Study: Bastrop County ranks 7th in fastest-growing local economies

7 Jan 2020

Bastrop County earned a berth on a top 10 list of fastest-growing local economies of 2019, according to a recent study.

The financial technology company SmartAsset ranks Bastrop County seventh on its list of counties experiencing the highest rates of business growth in 2019. The study determined Bastrop County experienced a 14% growth in business last year, as determined by GDP growth, the number of new building permits issued and federal funding received by each county.

The measurement was determined by factoring together the county’s $232 million GDP growth, the 5.7 new building permits issued per 1,000 homes, and $45 per capita of federal funding spent on Bastrop County businesses. According to the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, around 30 new businesses came to town this past year.

It is the first time the county took a top 10 spot since the group started releasing data in 2015.

“I truly feel like 2019 is going to be the year where we’re going to look back and say, ‘remember when,’” said Bastrop chamber President and CEO Becki Womble. “There’s a culmination of so many things right now that have been in the works for a while that all come together and are true indicators that we’re poised for greatness right now.”

Those indicators, Womble said, have been rolling in all year.

In August, the Art Institute of Austin announced it was relocating its Round Rock campus to Bastrop. Later that month, the city completed the $1.25 million extension of Agnes Street to pave the way for Ascension Seton’s $30 million neighborhood hospital, which opened along Texas 71 last month. In July, the Texas Department of Transportation kicked off construction of a $50.4 million project to build frontage road bridges along Texas 71 over the Colorado River in Bastrop. And in December, the Bastrop City Council approved a $1.75 million contract that will rehabilitate Main Street, a project that began last week.

But perhaps the most auspicious economic evolution that happened in the city this past year, said Mayor Connie Schroeder, was the completion of the city’s building block codes — the year-long rewrite of the city’s land-use regulations. The streamlined and user-friendly code will help grease the wheels for efficient and responsible development in 2020 and beyond, Schroeder said.

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