If 2020 taught me anything, I’ve learned to never predict the future. One year ago your chamber started the year with “all the pieces in place” you could say. A strong plan, a motivated team, an engaged board of directors, and a great community. Then the unforeseeable happened, and the entire plan changed in a matter of days.
I’ve heard from businesses that had the same thing happen. Some have transitioned to entirely remote work teams, others have started back up as normal, and still others shifted to making entirely unrelated products like masks or hand sanitizer. For millions of Americans, the year we were confident was coming turned out fundamentally different.
Bearing all of this in mind, I’m still going to make some predications about the year ahead. We start 2021 in much the same way that we started last year. Our greatest strengths are again a strong board, team, plan, and community. What is new are several trends that point to good things to come, and some good things that have already happened.
The secret is out about Central Texas. It has been for several years. Businesses know they can have success here because of the stable business climate, highly skilled workforce, and supportive policies. Human resource managers understand they benefit from the region becoming an area that people are drawn to for good education systems and quality of life.
However, the reason I’m still so optimistic is the start to the year already. Round Rock has seen two new businesses announcements already just in the first few weeks of January: Amazing Magnets and Ametrine.
Amazing Magnets broke ground on their development in the Altman Business Park on January 7. After founding the company in California, Tim Boettcher is investing in a 40,000 square foot facility that will grow to employ fifty people. Amazing Magnets will locate next to East/West Manufacturing, which is relocating from Austin to accommodate growth to sixty employees.
Last week, we were very excited to work with the Type B Board and the Round Rock City Council to approve a relocation package for Ametrine. You can see the full press release here. The numbers tell the exciting story: 140+ new jobs all in the defense industry with over $8.5 million of investment.
These firms are all innovation-based companies seizing growth opportunities in this rapidly changing environment. They are not alone in coming to the region and looking at Round Rock as a potential home. This is why I’m still optimistic about the year to come. It has been a strong start to the year in economic development, and we are building on this foundation daily.