Businesses Thrive In Amarillo, TX

Kevin Carter, President & CEO, Amarillo Economic Development Corp. discusses how the largest city in the Texas Panhandle offers workforce and incentives for companies to succeed.

By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2023 Issue

Business Facilities: Tell us about Amarillo, TX and what the city offers to businesses.

Amarillo, Texas
Kevin Carter, President & CEO, Amarillo Economic Development Corp.

Carter: Amarillo, TX is growing faster than ever, and its convenient location, strong workforce, and welcoming community are no longer a secret to businesses. Amarillo’s assets extend far beyond its agricultural commodities and vast land resources, too. The Texas Panhandle’s economy encompasses a diverse group of industries, from livestock and food technologies to renewable energy and logistics. With a record year of economic development activity, it is clear to see that Amarillo is an ideal location to take root and grow a thriving business. Amarillo has welcomed projects that align with the Panhandle community being a pioneer of innovation.

BF: What is a recent notable expansion project in Amarillo?

Carter: The Amarillo EDC recently completed a project with Coast Packing. They’ve been around for a century. Coast Packing was founded in 1922 as a livestock and meat-packing business and expanded over the years. Coast Packing is a beef lard processor that produces specialized products for cooking food to the best quality. Their efforts to be a leader in the food industry aligned with Amarillo as a hub of global food production.

The new facility will double its manufacturing capabilities. The first project phase will consist of a 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility along with an R&D test kitchen for hosting global customers. The second phase of the project will expand the facility to 100,000 square feet as Coast grows its customer base and diversifies its products. This project is expected to have a capital expenditure of over $30 million and to create 40 new jobs.

Amarillo, Texas
Home to the Double-A affiliate team Amarillo Sod Poodles, Hodgetown baseball park opened in 2019. (Credit: Photo: Amarillo Economic Development Corporation)

BF: What type of incentives did this project receive?

Carter: The Amarillo EDC offered a traditional Job Creation Incentive of $12,000 per FTE for up to 60 employees paid out over five years and a Land Conveyance of about 30 acres. The unique portion of this project was to assist with rail access as that was a crucial factor in Coast Packing’s location decisions. The Amarillo EDC offered rail site improvement up to $1,000,000 for a needed rail switch and industry track.

BF: Why do businesses choose to relocate or expand in Amarillo?

Carter: We always say we have an easy sell. Our community and its people make Amarillo an easy place to live and do business. When companies spend any amount of time here, they realize the unique Panhandle spirit of neighbors rooting for one another to succeed. Yes, Amarillo has a favorable business climate. With wide open spaces of available land, aggressive incentives, transportation infrastructure, and a strong workforce, it makes practical sense to be located in Amarillo. However, it’s the genuineness of our people that makes it easy to find community and build a fruitful life.

BF: What does the future hold?

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Carter: Amarillo’s deep roots in tenacity from pioneering this region to create a sustainable, thriving community continues to allow businesses to grow and succeed. As companies continue to monitor their best chances for success, location, and workforce are key factors. Amarillo will continue to collaborate regionally to find innovative solutions and provide the right environment for businesses, families, and individuals to build and sustain legacies of prosperity.