Harlingen's economy continues to grow

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POSTED: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 4:38pm

UPDATED: Friday, June 20, 2014 - 8:35am

This year, Harlingen raked in $381,000 more than last year - this all according to the Texas Comptroller's Office report.

"We expected an increase but we actually received a bigger increase than we expected, which was about ten percent," said Harlingen Economic Development Corporation executive director Raudel Garza.

Major retailers like Sam's Club and Bass Pro Shops are a big contributor to Harlingen's growing economy."

"Sam's Club has been making a very large impact on the sales tax and they probably will continue making a large impact on sales tax revenues here in the city," said Garza. "In addition to Sam's Club, of course we have Bass Pro Shops that has been increasing their sales over last year."

Garza says even more big-name retailers like Melrose, Ulta and Cracker Barrel will be opening within the next two months. And given the track record of existing retail companies benefiting the city, officials expect these companies to significantly help the local economy in the near future.

"There's quite a few new businesses that are coming in, and it's all bringing the customers back into Harlingen," said Garza.

And of course, keeping people in the city and attracting more is the goal.

"They're coming home to Harlingen, they're staying here," said Garza. "The shopping's being done not in other places."

Officials say the sales tax revenue is used to provide the city with proper infrastructure, help businesses thrive and develop new projects.

"Within a 45-minute drive of Harlingen, you can reach 1.1 million people on the US side," said Garza. "No other location in the Valley can say that. So that's just one of the ways of saying, if you want to have one main location in the Valley, Harlingen is it."
 

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