CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Population in the city of Falfurrias has declined since the 1950's. That's why the city is finding creative ways to attract residents and businesses.
The city of Falfurrias took a historically old H-E-B, then later Dollar General and turned it into aFalfurrias Economic Development Accelerator facility.
The Falfurrias Economic Development Accelerator is a facility that already exists in bigger cities but is fairly new in rural areas. The facility has multiple uses.
"Basically what the gist of the building is, is to provide workforce development, training opportunities, as well as business services for businesses that would like to come into our city," Falfurrias City Manager Andy Garcia said.
The city used the leftovers of its state and local fiscal recovery funds to establish the facility. Those funds were meant to recover economically from the pandemic.
The city hopes to see any business ideas that will positively impact the community and its residents.
"We hope to get an increase quality of life for our residents because they're able to shop here, even work here," Garcia said. "We can improve new business that are already here and build that talent that’s able to work for those businesses. We can get them jobs within the community."
Businesses who rent out spaces can use the facility for free Wi-Fi, printing and meeting with customers.
But that's not the only use the new building has to offer. It will offer free resources for community members like resume building, certifications, FAFSA assistance and learning new trades.
Ann Marie Torres, a career navigator for UpSKILL Coastal Bend, has already set up her spot at the facility and said she was ready to get others started. Torres is already looking into setting up a resume building class.
"From what I understand, no one has a facility like this, an accelerator," Torres said. "So it's going to be phenomenal to see that spark light up the rest of the communities around this and get them started on the same path."
Garcia said this is just one of the many projects that the city will take on to adapt to a modern way of doing things. The city of Falfurrias still has 10,000 square feet available for use.
Over the next year they plan to create commercial space for larger businesses to use for store fronts.
For those interested in renting out business space in the facility, call (361)325-2420 or visit the location at 120 W. Rice St., Falfurrias, TX, 78355.