For several months, the Blanco County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC) Board has been working with PEC and the LCRA to develop a strategic economic development plan for Blanco County. This plan was adopted unanimously by the board two weeks ago. With the help of PEC, LCRA, local businesses, and input from Blanco County citizens interested in the economic vitality of our county, priorities were established and plans were put in place to begin leveraging Blanco County economic opportunities.
What is Economic Development? The vision and mission of the BCEDC is to preserve and enhance our quality of life, and to expand economic opportunity for all Blanco County residents.
Why is it important to you? The quality of life for every Blanco County citizen and the cost we pay for it depends upon local economic conditions; whether jobs are being added or lost, whether businesses are opening or closing. Our basic services and the cost each of us pays for these services are also impacted by our local economic conditions. Business activity creates revenues to fund local services that enhance our quality of life. For example, for the year fiscal year ending 2009, Blanco County received $311,424 in General Sales and Use Tax, down from $320,764 for the same period in the preceding year. Larry Milner, Chair of Johnson City TownScape Task Force, likens the Blanco County’s economic climate to a pie. We each have a slice. A growing economy increases the size of the pie as well as each piece of the pie. To make the pie grow, jobs must be added. If our business climate is not favorable and jobs decrease, the pie shrinks. If the pie shrinks, services must be decreased or citizens must pay more for the services they receive.
Business investment has many location alternatives. In the competitive race for those businesses that provide a positive economic impact and enhance the quality of life in Blanco County, much is still to be done. From infrastructure improvements to financing to marketing our strengths outside of our borders, ongoing commitments from business, local government and private citizens are vital to attracting and retaining desirable businesses and new Blanco County residents.
In a June, 2010 news release, Joe Stewart, BCEDC Chair stated, "I can’t over-emphasize that we are a community-based organization." "We need the input, commitment, and investment of the citizens of Blanco County to ensure that our strategies represent the consensus of the folks that live here. I encourage anyone who is interested in getting involved in this process to contact us." The BCEDC remains committed to the idea that the direction of Blanco County is best served by this involvement. Meetings are open to the public and a website with meeting location and dates as well as board contacts are found at www.blancocountyedc.com. The BCEDC Board encourages you to get involved by attending meetings or voicing your opinion to any board member.