The COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic upheaval had a negative impact on business supply chains, workers, and communities in Texas and around the globe. This upheaval exacerbated existing business challenges, particularly for small- and minority-owned businesses. Along with its challenges, the downturn presented opportunities to build on trends that were emerging prior to the pandemic, including the reshoring of manufacturing and other sectors. A statewide approach to help Texas businesses “reboot” and leverage these accelerated trends stood to position the state for recovery and resilience going forward. With nearly a century of experience and 200 local chamber of commerce partners, the Texas Association of Business (TAB) was uniquely equipped to spearhead a coordinated effort and craft an actionable response.
In 2021, the Texas Association of Business and Chamber of Commerce (TABCC) Foundation, in conjunction with TAB, engaged TIP Strategies to help conduct a business-focused look at the challenges and opportunities associated with established and emerging strategic sectors, with the goal of positioning the state for post-pandemic economic growth. Through a combination of quantitative analysis, best practices research, and intensive stakeholder engagement (including focus groups, interviews, sector roundtables, and townhall sessions), TIP prepared a business development and attraction strategy and implementation plan that sought to quantify and leverage Texas’ advantages to attract greater shares of supply chains in key sectors. The resulting strategy presents a broad overview of the state economy and its key drivers, including profiles of industrial and business sectors impacted by COVID-19, a supply chain analysis for impacted sectors, and recommendations concerning talent strategies, incentives, infrastructure, entrepreneurship, and business attraction and retention as key areas of focus for reshoring and rebooting efforts. The strategy also provides an implementation plan that leverages TAB’s extensive experience coordinating statewide policy to build capacity and ensure partner organizations across the state’s diverse markets are ready to carry out the strategies and initiatives that result from this work.