AQUA BOOK 2014 II - Page 4

COASTAL BEND BUSINESS PROFILE T llllllllllll llllllllllll he Coastal Bend economy is supported by approximately 50,000 firms and a total of 13,000 business establishments. Some, like the oil refineries and industrial plants in the Corpus Christi Port District, are remarkably large, each hiring thousands of employees. Yet the majority of businesses, the backbone of the local economy, are fairly small. Most local familyowned restaurants and auto repair shops, for instance, operate with no more than 10 full-time employees. On average, a business in the region hires 18.6 employees. In addition to a large portion of the workforce that is selfemployed, many individuals run their business without hiring any employee. Business Establishments, 2001–2014 Source: EMSI Analyst Online Coastal Bend Business Establishments by Industry, 2014 Business Trends The growth trend of businesses in the Coastal Bend has lagged behind the rest of the nation. The region gained only 4 percent in business establishments between 2001 and 2014, less than one-third of the national growth rate at 15 percent. Over this same period, the region’s employment grew 16 percent. The faster growth rate in the employment level than the growth rate in number of businesses means that the typical business has expanded in terms of the number of employees. Since 2001, the typical business in the Coastal Bend has added nearly two employees. Judging by the number of business establishments across industries, the Coastal Bend economy is well diversified. The largest sector is retail trade, which accounts for no more than 15 percent of all businesses in the region. Other major sectors are health care (12% of total businesses), and accommodation and food services (11%). The majority of vendors in those three sectors are, however, relatively small. Source: EMSI Analyst Online Large and Small Businesses Average Firm Size by Sales Volume, 2013 While businesses in the Coastal Bend appear to be evenly distributed across different industries, firms in certain industries are substantially larger than firms in other industries. The accompanying bar chart shows the average firm sizes of different industries as measured by the firms’ annual sales volumes. The sales volume per firm across all industries in the region averaged at $2.9 million in 2013. The average firm in the manufacturing industry generated nearly 10 times the regional average. Together, all firms in that industry accounted for nearly 60 percent of all sales generated in the region. The utilities industry is second in terms of sales per business establishment ($25 million), but because of its much smaller number of firms, that industry generated only 2 percent of the regional sales volume. On the contrary, many retail trade Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts vendors tend to be relatively small, with an average of $1.3 million, but their large number makes the sector the second largest in terms of sales. 2 Review of South Texas Business Conditions