San Angelo is seeing a number of businesses shutting down recently.
An Applebees Restaurant announced its closure while the local Neighbors Emergency Center–which just celebrated its 1 year anniversary–has announced it will close soon.
“Retail is always changing it’s always evolving and it’s always based on a fickle market. They’ll have a small group of local customers and sometimes they’ll stay loyal and sometimes they’ll move on to the next big thing,” explains San Angelo Chamber of Commerce Economic Development VP, Michael Looney.
Looney adds these closures are not the sign of a poor economy in San Angelo.
Evidence of this–and what may provide a boost to San Angelo’s economy–is the presence of “dragon products,” which manufactures the components and parts to make the oil field possible.
“They purchased the nov facility, which is at about 117,000 square feet, they closed on that in September,” he says. “They’re in the process of hiring an initial phase of 125 employees.”
Looney says the positive effects of an oil-parts manufacturer moving in are already being felt as more businesses begin to roll in.
He says the presence of an oil-related manufacturer could show other companies the importance of having a location near the Permian Basin, as San Angelo is.
This confidence is boosted further with oil prices ranging between 40 and 50 dollars per barrel.
“When that tracks for a couple of quarters and goes into a few years, you’re gonna find oil companies are a lot more confident because they spent all their heavy capital in 2014 or 2015 and now they can go back and finish with those wells they drilled so furiously back in ’14 and ’15.”