UTSA Institute for Economic Development to host Texas Retail Academy


December 9, 2020 – The UTSA Institute for Economic Development has partnered with Retail Strategies, LLC to offer Retail Academy to six communities across Texas. The UTSA Institute for Economic Development will act as an accountability partner for the communities.

Retail Academy is designed to educate city leaders on retail and business recruitment, real estate, and small business support. Retail Academy is made possible to cities that are awarded a grant through USDA. The event had a kick-off virtually on September 23, 2020 and the course work will take place over the next year.

“Our communities need additional support and resources now more than ever amid COVID-19,” said Matthew Jackson, director at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development. “Retail Academy will be instrumental in providing the critical tools to our communities to help boost retail and small business. We are excited about this partnership and to give the Retail Academy program to the selected Texas communities. This partnership gives communities the autonomy to formulate a retail strategy that targets their own community’s retail expansion and better understand their markets. We hope that by providing the Retail Academy program, each community will see effective strategic implementation and retail recruitment.”

The Retail 101 course is an introduction to retail recruitment. The six communities selected for the inaugural program including Borger, Giddings, Lamesa, Perryton, Sweetwater, and Tahoka.

More than 30 communities applied for the Retail Academy program in Texas. USDA fully funded six communities’ participation in the program with grants. These communities were chosen based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis. Demographics including population, unemployment, poverty rate and income made up the quantitative data. The qualitative analysis was based on the individual communities’ application responses.

Developed by Retail Strategies, Retail Academy educates communities on best practices to attract new retail and restaurants while providing resources to support and grow existing local businesses.

“We are proud to bring the Retail Academy program to Texas communities with help from the USDA and UTSA Institute for Economic Development,” said Lacy Beasley, president of Retail Strategies. “Retail Academy is designed to provide resources and education to community leaders that will allow them to demystify retail real estate and retail recruitment. We believe that these communities will use the tools Retail Academy offers for job growth and retention. Since 2015, Retail Academy has been used to expedite communities’ learning curve and use the materials to proactively recruit new retail and restaurant businesses. We applaud the communities across the country that have seen success. We are very excited to begin the program with the UTSA Institute for Economic Development and to partner with communities across the state of Texas.”


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Ingrid Wright
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