Ads look to fortify Fort Bend with business

October 19, 2009 5:31:17 PM PDT
Fort Bend County wants residents to pack up and move slightly south.The county and some of its largest cities and industries are combining forces to create a five-year marketing campaign to make Fort Bend the place to move your business and your family in the US.

Commercials have been produced and airtime has been purchased to attract startup or relocated businesses to the area.

"We really want people to know where Fort Bend County is, who we are and what we are," said Tom Wilcox with the Planned Community Developers.

There are billboards and magazine ads, too. The $500,000-a-year campaign touts recent accolades, including being named the number one county in employment growth in the nation by the US Labor Department. Add to that the lack of a state income tax, a low-tax burden and economic development, and officials say starting a business here is a no brainer.

"With what's going on in our world, we have to do what we can to get back on the streets, spending money hopefully," said supporter Jabo Jabo Green.

Minute Maid recently moved its corporate headquarters and nearly 300 jobs to Fort Bend, and Escalante's just opened their first restaurant ever outside of Houston.

"We're doing pretty good," said general manager Abundio Reyes with the eatery.

Reyes said opening doors in Sugar Land has been fruitful, nearly matching the revenue of its existing locations.

"Business is OK," Reyes said. "Even with the economy, we're doing OK. We're very happy and excited here."

There is an online component to the campaign. Visit the county's Web site.

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