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Edinburg’s retail economy registers best monthly rate of improvement among Valley’s major cities for April 2016, reports Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Featured, from left: William H. McRaven, Chancellor of The University of Texas System; Janet Ogden Vackar and Robert “Bob” C. Vackar, owners of the Bert Ogden Auto Group, which began in Edinburg and spread Valleywide; and Dr. Guy Bailey, President, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The UT System and UTRGV were celebrating a donation of $15 million by the Vackars to UTRGV by naming its business college the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, along with the City of Edinburg, also promotes the best interests of UTRGV and the UTRGV School of Medicine through its extensive legislative lobbying efforts before the UT System Board of Regents, the Texas Legislature, and Congress.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Edinburg’s retail economy during April 2016 had the best rate of improvement – 3.05 percent – over the same month last year among the Valley’s major cities, while by comparison, cities statewide reported a combined average decrease of 1.2 percent in April 2016 compared with April 2015, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. A growing economy in the city is influenced by the hard work ethic of the community and by the generosity of business success stories in the city, such as the Vackar family, whose last name on wife Janet’s side of her family, is set to grace the Bert Ogden Arena currently under construction in southeast Edinburg, and which will be the largest entertainment venue in South Texas.The Vackars – owners and principal dealers of the Bert Ogden Auto Group, which includes 13 dealership locations housing 16 individual franchise lines across the Valley – both grew up in the Valley, the children of entrepreneurs who owned Edinburg-based businesses and inspired dedication to hard work and community service.

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Deep South Texas’ first IMAX theater coming to Edinburg; city’s March 2016 retail economy shows 8.04 percent improvement over March 2015 figure

Photograph: pocket-lint.com

Featured: An IMAX theater, similar to the one featured in this image by pocket-lint.com, will be coming to Carmike 20 Cinemas in Edinburg and is scheduled to open next year, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The news comes as the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts released statewide data showing the retail economy in Edinburg for the month of March 2016 is more than eight percent better than the same month last year.

Photograph: pocket-lint.com

Edinburg’s retail economy during March 2016 was more than eight percent ahead of the same period last year, much better than the statewide average of all Texas cities for the same period, which came in with a 1.4 percent improvement, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. This latest positive news about the Edinburg’s economy, which was prepared by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and released on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, came as Carmike Cinemas’ corporate headquarters revealed they have begun large-scale renovations at its Carmike Cinemas 20 entertainment complex in Edinburg. The nearest IMAX to the Valley is located in Corpus Christi.

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Edinburg’s retail economy’s improvement from January through October 2015 over the same period in 2014 almost double the statewide average for all cities in Texas, state agency reports

Edinburg’s retail economy is almost double the statewide average

Featured, from left: George Cárdenas, Senior Vice President, Inter National Bank, McAllen; Shekhar Gianchandani, Chief Financial Officer, Qube Hotel Group; City Councilmember Richard Molina; Hiren M. Govind, Chief Operating Officer, Qube Hotel Group; Himesh Jeram, Chief Executive Officer, Qube Hotel Group; Mark Iglesias, President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and Ellie M. Torres, Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The group was participating in the Tuesday, November 17, 2015 groundbreaking of the $10 million Marriott Towne Place Suites being built near the intersection of Professional Drive and Trenton Road. Not pictured is Mohan Tewani, Chief Development Officer, Qube Hotel Group. The new facility is the latest sign of economic growth in the city, which is also showing continued gains in its retail economy.
Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through October 2015 was 7.16 percent ahead of the same period last year, a figure that is almost double the the statewide average of all Texas cities, which came in with a 3.6 percent improvement when comparing the same 10-month periods, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. For the month of October 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a 7.55 percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. These figures are based on sales made in October 2015 by businesses that report tax monthly. Among its many duties, the Texas Comptroller’s office is the state’s chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and treasurer. The 7.55 percent increase over the same month last year was the best showing among the Valley’s larger economies. During the first 10 months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $20,245,270.46 in local sales taxes, compared with $18,891,654.50 for January through October 2014, resulting in the improvement of 7.16 percent. During October 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,568,278.46 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,458,157.23 for October 2014, representing the improvement of 7.55 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the EEDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. The amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends. The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825).

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Edinburg retail economy from January to August 2015 shows almost 7 percent increase over same period in 2014

 Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr.

Featured: Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr., on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, helps set the stage for the State of the City Address by Mayor Richard García, which focused on economic development gains for Edinburg. In the latest showing of the strength of the city’s economy, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reported on Tuesday, October 7, 2015 that Edinburg’s retail economy, from January through August 2015, is almost seven percent ahead of last year’s pace.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through August 2015 is almost seven percent ahead of the same period last year, a figure that is better than the statewide average of all Texas cities, which came in with a 4.3 percent improvement year for the same eight-month period, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. For the month of August 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a 13.89 percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Tuesday, October 7, by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. During the first eight months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $16,812,351.02 in local sales taxes, compared with $15,753,379.17 for January through August 2014, representing an improvement of 6.72 percent. In August 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,671,788.87 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,467,867.49 for August 2014, representing an improvement of 13.89 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. By comparison, the average rate for all cities in Texas dropped .04 percent in August 2015 compared with August 2014. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the EEDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. The amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends. The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825).

