Home / Brand Stories / Is South Texas a Small Business Haven?

South Texas can be a challenging economic market in which to own and operate a business. The South Texas region includes 28 counties spanning about 37,800 square miles, and borders both Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico, up to San Antonio. The major metropolitan areas in South Texas are Brownsville-Harlingen, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission. People in the region speak both English and Spanish.

The population of the area has been growing steadily, with many residents being younger than the rest of Texas. More than 84 percent of South Texas is Hispanic, and the median household income is lower than that of the state. With its year-round warm weather, the Rio Grande Valley attracts many retirees during the winter months. As for the industries in which South Texans make their incomes, the most common in the area are:

  • Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing
  • Support Activities for Mining
  • Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing
  • Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping
  • Pipeline Transportation
  • Justice, Public Order, and Safety Activities
  • Support Activities for Transportation
  • Ambulatory Health Care Services
  • Oil and Gas Extraction
  • Museums and Historical Sites

Over the years, the South Texas market has changed as immigration has increased but travelers visiting Texas from Mexico have decreased dramatically. As the population of the area has grown, overbuilding has occurred in some areas, making competition stiffer among small business owners. Like the rest of the country, South Texas was affected by the Covid pandemic and saw a decrease in travelers to the area.

With a total population of more than 2.5 million people, South Texas is also home to seven universities and seven junior colleges, bringing other sources of income into the region. The coastline along the Gulf of Mexico and vacation destination of South Padre Island are also draws to South Texas.

Small business owners have found success with a variety of franchise opportunities in South Texas, including fast food chains, mid-level restaurant chains, big box stores, hotels, and self-storage facilities. The opportunities for economic success in South Texas are numerous, and entrepreneurs have flocked to the area partially due to its expected doubling in population by 2045.

High quality of life and low cost of living await those who venture to the Rio Grande Valley, as well as a bicultural community and an abundance of medical facilities. 

Hotelier Sunil Wadhwani has lived in South Texas for over 50 years and has been one of the entrepreneurs who has found great success in the area. He has done business in Brownsville, McAllen, Pharr, Weslaco, and San Antonio. While Sunil Wadhwani started out in retail and then moved on to real estate, he has spent the last two decades growing his motel and hotel portfolio. With eight properties including La Quinta Inns and Suites, Motel 6’s, and a Marriott TownePlace Suites, Sunil Wadhwani has enjoyed continual growth even as his clientele has changed and shifted over time. He has found that the Rio Grande Valley is a wonderful place to do business.

Even with nearly 1,000 rooms across his portfolio, Sunil Wadhwani of McAllen has his eye on additional properties, as well as more prestigious brand partnerships. As he moves into larger and higher-end facilities, he hopes to capitalize on the recent influx of travelers and residents to the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas itself is very welcoming of small businesses, with self-employed entrepreneurs and small business employers creating more than $1 trillion in economic impact each year. Thanks in part to laws that eliminate barriers to starting businesses, Texas offers the opportunity to live the American Dream to all its residents.

Sunil Wadhwani recalls growing up in Dallas and Brownsville as the child of immigrants and watching his parents find success as small business owners. Their example paved the way for Wadhwani to pursue his own ventures in the same South Texas region.

If you’re looking for a young, vibrant culture in which to start a business, South Texas is a great place to consider. While certain challenges exist, such as the necessity to be bilingual and the low median household income, the benefits are great. With the population expected to double within the next two decades, now is a great time to explore opportunities in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.

Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein. Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the view(s), opinion(s), announcement(s), declaration(s), affirmation(s) etc., stated/featured in the same.

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