Economic Development

The Union Plaza Request for Interest (RFI) has been extended through Friday, April 26, 2024.
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Business Development

The Business Development Division is dedicated to our business community, acknowledging their importance and contribution to our city’s job growth and economic development. With a successful and thriving business climate, we work in collaboration with our local and state partner organizations to recruit, retain, and expand businesses.

The Business Retention and Expansion Task Force, a community partnership, collaboratively works to improve El Paso’s business climate, ensuring that local businesses have the tools and resources they need to succeed and grow.

If you would like to start your own business in the state of Texas, check out the Chamber of Commerce's guidelines from securing funding to drafting a business plan. Find a list of additional helpful resources and a list of the nation's leading business mentoring networks.

 Newly released 2024-2025 Texas Business Licenses & Permits Guide

Business Development Division

Partner Organizations

These partner organizations are supporting El Paso businesses in many different ways. From advising, and business growth assistance to training and networking, let us help you. Below is a list of all our partners, link on their links for more details:

  • South-West Texas Border Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network: Provides one-on-one business advising, technical assistance, training programs, advocacy, and research services. Many have been business owners themselves and understand what it takes to build a successful business.
  • Better Business Bureau Paso del Norte: Serves Texas in El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, and Presidio Counties and the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. They work to promote marketplace trust by accrediting businesses that have pledged to adhere to the BBB's Ethical Standards so consumers can have confidence in their marketplace decisions.
  • El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: Leading resource for businesses and a strong advocate in supporting the growth of the El Paso Border Metroplex. Provides contracting opportunities, financial lending assistance, HUB certifications, training, advocating, networking, and advertising.
  • El Paso Chamber: Provides high-quality opportunities for connecting, coaching, advocating, and innovating that drive excellence in and around El Paso.
  • Workforce Solutions Borderplex: Non-profit opportunity incubator, personalizing the career path and connecting the right people to the right positions. Resources and programs are available for job seekers and employers.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration – El Paso District Office: The SBA helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses. They provide access to capital, entrepreneurial development, government contracting, and advocacy.
  • SBA Veteran-owned Businesses Resources: Devoted exclusively to promoting veteran entrepreneurship. SBA programs provide access to capital and preparation for small business opportunities. They can also connect veteran small business owners with federal procurement and commercial supply chains.
  • Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council: Focuses on certifying, developing, connecting, and advocating for minority-owned businesses. The SMSDC services Southwest Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico and has offices in Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso.
  • Contract Opportunities Center (PTAC): The Contract Opportunities Center provides specialized and professional assistance to individuals and businesses seeking to learn about contracting and subcontracting opportunities, who are actively seeking to contract and subcontracting opportunities and/or performing under contracts and subcontracts with DOD, other federal agencies, or state and local governments.
  • Pioneers 21: Pioneers 21 fosters the creative and economic potential of the region. The non-profit organization and business incubator provides direct business assistance, mentoring, networking, access to capital and talent, other technical resources, and shared office space and equipment.
  • Project Vida: Microenterprise Technical Assistance Program: The mission of the program is to support microenterprises succeed, by providing them quality one-on-one coaching and tools that will help their business development. We help with licensing, taxes, permits, bookkeeping, access to capital, financial and digital literacy workshops, business plan development, and more.
  • El Paso Collaborative for Community and Economic Development: El Paso Collaborative is a local Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides equal access to affordable housing, education, access to capital, and lending opportunities to businesses. The organization's loan products are micro and small business loans, business expansion, home improvement, short-term mortgage/ refinance, credit building loans, and affordable housing and community facility loans to nonprofits. Loans range from $500 to $60,000 interest rates do not exceed 10% in terms 1-5 years.

Veteran-Owned Businesses

Veterans have many opportunities to take advantage of if they own or plan to own/create a business. The following is a list of services the City of El Paso offers:

  • Get verified with the Vets First Verification Program: The Vets First Verification Program affords verified firms owned and controlled by Veterans and Service-disabled Veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set-asides and sole-source contracts.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration, Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Program: VBOC is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.
  • Veteran Entrepreneur Program (VEP): The VEP provides veteran entrepreneurs and veteran small businesses the tools they need to start or grow their businesses. Direct contacts can be found here.
  • The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) has several programs to help veteran careers and entrepreneurs.
  • ARSENAL: Success in Entrepreneurship and Small Business: Portfolio of programs that walk veteran and spouse entrepreneurs through any phase of a business: ideation, start-up, and growth with a multitude of resources.
  • Onward to Opportunity (O2O): A career skills program that provides civilian career training, professional certifications and employment services support to transitioning service members, members of the Reserves or National Guard, veterans, and military spouses.
  • Boots to Business (B2B): For those interested in exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities by leading them through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and providing foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan.
  • Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-Wise): A women-focused training program in entrepreneurship and small business management that provides tools, ongoing support, and business mentorship to veterans, active duty service members, and military spouses aspiring to become successful entrepreneurs.
  • Resource Guide for Veteran-Owned Businesses: This is a resource guide for how to start a business, find funding and gain customers as a veteran business owner.