With the Covid-19 pandemic seeing a new rise in cases, many states have paused their recovery plans. Texas is working on solutions and taking measures to protect the economy and businesses. The bottom line is that Texas is ready to look toward the future and get back to work. From tech to manufacturing, transportation to distribution, Texas’ wide variety of industries support the Lone Star State and are the reason Texas is already on track to recovery and becoming even more successful than ever before.
Here are five industries that are paving the road to economic recovery in 2021.
• Technology: The days of New York City and San Francisco as the only places to be for tech opportunities are over. Covid-19 changed the workplace and revealed that it is unnecessary to live on the coasts to be successful. When areas like New York face a depression before recovery, states like Texas are primed to provide immediate alternatives as people look for opportunities. However, the tech opportunities in Texas pre-date Covid: Austin’s venture capital funding reached over $1.8 billion in Austin in 2019 to fuel this growth.
Of course, we know the history-making companies like Texas Instruments, Dell Technologies and Rackspace, but today technological innovation touches nearly every industry. Texas leads in medtech advances, and the Texas Medical Center is paving the way for a cure to Covid; space-tech in NASA’s mission to the moon and mars; cybersecurity and defense in San Antonio. Texas now ranks No. 2 in the nation for computer and video game employment.
Large corporations are moving their headquarters to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including McKesson and Charles Schwab, paving the way for smaller startups and future entrepreneurs.
• Transportation/mobility and logistics: From the north to the south, Texas is positioned to lead in all forms of logistics and exports. Texas’ central location makes the Lone Star State the epicenter of national and global logistics. DFW Airport was recently named the busiest airport in the U.S., another reason why the DFW Metroplex is a hotbed for corporate headquarter relocations. The DFW area has over 7.5 million residents, larger than 38 states — with 43 Fortune 1000 companies.
Fort Worth’s AllianceTexas Center of Innovation houses a 27,000-acre community with tenants like Facebook, Amazon and Bell. The Ross Perot Jr.-owned Hillwood is positioning the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone to be the world’s premier, commercially driven platform to test, scale and commercialize technologies like drone delivery solutions.
To the south, the ports of Houston and Corpus Christi serve as gateways to international and domestic maritime commerce, with railway and highway network connectivity via three North American class-1 railroads and two major interstate highways.
• Automotive manufacturing: The automotive industry is recognizing the massive benefits of moving to Texas. Just this July, Tesla announced that it is opening a gigafactory in Austin. We’ve seen this before, when in 2017 Toyota moved its headquarters to Plano, bringing 4,000 jobs to the DFW area. When Tesla officially relocates, we can expect to see construction increasing, real estate development, and small businesses expanding to meet new demand and supply chain needs. With an expected 3,000 direct jobs created, we already see an increase in housing developments across the region. Tesla’s arrival in greater Austin is already making a massive impact and will likely continue to drive economic growth across the state for years to come.
• Real estate: The pandemic hasn’t dampened real estate growth. Texas housing sales rose more than 17 percent in the past two months, exceeding pre-Covid levels with no signs of stopping. North Texas is leading in real estate growth with single-family home sales. The number continues to grow as new businesses bring in employees from out of state. As Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, said recently at the YTexas State of Business Summit, Texas is incredibly friendly to newcomers, with no corporate or state income tax and affordable housing options.
• Distribution: The pandemic has forced Texas commercial property owners to rethink how they can offer their properties to meet different industries’ current demands. Many Texas companies are thinking uniquely about the situation of remote work, causing offices to sit unused. At the same time, we’re seeing landlords repurpose properties to meet the rising demand for temporary distribution warehouses and shipping fulfillment centers to support the surge in e-commerce, like Amazon’s recent announcement that they’re planning on launching a million-square-foot distribution center after creating over 43,000 jobs across the state.