West Houston Economic Boom Echoes With Small Business Growth

The Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston has released the first economic study focused specifically on West Houston. It's an area commonly known as "the Energy Corridor," due to the many energy companies headquartered there.

The study compared West Houston with several other neighborhoods with similar levels of business activity. Bill Gilmer heads the Institute for Regional Forecasting.

“Compared to these other corridors — and really even compared to the Galleria — the highest wages paid in these comparisons, the largest payroll, and the fastest growing wages and the fastest growing compensation of individual workers really have all been found around that ground zero right out there in the Energy Corridor.”

The region is undergoing a construction boom, which is driving the creation of many small businesses. Jeannie Bollinger heads the Houston West Chamber of Commerce, which commissioned the study.

“For every building that you see, how many dry cleaners do you need to support those people? How many restaurants? How many theaters? How many retail shops?”

The study found West Houston boasts 20% more small businesses than the rest of Harris County.


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined News 88.7 in January 2011. Since arriving in Houston, he has reported on the many changes wrought on the region’s economy by the revolution in domestic oil and gas production. His non-energy reporting runs the gamut from white-collar crime to cattle ranching. His work has aired on...

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