There is an interesting conversation going on over at Concho-Online about the growth over on Sherwoood way. The consensus over there is that the building of all these big-box chain stores is not really economic growth. It brings no new money to town. It just changes where it is getting spent.
Economic growth requires businesses that generate or bring in new money. Traditionally, for San Angelo, that has been oil and agriculture. We have some traditional manufacturing, but growth in that area is limited by poor heavy transportation. We need industries where transportation is not a major negative factor. We have good telecommunications infrastructure. The success of companies like Sitel and DCS show this clearly.
So what else is holding back economic growth? High taxes are a problem. Having one of the highest combined property and sales tax rates in the state makes for a tough sell.
These are my initial thoughts, but questions still remain. Why is it that San Angelo is not growing economically? What else are we doing that hurts growth, and what are we not doing to help?
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