Item 01: Small Business Development, Business Retention & Expansion, Business Attractions & Workforce Development

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COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Receive a presentation from the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) on activities for small business development, business retention & expansion, business attractions, and workforce development.
 

MBaker

Council Member
Does GSMP have data regarding the utilization of the meetings, trainings, resources they're providing? Are they well attended, what demographics are attending (types of businesses, organizations, etc.)?

Do they consider their goals/successes through an equity lens?

When can we expect GSMP to translate more of their services, reports, and resources?

It was said that GSMP shares a small business report with the City Manger, are those shared with Council? I couldn't find anything in my email....

Does GSMP anticipate San Marcos growing to a point where we will have our own economic development team and no longer require their services? We're often encouraged to offer economic development incentives to presumably "some day" have enough of a tax base to support our community's needs better - When do they calculate that time will be? Is their goal to help us achieve some specific target?
 

AGarza

Council Member
Receive a presentation from the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) on activities for small business development, business retention & expansion, business attractions, and workforce development.
The presentation, in general, is very vague.

For each of the items listed in bullet a.) under Small Business Development, it would be helpful if links to event descriptions were included. Merely listing the events gives no insight as to the purpose, intended audience, learning outcomes, and overall program success. How do they reflect on the efficacy of event promotion, speaker presentation, attendance etc. ?
Does the GSMP have a standard template for measuring program success?
I would like more information regarding any post-event evaluation for the following workshops:
  • Small Business Workshop: Shields UP – Cybersecurity Briefing May 3, 2022
  • Financial Literacy Workshop: Small Business Financial Health completed February 8th and 22nd
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week: 1 Million Cups Greater SMTX Town Hall and monthly meetings
  • Texas State Innovation Series: For small business and community leaders in promotion of innovative start-ups.
Again- no substantive information for each of the items listed in bullet c.) under Small Business Development
c.) Promote small business counseling programs that are offered by the City of San Marcos or other community organizations in San Marcos.
  • This is done on an ongoing basis through:
  • SBDC
  • Main Street
  • City of San Marcos Program
How are small business counseling programs evaluated for strengths and areas of growth-- and efficacy in general?

e) Support any efforts by the City to advocate for federal resources to be allocated to locate a permanent SBDC office in San Marcos. Where can I find information on what federal resources have been secured?

Again- no substantive information for each of the items listed in bullet g.) under Small Business Development
g) Continue to strengthen relationships with local cultural organizations including development of Spanish language translations of materials for programs & resources for workforce development efforts.
  • GSMP continues efforts to develop collateral and development of Spanish language translations for programs & resources for workforce development efforts. Vague- how is this being done? Is there a committee or group of people responsible for this? How is progress being tracked?
  • Get Hired! Job Fair - provided and distributed Spanish language material to all communities including extended promotions to Spanish media and literature at to Poco Loco locations and San Marcos' Centro Cultural Hispanico. Centro's name is misspelled FYI. Is anyone in the GSMP skilled or knowledgable on methods for culturally and linguistically responsive outreach?
  • Continuation of a translation plugin for digital content is also being explored & implemented. Vague- how is this being done? Is there a committee or group of people responsible for this? How is progress being tracked?
  • Does GSMP offer any programming in an language other than English?
  • What sort of accommodations does GSMP offer when it comes to participation in programming?
Business Retention & Expansion:
  • Implement a Business Retention & Expansion program to discover challenges and opportunities faced by local SMEs and microbusinesses and provide monthly written reports to the City Manager for review and direction. Where are these reports located?
  • Partner closely with local organizations to act as a resource for local businesses. Again, VAGUE. How are you partnering? Links to any tangible evidence of events that indicate collaboration? How does GSMP track the efficacy of the outreach? How does GSMP track what the NEEDS of the clients of these organizations are?
 

AGarza

Council Member


WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Development of and support for workforce development initiatives go hand-in-hand with retention and expansion of our existing businesses.
  • Support the San Marcos CISD and Hays CISD on job training initiatives to include support for grants and participation on advisory boards. Again, how? Links to any deliverables or job training initiatives?
  • September ‘21 GSMP is serving as the intermediary for a $184,000 Perkins Reserve Grant with Hays CISD, San Marcos CISD, Lockhart ISD and Austin Community College with the support of key industry partners to develop a curriculum pathway in the high demand areas of plumbers, pipefitters and electricians. Timeline for completion December 2022.
  • GSMP supports ISD CTE efforts such as CREW, STEAM Fair and Career Advisory Committees. Again, vague. How?
  • Identify short-comings in current workforce training through BRE surveys and report to workforce training providers, including an annual written report to the City Manager. Where are these reports located?
  • Monthly reports, quarterly updates and an annual narrative report, "State of Workforce Training", have been submitted. Where are these reports located?
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
I do not think that this presentation will be legible for the home viewers.
City staff’s response to Mayor Hughson’s comment: City staff will work to adjust the formatting of the presentation slides to increase readability for at-home attendees.
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Does GSMP have data regarding the utilization of the meetings, trainings, resources they're providing? Are they well attended, what demographics are attending (types of businesses, organizations, etc.)?

Do they consider their goals/successes through an equity lens?

When can we expect GSMP to translate more of their services, reports, and resources?

It was said that GSMP shares a small business report with the City Manger, are those shared with Council? I couldn't find anything in my email....

Does GSMP anticipate San Marcos growing to a point where we will have our own economic development team and no longer require their services? We're often encouraged to offer economic development incentives to presumably "some day" have enough of a tax base to support our community's needs better - When do they calculate that time will be? Is their goal to help us achieve some specific target?
City staff’s response to Councilmember Baker’s Question 4 and Councilmember Garza’s Questions 10, 14, and 15: The City Manager’s office currently receives monthly reports from the Greater San Marcos Partnership staff on businesses assisted through business retention & expansion (BRE) visits and business attraction efforts. City staff will evaluate how to share these to the Council message board for viewing moving forward.
Does GSMP have data regarding the utilization of the meetings, trainings, resources they're providing? Are they well attended, what demographics are attending (types of businesses, organizations, etc.)?
Response: GSMP does have data regarding who attends meetings, training, and resources; however, it varies across all activities and most commonly only the individual attendee and company/organization they represent. The attendees range from individual residents, regional partners, various business community members, not-for-profit organizations, and other community organizations.

Do they consider their goals/successes through an equity lens?
Response: GSMP has, and continues, to diversify our offerings to meet the needs of our community through the lens of economic development. Over the past few years, GSMP has continued to do all we can to meet the needs of as many community members as we can.

When can we expect GSMP to translate more of their services, reports, and resources?
Response: GSMP continues to translate materials related to specific programs or offerings.

It was said that GSMP shares a small business report with the City Manger, are those shared with Council? I couldn't find anything in my email....
Response: GSMP provides monthly reports to the city manager's office based on the deliverables as outlined in our agreement.


Does GSMP anticipate San Marcos growing to a point where we will have our own economic development team and no longer require their services? We're often encouraged to offer economic development incentives to presumably "some day" have enough of a tax base to support our community's needs better - When do they calculate that time will be? Is their goal to help us achieve some specific target?
GSMP continues to do all we can to diversify the city of San Marcos and the regional economy through attracting and growing business investment and jobs. This effort provides more opportunities for the residents in our communities while increasing the commercial tax base in the city and region. GSMP provides the city a significant advantage over other communities in the State of Texas by leveraging additional resources, alongside a team of 10 individuals, to execute economic development on behalf of the city. In FY21 alone, the City of San Marcos experienced a more than 20 times return on their investment in new tax revenue alone from announced businesses, not including all other support provided by the organization.
As a contractor for the city, GSMP is here to execute the vision and economic development policy.
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Responses to CM Garza provided by GSMP:
Q1:
For each of the items listed in bullet a.) under Small Business Development, it would be helpful if links to event descriptions were included. Merely listing the events gives no insight as to the purpose, intended audience, learning outcomes, and overall program success. How do they reflect on the efficacy of event promotion, speaker presentation, attendance etc. ?

Response:
The GSMP tracks registration participation for each small business development event hosted in partnership with the City of San Marcos. All events focus on the needs of diverse small businesses but can also be attended by larger firms. The Partnership continues to host events in a hybrid format to include companies that are unable to attend in person. Events held in FY 22 had an average of 29 registrants. Participants rated all events, including the speakers, at high or very high. Participants also have an opportunity to provide input on future training programs.

Q2: Does the GSMP have a standard template for measuring program success?

Response: Yes, we have a standard evaluation for all learning events.

Q3: How are small business counseling programs evaluated for strengths and areas of growth-- and efficacy in general?

