Category Archives: Chamber News

The Health Service Sector in McAllen Sees Unprecedented Growth

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It may not come as much of a surprise that the health service sector in the McAllen metro area is one of the leading industries of the region. But when we begin to look at the sheer numbers and affect the medical field has had on the local economy and job growth, it’s quite difficult not to be left astounded. Since 2000, the health service sector (in addition to the education sector) has grown by more than 150%. As the two fastest growing industries in the last 17 years, education and health services account for 47% of all net jobs added to the McAllen House Market Area (HMA). Amazingly, during the 12 months prior to March 2017, these two sectors once again had the highest job growth at a fantastic 4.9%. That is a positive increase of 3,200 jobs during that 12 month time frame. This expanded the total number…

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Why Men Are Not Working

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There is a growing trend in the United States that could have far reaching ramifications for our labor force over the next ten years – fewer men are working. Social scientists are still trying to understand the underlying reasons for the decline. The year 2000 now appear to be he high watermark for work and employment for men in the United States. Here are a couple of underlying causes: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) averaged 2.3% annual growth from 1948 to 2000. After 2000, it has averaged less than 1.5 percent. Slower growth and more technology mean fewer new jobs. Jobs that were lost in 2001 and in the 2008 “great recession” are not coming back. In 2017, we finally reached pre-2008 job numbers. The job market is taking longer to come back. For every officially unemployed American man between the ages of 25 and 55, there are another three who…

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The Power of Pain

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The power of pain has such a great influence on us and our decisions. Human nature tells us to build systems and processes to avoid pain. We want things easy. The 21st century and technology have made things easy and mostly painless in the United States. As humans, we don’t like pain and we avoid it every day. Do I get up off the couch and go do something physical or do I just keep sitting? Do you allow emotional impulses to direct your decisions? If you have teenagers, you know that most teenagers look for the easy way forward. When asked why they made a certain decision, they will respond, because “they felt like it.” Unfortunately, that attitude of making decisions based on how you feel at the moment has carried forward into adult life for many people today. We are unwilling and unable to make sacrifices or to…

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Application for being one of the Top 5 Small Businesses in McAllen

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Criteria: Please provide enough information and documentation to support your answers Your business has to consist of no more than 200 employees to qualify as a small business Your business was established before 2012 Your business has had a consistent record of employment in the last two years Your business has had a steady increase in sales over the last three years (no hard numbers just percentage increases) Your business has demonstrated consistent community involvement in the last two years Your business has improved or expanded its product and/or services through expansion and/or innovation Your business operates a location in the McAllen area 2016 RECIPIENTS McAllen Country Club The Dry Room Alberico Fine Wine Mail Pak Your Box Store Texas Border Business 2014 Recipients Melba’s Dance Studio Clark Chevrolert Carats Image House Media Verturo Interests 2013 Recipients Embroidme House Wine & Bistro Major Health Foods McCreert Aviation Co., Inc. The…

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Six Traits to Get Through Hardships and Trials

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There were a couple of college courses I did not want to take because the teachers and their reputation for being really hard and and demanding. Unfortunately, I went to a small college and there was no getting around the courses — there were no passes. There are no passes with trials and hardships in life. We don’t get a pass on dealing with hard things, difficult situations, or troublesome events or issues in life. We think other people have it so easy, but in reality, we all have experienced, or are going to experience, hardships and trials. Some people seem to deal so much more effectively with hardships than others, and I sometimes wonder what their secrets are in handling such difficult situations. Here are six key traits people have that help them handle hardships and trials: Faith. In our culture, we want to believe that if we are…

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Let the Games Begin: Economic Opportunity is Abundant During TAAF Games of Texas

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Summer may be nearing its end over for many of us, but that doesn’t mean McAllen is quite ready to call it quits. Starting July 27th, our great city will once again host the Games of Texas. These state championships, held annually by the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation, have a long and storied history. Local efforts to write another page in that story will go a long way toward continued economic growth and unity for both McAllen and the rest of the Rio Grande Valley. The approach that originally brought the Games of Texas to McAllen was unique because of our city’s unified front in bidding to host the games. While other cities have traditionally sent only their Convention and Visitors Bureau as representatives, McAllen sent a team that not only included representatives from our CVB but from our school district and city hall as well. That cohesive unit allowed…

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Tips on Networking

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Social media is a great tool, but it should not take the place of building relationships. Many times we think that, by surfing Facebook, we are connecting with people, but in reality, we are just cyber “stalkers.” We don’t know people, we just see the shell of what they want to present to the world. In this hyper-competitive world, true connecting and building relationships is becoming a lost art. The McAllen Chamber of Commerce is all about accelerating connections and building relationships. It is never easy, but it is a critical touchstone for success. When you start connecting with people, start with a clear understanding of your objectives and outcomes. If you are planning to attend a networking event, start with the goal of producing two solid leads for your business. With that goal in mind, research your contacts that were made at the networking event and follow up. In…

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Spreading the Word: McAllen Business and City Leaders Help to Promote McAllen in Mexico City

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The #SeeYouInMcAllen marketing campaign has been a remarkably orchestrated initiative that has further increased the visibility of the City of McAllen across multiple regions including the South Texas Triangle – which stretches from Laredo to Corpus Christi and back down to McAllen – as well as Northern Mexico and our own amazing Rio Grande Valley. But our sights have been set even higher. That’s why representatives from the City of McAllen, La Plaza Mall, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the McAllen-Miller International Airport all joined together in Mexico City to promote the excellent international destination that is McAllen. This McAllen group was supported by a number of Mexican businesses and organizations, including generous backing from Aeromar Airlines, which offers a direct flight to McAllen from Mexico City –  the only international destination of its kind. McAllen is Happening Known as McAllen Day, the event was…

