Office Space Disrupted

The business incubator was coming into its own as a legitimate economic development tool when I entered the economic development profession in early 2000. Incubators are bricks-and-mortar facilities offering small office or warehouse space for start-up companies at below market rates. These facilities are often subsidized by a local government, educational institution and/or an economic development agency. However, incubators included more than just affordable commercial space, it came with additional business services, business advising, and mentoring with the intent to ensure a greater chance of success when the startup was stable and profitable enough to move out of the incubator and into the real world. Over the course of the decade, incubators evolved into “accelerators,” which de-emphasized the physical aspect

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Highest & Best Use

The deteriorating condition of businesses and commercial properties along Cypress Creek Parkway (FM1960) is a topic of frequent discussion within the halls of the Chamber of Commerce and around the community. Over the last decade, the Chamber has contracted several studies to assess and suggest remedies to improve this condition. One such study, “Summary of Findings and Strategic Revitalization Options in the FM 1960 Corridor” conducted by Spillette Consulting in 2010 is still very relevant today. This article aligns with many of the observations and recommendations from that study. It goes without saying the condition of Cypress Creek Parkway has been on downward trajectory for several decades. We are witnessing a pattern of business closures with property owners struggling to

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I Love a Fine Port

I love a fine port after dinner as much as the next guy, but that is beside the point. Today, we are talking about a different fine port, the Port of Houston. I find it slightly ironic that the industry which brought Houston out of the primordial ooze in 1836 is the industry that is now serving as Houston’s primary economic diversification strategy. Oil & gas has been, and continues to be, the primary economic driver of the Houston economy, while many point to the Texas Medical Center or the new Innovation Corridor, as Houston’s economic diversification strategy, which they are, it is trade which kept Houston from diving into a deep recession during the last energy downturn. For those who

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Get Out and Vote

On August 8th early voting begins for the Harris County Flood Control bond election and continues through until election day, Saturday, August 25. We cannot stress enough the importance for all registered voters in Harris County to get out and vote for this bond. The obvious reason being it will expedite much needed and long overdue capital for flood mitigation infrastructure to the 23 watersheds of Harris County. The Harris County Flood Control District and County Judge Ed Emmett publicly acknowledge this $2.5 billion bond is not enough to adequately address all of Harris County’s flooding challenges.   This is precisely why this bond must not only pass, but it must pass by a very significant margin.   An overwhelming

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Job Growth In Northwest Houston

Without letting your eyes wander down the lines below, can you guess what is the highest paid occupation in northwest Harris County? If you guessed chief executive officer (CEO), you are wrong. CEOs are second. The number one highest paying occupation in northwest Harris County is anesthesiologist at a median hourly earning of $118.90. Recent data received from Texas Workforce Commission via Workforce Solutions, provided us with a number of employment trends in our 15-zip code service area of northwest Harris County. The rankings for highest paid occupation are as follows: 1. Anesthesiologists                            $118.90 2. Chief Executives                       

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Houston Employment at Record High

2018 is going to be the year Houston fully emerges from its economic downturn, and it appears to be doing so at full tilt. The Texas Workforce Commission’s most recent release of labor statistics posted Houston set an all-time record for April job growth, at 22,600 jobs, for a YTD net gain of 41,300 jobs. Unemployment dropped from 4.6% to 4.2%. This sets Houston’s employment at a record high of 3,097,500, an impressive comeback considering the energy industry shed 19,000 jobs and Houston suffered negative job growth in both 2015 and 2016. These are not all Harvey related jobs either, because historically, hurricanes only affect the economy for about 6 months after the storm. This is Houston in full economic recovery, which

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Crime is on the decline!

One of the Grow Northwest’s strategic initiatives is Safety & Security. Public safety and low crime rates are key ingredients to the economic vibrancy and health of a community. Through the assistance of Constable Mark Herman’s Precinct 4 office, we have been tracking crime statistics in northwest Houston in four categories, aggravated assault, burglary of business, robbery of business and burglary of a motor vehicle(BMV). A recent compilation of this data is demonstrating an encouraging trend. In 3 of 4 categories, crime has been trending downward since 2015. The one outlier, BMVs, which is experiencing exponential growth nationwide, showed a 34% decrease in calls for service in Q1 2018 from its peak in Q2 2017. Of course, the intent is

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Economic Outlook Forum: Economic Forecast

At the 2018 Economic Outlook Forum Patrick Jankowski, with the Greater Houston Partnership and Bobby Lieb, from the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce delivered the state of economies for the greater Houston area and the Houston Northwest area, respectively. With newly adjusted employment data from the Texas Workforce Commission, Patrick revealed the Greater Houston Area suffered a small recession in 2015 and 2016, with minor net job losses for both years. In 2017, the Greater Houston area gained back 63,000 jobs. However, the majority of those job gains were in the lower wage service and retail sectors and are not considered adequate replacements for the higher wage energy sector job losses suffered from the prior 3 years. The good news

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