Response: GSMP coordinates and supports strategies to connect small businesses with the counseling programs provided by our partner organizations. Those organizations then track for strengths and areas of growth and take that feedback into planning future programs.

Q4: Where can I find information on what federal resources have been secured?

Response: GSMP supports the City of San Marcos's efforts to attract federal resources. We are not aware of any specific federal resources that the city has received.

Q5: GSMP continues efforts to develop collateral and development of Spanish language translations for programs & resources for workforce development efforts. Vague- how is this being done? Is there a committee or group of people responsible for this? How is progress being tracked?

Response:
GSMP has three staff members who are fluent in Spanish, with one staff member fluent in three languages in addition to English. GSMP works with many different organizations to develop resources and content, and these collaborations have offered help and materials in Spanish.

Q6: Get Hired! Job Fair - provided and distributed Spanish language material to all communities including extended promotions to Spanish media and literature at to Poco Loco locations and San Marcos' Centro Cultural Hispanico. Centro's name is misspelled FYI. Is anyone in the GSMP skilled or knowledgable on methods for culturally and linguistically responsive outreach?

Response:
GSMP staff has extensive knowledge and experience working with businesses and individuals from various cultures. Three GSMP staff members have experience developing cultural-specific programs to help attract international companies. Our business attraction and marketing functions are versed in cultural sensitivities and protocols for working with individuals looking to grow their businesses in the region. Some team members have been recognized internationally for their successes with companies across linguistic and cultural challenges.

Q7: Continuation of a translation plugin for digital content is also being explored & implemented. Vague- how is this being done? Is there a committee or group of people responsible for this? How is progress being tracked?

Response:
GSMP's website is currently available in five different languages.

Q8: Does GSMP offer any programming in an language other than English?

Response: GSMP does not offer programming in any other language.

Q9: What sort of accommodations does GSMP offer when it comes to participation in programming?
Response: We are unclear on the exact intent of this question; however, GSMP has offered virtual and in-person programming. When applicable, we have provided in-person and online platforms for participation at events. Additionally, all events locations are accessible to many attendees through public transportation.


Q10: Implement a Business Retention & Expansion program to discover challenges and opportunities faced by local SMEs and microbusinesses and provide monthly written reports to the City Manager for review and direction. Where are these reports located?
Response:
GSMP provides monthly reports to the City Managers' office per our agreement with the city.


Q11:
Partner closely with local organizations to act as a resource for local businesses. Again, VAGUE. How are you partnering? Links to any tangible evidence of events that indicate collaboration? How does GSMP track the efficacy of the outreach? How does GSMP track what the NEEDS of the clients of these organizations are?
Response:
GSMP has partnered with Hays CISD, Lockhart ISD, San Marcos CISD, ACC, and Workforce Solutions Capital Area and half a dozen industries and unions in the electrical and plumbing industry to develop educational pathways.

One Million Cups: GSMP was a founding organization, along with Splash Co Working, Texas State University and the City of San Marcos and others. The partnership is showcased on the program website.

Education Workforce Council: GSMP is an executive sponsor, along with Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, founded along with Texas State University that launched the Council in August 2021 to serve as a regional high-level body to strategize the needs and solutions for workforce in this region.


Q12:
Support the San Marcos CISD and Hays CISD on job training initiatives to include support for grants and participation on advisory boards. Again, how? Links to any deliverables or job training initiatives?

Response:
GSMP works with San Marcos CISD, Hays CISD, and Lockhart ISD on the Perkins Pathways Grant. The grant is co-led by GSMP and Workforce Solutions, and GSMP has been the primary intermediary facilitating and administering this grant. Staff also serve on the San Marcos CISD advisory board. We also provide additional financial support to the education foundations of our communities.

Q13: GSMP supports ISD CTE efforts such as CREW, STEAM Fair and Career Advisory Committees. Again, vague. How?
Response:
We co-market any events that are held and promote those organizations. We have also facilitated connecting groups with employers as needed.

Q14: Identify short-comings in current workforce training through BRE surveys and report to workforce training providers, including an annual written report to the City Manager. Where are these reports located?
Response:
GSMP provides monthly reports to the City Managers’ office in accordance with our agreement with the city.

Q15: Monthly reports, quarterly updates and an annual narrative report, "State of Workforce Training", have been submitted. Where are these reports located?

Response:
GSMP provides monthly reports to the City Managers’ office in accordance with our agreement with the city.
 
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