Texas Business Bulletin | February 2021


Dear Texas Economic Development Stakeholders,

We hope that your year is off to a great start! Although it will take the hard work and perseverance of each of us working together for Texas to continue down the path of recovery, we are excited and optimistic about this coming year.

Our office wants to ensure that each Texas business and community is best equipped with the resources and tools they need for sustainability and growth. The Business & Community Development team is launching a number of helpful webinars and exciting new resources in the coming months.

We will continue to update our calendar with new small business and international business and trade event dates. Continue to check our website for the most recent information on COVID-19 recovery resources and don't forget to follow us on social media for the latest updates.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to our team if we can be of assistance at any time! Thank you for all that you do on behalf of Texas and your communities! 

-Texas Economic Development & Tourism Team


Governor Abbott's State of the State


Monday, Governor Greg Abbott delivered his 2021 State of the State address to Texas residents and communities. Governor Abbott reflected on the hardships our state overcame in 2020 and gave a look into the coming future of hope and prosperity for our great state. Below are excerpts from Governor Abbott's address:

"In times of adversity, there will always be heroes who rise above the challenges we face. Our communities are filled with heroes. Heroes who summoned the strength and perseverance to fight."

"Texas remains the economic engine of America. The land of unmatched opportunity. Our comeback is already materializing. Texas has added new jobs for eight months in a row."

We welcome you to read the Governor's full State of the State address online.

Update on PPP and EIDL


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan initiative for new and existing borrowers. This round of the PPP authorizes up to $284 billion in potentially forgivable loans that can be applied to job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021. For the most up-to-date information from the SBA on the new "First Draw" and "Second Draw" PPP loans, visit their website.

New applicants can apply for PPP loans through SBA approved "7a" lenders including many Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). For more information, please read the SBA's press release. To locate a lender near you, use the SBA Lender Match toolExisting PPP loan recipients should work with their current lender to apply for loan forgiveness. 

The SBA has also reopened Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications through December 31, 2021. The program is now accepting applications from all eligible businesses. The EIDL provides long-term, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations suffering a substantial economic injury due to COVID-19. For more information, visit the SBA's Disaster Loan webpage. Small business owners requesting loan reconsideration should e-mail PDC.Reconsideration@sba.gov.

For more information, watch the latest Governor's Small Business Webinar on the new round of PPP funding on our YouTube channel

Recent Project Announcements

There is no shortage of relocation and expansion activity in Texas! The Lone Star State continues to prove itself to be the epitome of economic resilience and vitality in 2021. We anticipate peaked interest from domestic and international companies as the year progresses and the Texas entrepreneurial spirit rings true. Below is a sampling of companies that have recently chosen Texas for their next business investment:


Amazing Magnets in Round Rock: Amazing Magnets broke ground on their new headquarters in January, making their official move from Anaheim, California, to Round Rock.

Digital Realty in Austin: With an already robust presence in the state, Digital Realty announced plans to move their global headquarters to Austin from San Francisco, California.

Republic National Distributing in Pflugerville: Wine distributor, Republic National Distributing, announced plans to expand its operations to Pflugerville. The project is expected to create more than 300 jobs.

Ametrine Inc. in Round Rock: Ametrine Inc., a specialty manufacturing company, is moving its headquarters to Round Rock from Rockville, Maryland, bringing 140 new jobs.

Quali in Austin: Israeli tech startup, Quali announced that they are designating their current Austin office as their North American headquarters.

Amazon in Amarillo: Adding to their many distribution centers already in Texas, Amazon’s newest facility will be built in Amarillo, creating more than 500 new jobs.

Uzin Utz in Waco: Aurora, Colorado-based Uzin Utz, a German floor installation maker, is planning a new development and research center in Waco that is slated to be completed by 2024.

Lightsource BP in Lamar County: British solar energy company, Lightsource BP, began commercial operation of a new $250 million solar power plant, which is expected to power more than 41,000 homes.

