.
Featured, from left: Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler; Rep. Mike Lang, R-Grandbury; Rachel Wetsel, Clerk, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence; and Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg. Canales was serving as Chair of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Subcommittee on Asset Forfeiture during its meeting in Austin on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, along with a bipartisan supermajority of the Texas House of Representatives, wants President Trump and Congress to avoid any actions that would threaten almost $92.5 billion in annual Texas exports to Mexico, which is the largest trading partner for the Lone Star State. Exports are goods or services sent to another country for sale. Mexico’s relationship to Texas is so important to state lawmakers that they want to make sure their federal counterparts in Washington D.C. also don’t jeopardize hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs because of negative stereotypes or ignorance of Mexico’s roles in creating jobs and prosperity for all Americans. Through the use of a legislative measure, House Resolution 1025 by Canales, the Texas House of Representatives is urging the nation’s top elected leaders to recognize the huge significance of trade between Texas and Mexico. “As Texans, we understand the importance of the Texas-Mexico relationship to the economic success of state. 382,000 Texas jobs are supported by trade with Mexico” said Canales. “Should this relationship be impacted negatively, the social and economic security of the Texas border region would be devastating.” HR 1025, which is being sent to President Trump and Congress, calls on national leaders – many who are unfamiliar with U.S. international commerce involving Mexico – “to fully evaluate the impact of proposed federal trade policies, legislation, executive orders, and other actions on Texas-Mexico commerce.”
Featured: The Center for Border Economic Studies (CBEST) of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Friday, January 27, 2017, hosted its Economic Forecast Luncheon at the McAllen Public Library Conference Center. Visitors heard about the research and predicted outcomes of economic development in the area from speakers that included Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, Governor of Tamaulipas, Mexico; Dr. Salvador Contreras, Director of CBEST; Dr. Dennis Jansen, Professor of Economics, Texas A&M University; María D. Juárez-Serna, Director of the UTRGV Small Business Development Center; and Dr. Keith R. Phillips, Assistant Vice President and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio Branch. Contreras addressed current and future regional economic activity, including the new, large retailers building in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area that place the MSA among some of the top metros in Texas, including San Antonio and Austin. The luncheon concluded with Gov. García Cabeza de Vaca, who told the crowd, “We can grow juntos (together) more than we can as two,” and encouraged our country to “build bridges, not walls.”
Photograph By SILVER SALAS
While the combined average of cities statewide in December 2016 showed a 0.9 percent decrease, Edinburg recorded a 1.33 percent increase in its retail economy, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. For the month of December 2016, Edinburg’s retail economy – as measured by local sales taxes generated from purchases of eligible goods and services – had the third-best showing among the Valley’s largest cities. That figure is based on sales made in December 2016 by businesses that report tax monthly; October, November and December sales by quarterly filers; and 2016 sales by businesses that report tax annually. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. For December 2016, Edinburg’s retail economy generated $2,248,780.54 in local sales taxes, compared with $2,219,178.85 during the same period in 2015, representing the improvement of 1.33 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Featured: Mayor Richard García makes a point to the audience during his State of the City Address on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
Mayor Richard García has joined 28 other border leaders in asking Congress to oppose President Trump’s “reckless policies regarding our U.S. Border and Mexico, our neighbor and trading partner,” according to a letter dated Tuesday, January 31, 2017. The Edinburg Mayor, along with Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García (no relation), Brownsville Mayor Antonio “Tony” Martínez, and Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal were among the elected and appointed officials who signed the correspondence. The group’s concerns revolve around the public statements and actions, through presidential executive orders, issued by Trump about the Border Wall, immigration policies, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and “border tax” on imports to the U.S. from Mexico. “The President’s recent executive actions and rhetoric threaten not only lasting damage to our country’s relationship with Mexico but severe economic consequences to Border communities and the United States as a whole,” contend the Edinburg Mayor and the other leaders. “We have much to lose as a nation with the approach that the President is taking and we urge you to stand up for our communities and economy in the face of this divisive and dangerous antagonism toward the Border and Mexico.” Executive Orders (EOs) are legally binding orders given by the President, acting as the head of the Executive Branch, to Federal Administrative Agencies. Executive Orders are generally used to direct federal agencies and officials in their execution of congressionally established laws or policies, according to ThisNation.com. Trumps’ executive orders are available online at: