For decades, the City of San Marcos had a series of staff and contractors to provide economic development services. Prior to 2006, The City of San Marcos contracted with the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce to staff and house the City's Economic Development Council. In FY 2006 and FY 2007 the City of San Marcos had a contract with a private contractor for economic development services. In October 2007, the City of San Marcos entered into a one-year contract with the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, which expired on September 30, 2009.

The work on a comprehensive economic development strategy began in January 2009 when Greater San Marcos leaders first organized as the Partners for Progress. Partners for Progress engaged Market Street Services to facilitate an economic development strategic plan, of which Dr. Perry Moore, Provost of Texas State University, was elected to Chair.

Original Partners for Progress investors included the City of San Marcos, who spearheaded the effort, Economic Development San Marcos (EDSM), the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, Hays County, Caldwell County, the City of Lockhart, the City of Luling, Prime Outlets, Texas State University, Central Texas Medical Center, San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (SMCISD), and Gary Job Corps.

For the first time in the region’s history, a cross-section of stakeholders in two counties joined together to work collaboratively on economic development. The Partners for Progress became vested in the plan, contributing $125,000 to match the City of San Marcos’ $100,000 investment to fund and begin implementation of an economic development strategic plan.

The Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP), a 501c(6) organization, was officially organized in July 2010. The organization began operations in October 2010, embarking on a public-private fundraising campaign to underwrite the $4 million budgeted for the implementation of the five-year economic development strategy developed by Market Street Services. 

By April 2010, GSMP had secured funding from 75 public and private investors focused on achieving three goals: Economic Diversification, Workforce Excellence, and Quality of Place.

During the initial two years of development, the economic development program financed by the City of San Marcos was transformed into a public-private regional organization supported by seven cities and two counties. The Association of Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives recognized this effort as the Top New Economic Development Program in the State of Texas. 

In FY 2013, GSMP began the search for new staff leadership, which led to the hiring of Adriana Cruz as the President of the Greater San Marcos Partnership beginning June 3, 2013.

In FY 2015, the City of San Marcos’ continued contribution of $360,000, leveraged with the contribution from Hays and Caldwell Counties, regional communities and the private sector, allowed for a staff of six and a far more robust marketing budget. The difference made by the resources is evident in a comparison of projects worked over time. 

As part of GSMP’s effort to make the region as competitive as possible for new jobs, talent and corporate investment, GSMP spent nine months in 2015 working with Market Street Services to develop an updated economic development strategy to enhance our existing efforts. Guided by a 45-member Steering Committee, the Vision2020 strategy is a consensus-based, achievable strategy to guide the Partnership’s ongoing program of work on a path to short- and long-term regional economic prosperity. Information on the strategy is available at www.gsmpvision2020.com.

The Vision2020 strategy took effect on October 1st, 2015 and will guide efforts through 2020. It identifies the following five strategic catalysts to raise our regional economy: 

  • Promoting the Greater San Marcos Value Proposition
  • Supporting Quality Job Growth in Export-Oriented Target Sectors
  • Optimizing the Local Talent Base
  • Accommodating and Managing Natural Resources & Quality Growth
  • Creating Destination Appeal


Just as the development of the strategy was a community effort, so will be the implementation. This will require a cross-section of regional investors, institutional partners, and municipalities working together towards the positive and progressive growth of the Greater San Marcos economy.

Since its formation in October 2010, the GSMP staff has worked 274 projects or requests for information (RFI) resulting in 24 announcements, 2,352 jobs announced and more than $245 million in capital investment.