McAllen Negotiating to Bring In Several Businesses Operating Out of Mexico
MCALLEN – A commerce development agency is negotiating to bring 11 companies, currently operating in Mexico, to the Rio Grande Valley.
The McAllen economic Development Corporation reported the unemployment rate in its city stands at 5.5 percent. It is more than one percentage point higher than the national average of 4.3 percent.
Businessman Yamil Tueme believes more jobs is what we need. Five years ago, he fulfilled a dream of his and opened up a restaurant in downtown McAllen.
Tueme said he supports six employees, but the signs have not been good for him recently.
"The beginning of 2016 and onward, started a downward slope a little bit. A lot of businesses left downtown," he said.
Tueme applauded the idea of more companies moving from Mexico to McAllen. He believes more jobs are what will bolster the downtown McAllen economy.
"The more people employed, the more people have more money to spend and there will be more money spent here in our place," he said.
Keith Patridge with the McAllen EDC added the local economy is changing. He said it’s because companies operating in Mexico understand this year's renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, will impact them.
He said leaders with these companies started to believe it will be more profitable to move to the U.S., near the border.
Eleven companies operating out of Mexico have contacted his organization this year to talk about a move to McAllen. The McAllen EDC said they’re currently working to bring the companies to town, but will have to negotiate with them for some time.
"From the time we first talk to a company, to the time they make a decision – where they start signing and building a building or revamping a building or remodeling a building – generally is 18 months," he said.
Patridge told CHANNEL FIVE NEWS he believes the city will seal the deal with two of these companies soon. He estimates they will bring in a combined 600 to 800 jobs. He added other jobs will come with building their facilities.
"That would be construction. That would be tax revenues for the municipality. It would be wages that would be coming in to the community," he said.
Patridge believes these new businesses will have a substantial impact on the local economy. The Mexican-operated businesses in talks with McAllen are from all types of industries.
He added the list includes automotive, medical and consumer products.