Mayor promotes entrepreneurial spirit

By William Pack – Express-News | Published 6:46 pm, Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mayor Julián Castro hopes to promote entrepreneurial growth in San Antonio through new investments and programs that encourage small businesses to expand, he told a symposium of women business leaders Wednesday.Castro said San Antonio historically has been a city of small printing-press operators, bakery owners and other entrepreneurs.That entrepreneurial spirit must continue in leading segments such as biosciences and cybersecurity so San Antonio can capture the high-end jobs all communities are seeking, the mayor said.“The best way to remain competitive is to invest in our small businesses,” Castro told those attending the second annual Women’s Business Symposium Norris Conference Centers at the Wonderland of the Americas mall.That will come through direct investments in organizations like the South Texas Women’sBusiness Center, which sponsored the symposium, and Accion Texas, a micro lender that also supports the center, Castro said. But it also should mean opening up more government contracts to small businesses, creating innovative tax incentives for those companies and helping them market their services, he said.
Terry Clower, director at the University of North Texas’ Center for Economic Development and Research, said cities have been focusing more on entrepreneurial activity and innovation in business development plans. But balancing that with appeals to big businesses and the large number of jobs they promise is probably the best approach, he said.