As the Cedar Park Chamber, we get asked from time-to-time what our role is in Economic Development. Depending on what you are used to, many people think of the Cedar Park Chamber as the driving force on business recruitment in Cedar Park. However, in Texas, that isn’t always the case.
Many years ago, the State of Texas made it possible for municipalities to ask voters if they would like to utilize tax dollars to offer different types of economic development incentives. Many of us know these as 4A and 4B Sales Tax dollars. In 1999, the City of Cedar Park voted to approve the adoption of the Economic Development Sales Tax Corporation (Type A Board) and the Community Development Sales Tax Corporation (Type B Board).
The Type A Board can use one-half of one percent for the promotion and development of new and expanded business enterprise. Through this board, the City of Cedar Park has been responsible for promoting, assisting and enhancing economic development activities for the City of Cedar Park for many years.
The Type B Board oversees and makes recommendations to City Council regarding programming and expenditures of funds related to Community Development projects. Through this board, the City of Cedar Park can utilize resources to assist our community to reach its economic and community goals and to serve the best interest of our citizens and guests.
So, what does that mean? It means the city has a funding source which enables it to incentivize new businesses to relocate to Cedar Park or for current businesses to expand. The Economic Development Department, along with City Management and Council direction has done a phenomenal job over the past almost 20 years to turn Cedar Park from a bedroom community into a retail and medical hub for Western Williamson County.
The Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce has played a role in this as well. We have been able to mobilize the business community to promote the approval of the 4A and 4B vote, as well as different propositions over the years. It has been a team effort from elected officials, residents, the business community and other interested parties who want to see Cedar Park grow. From the work of all of these different people and organizations, we now have things like the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park (Cedar Park Center), Cedar Park Regional Medical Center, ETS-Lindgren, Corvalent, 1890 Ranch, The Parke and much more.
The Chamber has a more direct role in business retention. We try to help small and large businesses, retail and manufacturing, medical and non-profit businesses grow and prosper in Cedar Park. We have dozens of networking events, major events like Cedar Fest, Taste of Cedar Park, the Annual Banquet and more – all with an emphasis on the business community. We believe once you get to Cedar Park, you will be able to grow your business.
We also serve as your business advocate. We work with elected officials at all levels of government to make sure the overall business needs in our community are met. When the City of Cedar Park has a visioning process, many times they invite the Chamber to be the voice for the business community. The relationship between the City of Cedar Park and the Chamber has never been stronger.
It is a good time to live and work in Cedar Park. In a recent survey done by the Chamber, 71% of the respondents characterized the Cedar Park Economy as excellent and an additional 27% characterized it as good. It is the overwhelming consensus of the business community that there is steady growth and strong leadership within the Cedar Park City government, Chamber of Commerce and business community.
For more information about the Cedar Park Chamber or any of our programs, please visit CedarParkChamber.org or call 512.260.7800.