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
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
- Promoting the Greater San
Marcos Value Proposition
- Supporting Quality Job
Growth in Export-Oriented Target Sectors
- Optimizing the Local Talent
- 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.