Gecko Robotics in Austin and Houston: Pittsburgh-based technology company, Gecko Robotics, is expanding its operations in both Austin and Houston.

Walker Engineering in Pflugerville: Dallas-based Walker Engineering announced they are expanding to Pflugerville with a new office that will employ 130 people by its fifth year of operation.

Formosa Plastics in Texas: Formosa Plastics Corporation is planning to invest $2.92 billion in Texas operations to increase the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and caustic soda.

State Agency Partner Spotlight: TxDOT


The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) oversees the construction, maintenance, and administration of all highways, rails, aviation, and public transportation. The agency has 36 divisions that work in everything, from communications to maritime. The Business Development team in EDT works closely with the agency on many business development projects to ensure that companies have access to the infrastructure needed to relocate or expand their operations in the state. 

EDT’s Small Business Team works with TxDOT’s Civil Rights Division, which promotes diversity and inclusion opportunities within the department’s programs and operations related to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and non-discrimination and oversees the department’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE), and Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) programs and activities. 

In the News

Two COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates to be Produced in Texas Facility


FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies recently expanded their manufacturing capabilities in College Station to accommodate the production of two COVID-19 vaccines, bringing jobs to Texas.

Biotech Firm and UT Southwestern Launch New Gene Therapy Research Fund

UT Southwestern

Dallas-based Taysha Gene Therapies has created an innovation fund to research gene therapies in collaboration with UT Southwestern. Taysha announced their headquarter move to Dallas last December. The first project the partnership undertook in April 2020, has produced 18 novel gene therapies, two of which are in clinical development.

Texas Expected to Lead Country in Solar Power Installation in 2021

Solar Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that Texas will see a 30% increase in solar farm construction in 2021. This increase is expected to be the highest in the country, more than California, Nevada, and North Carolina.

UTSA Awarded $1 Million for Artificial Intelligence Research


The University of Texas at San Antonio's artificial intelligence (AI) consortium, and the founder of the initiative, received more than $1 million in funds for research in lifelong learning. University-led research attempts to close the performance gap between modern AI systems and biological systems.

PEDC Taking Steps to Expand High Speed Internet Service


The Palestine Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) is working with Etex Communications to bring fiber broadband services to the city of Palestine. PEDC has committed $1.1 million in financial assistance to get the project started. 

Texas Economic Snapshot: December

Unemployment Rate: 7.2%

Workforce: 14.1 million

Exports: $23.58 billion

Total Jobs Added: 64,200

Professional & Business Services: 27,000 jobs added

Trade, Transportation & Utilities: 20,100 jobs added

Education and Health Services: 6,600 jobs added

For the full snapshot, visit our webpage.

Subscribe on YouTube


In January, the Small Business Team hosted a webinar in partnership with the Texas Music Office to provide Texas independent venues and other small businesses information on the SBA's new Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch playbacks from all prior Governor's Small Business Webinars!


Defense Manufacturing Skills Workshop


Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Defense are working together to address the nation’s defense manufacturing skills gap through a series of virtual regional workshops. This February and March, Texas students, academia, industry, government, and community leaders are all invited to participate in identifying, resolving, and mitigating these issues together. 

Visit tx.ag/skillsgap to learn more and register for a workshop in your region.

Texas Touts

Best Places to Live When you Can Work from Anywhere:
El Paso #4


Best City for an Active Lifestyle in the U.S.: Austin #7


Best Places to Work: HEB #10


Safest Small City in the U.S.: Southlake #22


Top Destination for Corporate Movers in 2020: Texas #1


Best State to Drive In: Texas #1


Cities with the Most Minority-Owned Startups: Laredo #1, Brownsville-Harlingen #2, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission #3, El Paso #6


Best of the Best Project (Energy/Industrial): Fluor’s MEGlobal facility in Oyster Creek, Texas

-Engineering News-Record

America's Largest Private Companies: 19 Texas companies made the 2020 rankings


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Seal of the State of Texas Governor