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Edinburg retail economy shows almost 6 percent increase from January through July compared with same period in 2014; local improvement rate ahead of statewide 4.8 percent average of all cities

South Texas International Film Festival

Featured, front row, from left: Francis Whitworth, Edinburg Arts Foundation Board; Tony Casas, Cultural Activities Board; Edna Peña, Edinburg Arts Foundation Board, Cultural Activities Board; Letty Reyes, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, Edinburg Arts Foundation Board, South Texas International Film Festival Board; Letty Leija, Director of Library & Cultural Arts, South Texas International Film Festival Board; Cynthia Sarmiento, CineSol Film Festival; Kim LeBlanc, Production Consultant, Texas Film Commission, Office of the Governor; and Magdiel Alfonso, Edinburg Arts Foundation Event Coordinator, South Texas International Film Festival Board. Back row, from left: Henry Serrato, CineSol Film Festival; Jonathan Torres, Edinburg Arts Foundation Board, South Texas International Film Festival Board; and Luis Enrique Suñer, El Mañana, South Texas International Film Festival Board. This image was taken on Saturday, August 22, at the awards ceremony, held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, for the South Texas International Film Festival.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through July 2015 is almost six percent ahead of the same period last year, a figure that is better than the statewide average of all Texas cities, which came in with a 4.8 percent improvement year-to-date, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. For the month of July 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a four percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Thursday, September 10, by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. For the first seven months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy has produced $15,140,562.15 in local sales taxes, compared with $14,285,511.68 for January through July 2014, representing an improvement of 5.98 percent. During July 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,549,113.91 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,489,519.36 for July 2014, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the EEDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city, said Agustin García, Jr., Executive Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends, García explained. “Any retail economy is measured by consumer spending patterns for goods and services, such as for consumer durables, which are goods that usually last more than three years, and consumer nondurables, which usually last less than three years,” the EEDC Executive Director noted. “But there are other key factors, such as entertainment venues, which also bring in money into our community, and Edinburg is also leader in those events.” On Friday, August 21, and Saturday, August 22, the inaugural South Texas International Film Festival, which included EEDC as one of the sponsors and organizers, was showcased as an example of high-quality and cutting-edge industries being positioned to help the local economy, said Mayor Richard García, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. Mayor García and EEDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. are not related. “In hosting the South Texas International Film Festival, we are creating a home to the film arts in our region, and in doing so, proudly displayed the tremendous homegrown talent we have in our region,” noted the mayor. “During this tremendous gathering, we provided the educational courses, know-how, and generated the business connections to foster creativity in our local film industry, which can help our economy continue to flourish and diversify.” Mayor García and Board President Iglesias praised the work of Edinburg area residents who worked diligently to pull of a very successful film festival, notably the EEDC, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, the City of Edinburg, Edinburg Arts, and the Consulado de México en McAllen (Mexican Consulate in McAllen). Iglesias noted how the City of Austin has helped its economy prosper through entertainment venues, specifically its now famous South by Southwest Music Festival, which has become the largest music festival of its kind in the world. “According to a 2014 economic impact study by Greyhill Advisors, the economic impact of the South by Southwest Music Festival, which also includes film components, totaled $315.3 million in 2014,” said Iglesias. “First organized in 1987, the South by Southwest Music Festival has had an economic impact on it’s hometown over the past five years of more than $1 billion. These are the high standards by which we in Edinburg set our goals.” The mayor agreed. “For several generations, we in South Texas have worked for a medical school, and by the Fall of 2016, we will be finally opening the doors to a UT School of Medicine, including a major presence here in Edinburg,” said Mayor García. “What that shows everyone is all good things are possible for our region. All it takes is determination and hard work, and the South Texas International Film Festival is the latest example of the vision of our people.” The mayor, along with the Edinburg City Council and EEDC Board of Directors, were influential in the passage of state legislation in 2013 that resulted in the creation of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, which includes a $54 million Medical Academic Building now under construction in Edinburg. Occupying more than 88,000 square feet, the new Medical Academic Building will be a teaching facility that promotes faculty and student interaction at the beginning stages of medical school, according to the UT System. The building will include an auditorium, digital library, clinical skills center, pre-clinical laboratories and an anatomy teaching facility. Multiple small classrooms, seminar rooms and other features will offer opportunities for small group problem solving and inter-professional educational experiences.

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