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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
May 13, 2008

Comptroller Susan Combs Launches New
Web Portal to Economic Resources

(AUSTIN) —Texas Comptroller Susan Combs today unveiled Texas Ahead, a one-stop Web portal to economic resources for growing and governing Texas. The new Web site at www.texasahead.org provides targeted resources for businesses, local governments and economic development professionals, giving them vital information they need when making decisions about doing business in Texas or planning for economic growth.

“Government has a wealth of data and resources that can help support the economic growth of communities throughout Texas,” Combs said. “Texas Ahead is designed to bring this information together in one place.”

Texas Ahead offers a wide array of economic data and analysis including:

  • An in-depth look at the forces driving the Texas economy, including a regular economic outlook by the Comptroller and charts of leading indicators;
  • Snapshots of key Texas industries and economic sectors;
  • Rankings showing where Texas stands among the states on key factors;
  • Economic development success stories that provide valuable guidance and models worth imitating;
  • Detailed explanations of tools available to assist local governments in their economic development and governing efforts;
  • Overviews of the local economies in Texas’ various regions and the challenges and opportunities they face; and
  • Useful links to a wide variety of publications and data of interest to local officials who want to stay ahead of trends shaping the Texas economy.

Texas Ahead also features a high-profile link to Texas EDGE, the Comptroller’s popular online tool for creating or requesting customized, tightly focused reports to guide economic development decisions. Texas EDGE users can get up-to-date information on the population, demographics, transportation, education, taxes and other economic factors in various geographic areas of Texas.

“Texas EDGE supplies key economic data; Texas Ahead helps put the data in context,” Combs said. “Together, these two online resources provide easy access to information essential for accurate planning, effective economic analysis and smart business site selections.”

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Since Texas EDGE debuted in August 2007, economic developers, local planners, elected officials, students and other researchers have used the system to help prepare information packages to attract new businesses, compare existing businesses, analyze local work force and employment trends and research commuting patterns and traffic counts. By request through Texas EDGE, Comptroller analysts supplied projections of future population growth to help a Val Verde County daycare center decide whether to expand. Smith County requested a report to determine the economic impact of adding 115 correctional jobs. The Alice/Jim Wells County Economic Development Corporation used Texas EDGE to request an estimate of the economic impact of a biomedical research center.

“Texas has the world’s 12th largest economy,” Combs said. “Texas Ahead helps us tell Texas’ economic story to the world: We mean business and stand ready to help businesses and local communities grow and prosper along with the state.”

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Find details on all the services of the Comptroller’s office at www.window.state.tx.us, including a transparent look at state spending at www.window.state.tx.us/wherethemoneygoes.

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