Dodgen: Seguin welcoming to businesses

Dodgen: Seguin welcoming to businesses Main Photo

24 Jul 2022

City of Seguin, News, Retail

Donna Dodgen From The Mayor

Word is spreading fast that Seguin is one of the best kept secrets in south central Texas — not only for people who want to live in a growing community that radiates small-town charm, but we are also attracting the attention of business entrepreneurs.

While it’s exciting to have widely known retailers coming soon — Ross and Marshalls — it’s been interesting to watch vacant buildings being re-purposed into unique, small businesses you’ll only find in Seguin.

Over the past year and in recent months, new life has been breathed into a former elementary school campus, a house/real estate office near downtown, and a vacant restaurant building. While all are very distinct, they do share one thing in common — a fun place to go without having to leave Seguin.

In 2021, the Lizzie Burges Elementary School on Saunders Street was cleverly transformed into The Backyard. Classrooms were converted into a variety of pop-up shops and small eateries. The playground is now an outdoor space where all ages can enjoy yard games, food trucks, live music, market days and such. If you haven’t checked it out by now, I think you’ll be surprised that there’s something like this in Seguin!

Where can you find a gathering place with books, craft brews, wine and a small but yummy menu? At Seguin’s new and only independent bookstore — Pecantown Books & Brews — the owner has turned a little yellow house formerly used as an office on Camp Street into an upbeat place to stop in for a book and a bite. I’ve been told that Sunday brunch is coming soon, which is also unique in Seguin.

There’s also a new place that just opened up where you can throw axes for fun. After sitting abandoned for a couple years, one of our Seguin police officers and her husband completely gutted the Dixie Grille restaurant building at Interstate 10 and Highway 46 to create Texas Axeholes. The facility has several ax throwing lanes, pool tables and food trucks. There’s no other concept quite like it in Seguin.

I’m happy to say that even more small business transformations are currently in progress and plan to open soon!

I’m often asked “how do we get more retail stores and restaurants to come to Seguin?” I wish it was as easy as a phone call asking them to consider opening their business here. Unfortunately, that is not the case so, here’s a brief insight on the process.

For entrepreneurs, business owners or individuals wanting to bring a business to our community, it begins with a question: “Does this make good business sense and will I succeed?” They typically have a business plan and follow it. It’s wonderful that several of our new restaurants are business owners from surrounding towns — they see Seguin is a good place to be and are locating here!

For larger retail, restaurants and franchises, it starts by having relationships with a developer, real estate agent or a broker. Business is conducted through that agent. The city’s economic development team promotes Seguin to these groups at trade shows around Texas and the United States specifically geared toward retail development.

As we all know, relationships aren’t formed overnight. Often, an agent comes and does research without us ever knowing they were here. These developers consider the number of houses to support the business, major employers, household income and the retail trade area. Please know this is a process that takes time, and not all these things happen at once. Seguin is poised for retail growth. It will happen slowly, but surely.

I have to say I really did not understand how this all worked until I became involved in city government. I can promise you that we are telling our story and marketing the benefits of doing business in Seguin. Our goal is work, shop, eat and have fun in Seguin! We want you to be able to get all you want and need here in your hometown.

Please continue to be involved, ask questions, and give ideas — we want you to be a part of the solution.

I know We Can Do It – Together!