Press Release

The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Valdez Institute for Economic Development Hosts 3rd Annual Texas Rural Retail Academy


CONTACT: Katelyn Little
Retail Strategies

SAN ANTONIO, TX (April 11, 2024) – The Texas Rural Retail Academy is set to occur at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) downtown campus on April 17 and 18. The event, a collaboration between the UTSA’s Valdez Institute for Economic Development and Retail Strategies, will welcome leaders from three Texas communities for the two-day workshop. Andrews, Jacksonville, and Joshua are the participating communities this year.

“Texas communities need additional support and resources now more than ever,” said Matthew Jackson, Director of the UTSA Texas Rural Retail Academy program at the Valdez Institute for Economic Development. “The Texas Rural Retail Academy is vital in equipping our communities with essential data, technical assistance, training and marketing materials to attract retail and strengthen small businesses. This year marks the third Texas Rural Retail Academy, providing participating communities with a comprehensive retail economic development strategy and the know-how to implement it.”

Retail Academy, an initiative by Retail Strategies, instructs communities across the country on effective methods to attract new retail and dining options, along with aiding the growth of existing local businesses. The UTSA Texas Rural Retail Academy is partially supported by a Rural Business Development Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“We are thrilled to offer the Retail Academy program once more to Texas communities, thanks to the support from the UTSA Valdez Institute for Economic Development and the USDA,” expressed Madeline Farr, Director of Retail Academy. “Texas’ business-friendly environment greatly benefits the communities participating in our program. With the state’s growth extending to these rural areas, many brands are exploring secondary and tertiary markets for expansion. Our program arms community leaders with the necessary tools to leverage this growth.”

The event will take place in the Durango building at the UTSA Downtown Campus, located at 501 W Cesar E Chavez Blvd, in the River Walk room 1.124B. The Academy will run April 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on April 18 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

About The University of Texas at San Antonio & Valdez 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 Valdez 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.

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About Retail Strategies

Retail Strategies is the national expert in community development and retail economic development. Our mission is to provide the real estate expertise, tools, and human effort that position deserving towns as alluring locations for national businesses and destinations for tourism and quality-of-life amenities. We confidently pursue this mission by delivering unparalleled customer service as a unified team with unmatched real estate and community development expertise. Our activities pay a return in sales taxes, added jobs, and businesses that enhance and add to the unique qualities of your community.

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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.

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