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Mission Economic Development Corp. Awards Grants to 15 Local Entrepreneurs

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Empowering Mission's Local Entrepreneurs: Mission Economic Development Corporation's Joyful Grant Award Ceremony" At an emotive ceremony on January 25, 2024, Teclo J. Garcia, CEO of Mission Economic Development Corporation and CEED, proudly awarded $200,000 in grants to 15 deserving small business operators in Mission, Texas. This historic initiative, part of the Ruby Red Ventures Build Mission Fund Grant, marked a significant shift from competitive funding to direct support, empowering local entrepreneurs. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
Empowering Mission’s Local Entrepreneurs: Mission Economic Development Corporation’s Joyful Grant Award Ceremony” At an emotive ceremony on January 25, 2024, Teclo J. Garcia, CEO of Mission Economic Development Corporation and CEED, proudly awarded $200,000 in grants to 15 deserving small business operators in Mission, Texas. This historic initiative, part of the Ruby Red Ventures Build Mission Fund Grant, marked a significant shift from competitive funding to direct support, empowering local entrepreneurs. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
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By Roberto Hugo González

Teclo Garcia, Mission EDC CEO

During an awards ceremony on Thursday, January 25, 2024, Teclo J. Garcia, the Chief Executive Officer of the Mission Economic Development Corporation and the Center for Education and Economic Development (CEED), made a significant announcement. The Ruby Red Ventures Build Mission Fund Grant awarded $200,000 in grants to 15 small business operators from Mission, Texas. 

Garcia emphasized the uniqueness of this initiative, stating, “For the first time, we are funding small businesses through the Ruby Red Build Mission Fund in this manner. Today, each recipient is making history in this inaugural venture.” He acknowledged the past format of this funding as a competition, with plans to return to that model later in the year but highlighted the special nature of this direct funding approach.

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Garcia warmly welcomed all attendees and took a moment to acknowledge key individuals present at the event. Garcia invited Randy Pérez, the city manager, to the stage to offer remarks on behalf of the mayor, signaling the start of the official program.

Randy Pérez, Mission City Manager

City Manager Randy Pérez expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Today is a remarkable day for Mission, a day of celebration for us all. I extend my congratulations on behalf of Mayor Norie Garza and the city council. However, I thank each of you and the businesses you operate for participating in this program. Your endeavors provide opportunities for you, your families, and your employees. This collective effort significantly benefits our community and city, and we are truly grateful to each of you. Congratulations on your achievements. One notable aspect of our community is the lack of extensive retail compared to other cities. Hence, our reliance on and support for small businesses is critical. This program is a testament to that support. Thank you all for your dedication to your businesses. We wish you continued success and the best of luck. Congratulations once again on this momentous occasion.”

Garcia affirmed, “The city manager is right. Even though we don’t have a shopping mall or large shopping complexes in Mission, Texas, our retail industry is flourishing. Even without these, there’s been a consistent rise in our retail sales and the related sales tax. This tax, of which a portion is returned from the state, has escalated by 45% in the last three years. In this 2024 fiscal quarter, our sales tax income has exceeded $26 million, indicating an uptick of 13%. Despite lacking major retail hubs, this progression demonstrates the substantial role played by small businesses like yours. This is a monumental achievement for you and a great advantage for our city.

The following 15 businesses were the proud recipients of the grants from MEDC:
• Hands in Art Studio
• Taqueria Oviedo
• Bike Masters
• Papi Chulo’s Barbershop
• 9Round
• The Pocket
• Marco’s Burgers
• Serenity Flowers & Gifts
• Brianna’s Beauty Salon
• RGV Healthy Vending
• RGV Powerhouse
• Soiree by Sophia
• Clean Tech Auto Care Supplies
• Mycological Solutions
• Dapper Dog Grooming

In this building alone, which covers 55,000 square feet, we accommodate approximately 24 small businesses and nonprofit organizations. This initiative is a part of our broader strategy to nurture and develop small businesses in our community. Recent census data reveals that Mission houses over 1,500 small businesses, contributing to the thousands in our county, hundreds of thousands across Texas, and millions throughout the nation. As a small business owner, you’re part of an extensive, interconnected network, particularly in Mission.”

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He continued, “A personal memory from my childhood echoes the essence of our current initiative. While visiting relatives near San Antonio, we decided to buy a raspado (shaved ice). We located a stand, an old wooden stand run by an elderly man with his grandson. Despite their hard work, they were inundated with customers. The owner had to close the stand when we were close to our turn due to overwhelming demand. This scenario was a lost chance for them and a letdown for us.”

Select the Gallery Below to view all of the grant recipients:

“This anecdote underscores the reason behind our investment in enterprises like yours. Our objective is to equip you with the necessary resources to handle customer demand efficiently for business expansion, purchasing new equipment, or upgrading your premises. Had the owner of the raspado stand received even a bit more support, he could have continued shaving ice for more customers. Our aim is for your business to survive and thrive in Mission. This investment goes beyond your business; it’s a commitment to the entire community. The city council and the board are supporters of this and are dedicated to creating a prosperous environment for small businesses in Mission.”

Garcia emphasized, “Receiving a grant of $10 or $15 thousand means you’ll reinvest in local services and resources, pouring it back into your own enterprises. This cycle of reinvestment is exactly what we aim to achieve, so congratulations to each of you for contributing to this. It’s a truly joyous occasion for us to witness the dedication and risk-taking involved in managing your small businesses. As part of this initiative, we allocated $200,000 with $190,000 coming from our budget, approved by our board. These funds, largely generated from the sales tax revenues that your businesses helped produce, are being redirected to support you. The Mission Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is partially funded through these sales tax revenues. So, essentially, we’re channeling these funds back into your pockets, which benefits our community.

I’d also like to thank Texas Regional Bank for sponsoring this program. Their commitment, including a generous $10,000 investment specifically for this program, is commendable. So, a big thank you to Texas Regional Bank. Now that I’ve shared the necessary details and you’ve heard plenty from me, I want to express our best wishes to all of you. We know that many small businesses face challenges sustaining themselves, but here you are, not just surviving but poised for further growth and success.”

Garcia moved forward with the event, presenting the funds to the 15 businesses. In a clarification made to Texas Border Business, Garcia stated that the funds were granted and did not require repayment. Nonetheless, the recipients of these grants would be obligated to submit comprehensive reports on the utilization of the funds.

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