The economy was cited as the number one issue in the 2012 presidential election by more than 60 percent of voters. Regardless of location, age or profession, it seems everyone is concerned about the country’s skyrocketing debt and their personal financial well-being.
To address these issues locally, the Southlake Chamber of Commerce hosted its “State of the Economy” luncheon January 31 with Thomas Siems, PhD, senior economist and economic outreach officer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Siems stated the nation is progressing from recovery to expansion as a result of the Great Recession that began in 2008, but overall growth will be slow in 2013.
His presentation also compared Texas to other parts of the country and the world:
One of the best indicators of the local economy is sales tax revenue, which increased 7.2 percent during 2012 in Southlake for a total of $20.3 million. During November 2012, the kick-off to the holiday shopping season, Southlake collected $1.66 million, up 5.75 percent from 2011.
Southlake’s current sales tax rate is 8.25 percent, of which 6.25 percent goes to the state, one percent goes to the city’s general fund, and 0.5 percent is dedicated to each of two special revenue funds: Crime Control and Prevention District and Southlake Parks Development Corporation.
Greg Last, Director of Economic Development and Tourism for the City of Southlake, partially attributes this growth to new businesses and expanded services.
“We have several programs to help existing businesses as well as added services to highlight new businesses,” said Last, noting the department sends out a New Biz List each month to more than 650 email addresses. The list includes businesses that opened in the prior month as well as those that are ‘coming soon.’ He added “anyone can subscribe to the Biz List by contacting the Economic Development Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of the 87 new businesses that opened in Southlake during 2012, many did fill retail, restaurant and office spaces previously left vacant as a result of the recession:
Also of note are two businesses that opened in 2012 in newly constructed buildings:
Looking ahead to 2013, Last expects continued growth with new businesses scheduled to open, including the 140,000 square foot Forest Park Medical Center in June, as well as several projects in the permitting or approval phase.
“Southlake’s economy is recovering stronger and faster than other areas. It is a regional destination for retail and restaurants and I expect that to continue.”
For more information and access to all Southlake businesses, visit the City of Southlake Economic Development website at www.SouthlakeBusinesses.com.