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A Look Into Our Past Tells Us of Our Future

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The story of McAllen goes back more than 100 years. From a dusty little border town to the international metropolitan destination that it has become today, the history of our city not only offers us a glimpse into our past but reveals the perseverance that has made our community great. A perseverance and tenacity that endures and is the foundation for future success. Our place along the Rio Grande borderland has inextricably tied our past, and future, with our neighbors to the south. From the first Spanish settlements that were established in 1749 to modern times, our cross cultural heritage runs deeps. City leaders at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, the City of McAllen, and McAllen Economic Development Corporation believe that through some contemplation of our past, we can understand the road ahead. Small Beginnings McAllen was situated in a no-man’s land in the late 1800’s. It wasn’t until the…

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COSTEP – YOUR PATH TO FINANCIAL CONFIDENCE

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Patricia Beard, President Credit: one word that can devastate someone’s life if the credit is deemed “bad.” On the other hand, “good” credit will find new cars, homes, and all manner of items acquirable, which could then land one in “bad” credit again if payments exceed the ability to pay. Tricky thing, that little word credit. But COSTEP, Council for South Texas Economic Progress, has a mission – teaching Valley residents everything they need to know about credit and financial literacy to become financially stable. “Since 2010 when the majority of student loans became a government program, our main goal at that time had been to service student loans. But we found ourselves taking a step back,” Patricia Beard, president, COSTEP, began. “We asked ourselves the question, ‘How can COSTEP continue to help the Valley?’ One answer, which became clear, was credit repair. We found numerous people were being taken…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – SARAH SAGREDO-HAMMOND, PRESIDENT

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Atlas Electrical, Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration and Plumbing Life for Sarah Sagredo-Hammond, president of Atlas Electrical, Air-conditioning, Refrigeration and Plumbing, began in North Dakota where her parents were field workers. “It was simply the only way to make money at that time,” Sarah said. When her father joined the Air Force, he changed the course of their whole family’s future. Learning electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning in the Air Force ultimately led him to open Atlas in 1982. “I was 10 when my dad opened the company with my mom,” she said. “By the age of 12, I would answer phones on weekends, dispatch the technicians and do collections.” Though she went to work for attorneys after graduation, she always kept her hand in the family business, working part time in the financial end of the company. In 2008, her brother, working with their father and mother at Atlas, came…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – MONICA VEGA

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One thing people will immediately realize when meeting the Director of Sales and Marketing of OGI Hotels, Monica Vega, is that this lady is enthusiastic. “I started with them nine years ago as night auditor,” she said. “The owners would call at 3 AM to check on the hotel. I was so cheerful they moved me to Front Desk day.” She’s been Front Desk AM and PM, Front Office Manager and General Manager, working at some point in all 14 of the company’s hotels across South Texas. But nothing has compared to her current position. “You’ve got to be a certain kind of crazy to thrive in the hotel industry,” she said. “What I love is that there’s something new and different every day. I also love how OGI is a family run business. If you work for Oceangate, you are a part of the Oceangate family.” Bringing that same…

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BOB GOODWIN AWARD WINNER

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Becoming a Bob Goodwin Award Winner takes a lot of work, persistence and love for the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Marie Perez exemplifies what a good Chamber member and a good Ambassador stand for, and she credits it all to Bob Goodwin. “When we moved down here in the late ‘70s, I became involved with the Chamber, joining the President’s Club, now the Ambassadors,” Marie explained. “I met Bob and would watch him work. He knew everybody because he went to everything, representing the Chamber and the bank he worked for. He was somebody special everyone knew, respected and loved. I thought to myself, ‘I want to be like him.’” Because she is so like Bob in many ways, selling over $10,000 worth of memberships, she has reached her goal. Marie believes her successful 28 year career in the hospitality industry, including her 11 years at the Tower Club, was…

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Eat. Play. Stay…And Live…in McAllen!

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McAllen is happening and our beautiful region continues to see meaningful growth and economic trends that point towards prolonged prosperity for the area. Through aggressive initiatives and marketing campaigns – such as #SeeYouinMcallen – city leaders from the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, McAllen EDC and City of McAllen offices are working diligently to promote McAllen businesses for shopping, playing, eating, and staying. While our primary goal with these marketing campaigns will continue to focus on drawing in tourists from various regions including northern Mexico, the South Texas Triangle, and our very own metropolitan area, it is worth noting that our marvelous city of McAllen is not only great to visit but to live in as well. Undoubtedly, our ability to thrive and remain a dynamic city not only depends on drawing in travelers but also attracting a permanent population of productive, innovative and skilled workers to enhance our civic and…

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9 Key Social Media Strategies to Help Your Business Succeed

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Change does indeed present opportunity and today’s social media driven world is the perfect catalyst to help businesses reach new audiences and meaningfully communicate with existing ones. There are 480,000 @Facebook users within a 25 mile radius of #McAllen. #socialmedia #marketing Understandably, though, it can be a bit difficult to keep up with social media trends as they seem to change on a daily basis. From posts to grams, tweets to snaps, there are an overwhelming number of social media marketing tools at your disposal. Despite the variety of options available to you, there are a few simple guidelines to help your social media presence be as effective as possible. A Few Points to Make Your Social Media Presence Shine! Your social media program should support your overall business and marketing goals. If you already have a social media presence, that’s a great start! Now it’s time to look at…

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