The Brazos Valley’s multi-faceted efforts by multiple entities to assist companies during the pandemic have earned recognition in the most coveted awards in Texas economic development.
An entry submitted by the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation (BVEDC) on behalf of the entire community won in the Texas Economic Development Council’s (TEDC) Community Economic Development Awards. The category was a special one for the 2021 edition of the CEDAs: Resilience and Recovery, with a focus on “programs, initiatives and efforts to promote economic resilience and/or facilitate economic recovery related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As it does each year, the Brazos Valley competed against the state’s largest metropolitan areas in the CEDAs. The awards were presented October 14 as part of the TEDC Annual Conference in Fort Worth.
In the application, the BVEDC spotlighted a variety of tiers of the region’s 2020 response to the pandemic’s effects on the community and its businesses, including:
Operation Restart, the public-private task force formed to give guidance to business owners on safely reopening their businesses and the local economy
The Brazos Valley COVID-19 Community Relief Fund spearheaded by the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley, United Way of the Brazos Valley, the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce and local jurisdictions, which raised more than $1 million and assisted more than 100 small businesses and 12 non-profits
At Home in B/CS, the community-wide marketing campaign to foster a sense of unity during lockdowns and provide information on businesses adapting their offerings
BVEDC outreach to existing local companies to ensure their access to resources and information needed to overcome challenges
This is the second consecutive year the Brazos Valley has earned a CEDA from the TEDC. For the 2020 awards, the BVEDC submitted and won for FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ local expansion. The $120 million capital investment included a 65,000 sq. ft. gene therapy facility at the company’s Biocorridor location.
The CEDAs were established in 1995 and recognize contributions to Texas communities in business retention, expansion and recruitment, as well as community involvement.
The BVEDC has also received the TEDC’s Economic Excellence Recognition each of the past two years. The honor goes to organizations meeting a desired threshold of professionalism in the economic development industry. Of the more than 850 members of the TEDC, the BVEDC was one of 51 economic development organizations which earned the most recent set of recognitions.
“Brazos County residents have stepped up to the substantial challenges of the pandemic each day. That includes our business owners and employees. Our entrepreneurial spirit is strong in the Brazos Valley, so for community leaders across the spectrum, there was no other option but to step up and help, especially in the early, uncertain months of the crisis. The trials have made our spirit stronger. We appreciate the acknowledgement of our efforts by the Texas Economic Development Council.” -Duane Peters, Brazos County Judge
“The TEDC’s Community Economic Development Award is a testimony of the Brazos Valley’s sustained and steadfast efforts to improve the region’s economic status and diversity. This being the second consecutive year that the community has won the award, it is proper and fitting to also acknowledge the teamwork of the entire BVEDC administration and staff and their dedication to making the Brazos Valley a better place to live and work. On behalf of the elected officials, city staff and residents of the City of College Station, congratulations on receiving this award and a job very well done.” -Karl Mooney, College Station Mayor
“We often talk about ‘two cities, one community’ in the Brazos Valley, both in the best of times and the more difficult ones. The City of Bryan was proud to join with our other local jurisdictions, the private sector, non-profits and other entities to offer assistance to our business community through the pandemic. My thanks to the Texas Economic Development Council for recognizing this total team effort and another example of why doing business in the Brazos Valley is special.” -Andrew Nelson, Bryan Mayor
"The growing momenutum and success of the Brazos Valley in economic growth, even through difficult times, is in no small part due to the partnership and collaboration of so many people and organizational assets in the region. This recogintion by the Texas Economic Development Council confirms the critical role of our partnerships and assets, including the BVEDC, in this success." -Greg Hartman, Texas A&M University Chief Operations Officer