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Retail Academy


Sweetwater Economic Development
Miesha Adames



Sweetwater Economic Development Presents Sweetwater’s Acceptance into the Retail Academy:

In February of 2020, Sweetwater Economic Development applied for a grant through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to participate in the Retail Academy held by The University of Texas at San Antonio and Retail Strategies. On Monday, August 31st, 2020, Sweetwater received word that the USTA has received and processed approval for the grant from the USDA and are ready to move forward with the program, and Sweetwater was one of six communities chosen. The Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce and Sweetwater Economic Development will be partnering to represent Sweetwater. The initial kickoff call will be on September 10th. The final product of the academy will be delivered in July of 2021 and will hopefully guide us to retail establishments or restaurants that may be interested in locating in Sweetwater.

The final six of 30+ applicants were selected based on need from a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Demographics such as population, unemployment, poverty rate and income provided the quantitative data while the qualitative analysis was based on our application response.  The Retail Academy can cost upwards of $10,000, but with the USDA grant, there is no cost to our community. By participating in this program, communities are equipped with critical market data and education that will enable them to market their community to desired business. Upon completion of the program, Sweetwater will be provided with a Printed Binder and Supporting Electronic Documents including (1) Retail Trade Area from Mobile Data Analysis, (2) Psychographic Analysis, (3) GAP Analysis, (4) Peer Analysis & Retailer Void, and (5) Blue Book including Deal Terms. The community leaders that are participating will also be provided a retail prospect list with site selection criteria and will complete 6 hours of education online.

The Retail Academy will hopefully provide us with a Retail Recruitment Plan that is custom to our community that will help us possibly expand our retail base.