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Press Release

The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development and Retail Strategies Host Texas Rural Retail Academy


CONTACT: Courtney Hall
Retail Strategies

BIRMINGHAM, AL (February 28, 2023) – The Texas Rural Retail Academy is scheduled to take place at the downtown campus of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) on March 1 and 2. Hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development and Retail Strategies, leaders from six Texas communities will attend the two-day Retail Academy program. Participating communities include Breckenridge, Clarendon, Eastland, Haskell, Poteet, and Vernon.

“Texas communities need additional support and resources now more than ever coming out of the pandemic,” said Matthew Jackson, Director of the Texas Rural Retail Academy program at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development. “Retail Academy will be instrumental in providing the critical tools to our communities to help boost retail and bolster small businesses. This is UTSA’s 2nd Texas Rural Retail Academy and participating communities receive invaluable data on consumers in their community and education on retail and real estate. Each community will walk away with a strategic retail economic development plan and the skills needed to execute that plan.”

Developed by Retail Strategies, Retail Academy educates communities nationwide on best practices to attract new retail and restaurants while providing resources to support and grow existing local businesses. The UTSA Texas Rural Retail Academy program is funded in part through a Rural Business Development grant awarded to UTSA from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“We are proud to bring the Retail Academy program to Texas communities again, with help from the UTSA Institute for Economic Development and the USDA,” said Madeline Farr, Director of Retail Academy.

“The business-friendly climate in Texas is extremely helpful for the communities that attend our program. The growth in the state is reaching these rural markets and with retailers evolving expansion plans, a lot of those brands look at secondary and tertiary markets. We are giving community leaders the tools they need to capitalize on that growth.”

Madeline Farr, Director of Retail Academy

The two-day event will be held at the UTSA downtown campus located at 501 W Cesar E Chavez Blvd, in the Durango building, River Walk room 1.124B on March 1 from 1p.m.-4p.m. and March 2 from 8a.m.-12p.m.

About Retail Academy

Retail Academy is a program developed from the leading national retail advisory firm, Retail Strategies. The program assists communities in strengthening their retail landscape. Communities will be trained and equipped with the tools and education necessary to attract new retailers to their markets, while providing support to their existing local businesses.

Learn more at

About The University of Texas at San Antonio & Institute for Economic Development

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property – for Texas, the nation and the world.

The UTSA Institute of Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. Their many centers and programs provide professional business advising, technical training, research, market analysis, and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders.

For more information visit

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