On April 12, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Richard Perez testified before the House Culture, Recreations & Tourism Committee in support of HB 2417. Sponsored by Vice Chair Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, HB 2417 will update the Texas Moving Image Industry incentive program. More specifically it would extend incentive opportunities for production facilities under the Texas Media Production Zone Act, which is designed to encourage the further development of permanent moving image production sites to help strengthen Texas’ economy.
The pandemic has accelerated the growth of global streaming video-on-demand subscriptions and consumption, thereby boosting demand for original content. HB 2417 updates current definitions to include streaming content and asks that as a state we place a particular focus and prioritization on:
- Production companies who invest in production infrastructure in Texas.
- Production companies located in “Underutilized Areas” across Texas.
- Content production companies and production infrastructure companies that focus on diverse storytelling and workforce participation.
HB 2417 will expand grant opportunities for studios located in underutilized and economically distressed areas that also focus on hiring from diverse ethnic background. Since studios will be built and maintained in Texas, HB 2417 will create new job opportunities for Texas residents. Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President of Texas A&M San Antonio recognized the direct positive impact the development of this industry will have on her students and the university’s footprint, as HB 2417 will assist in the investment in human capital, education, and relationship with educational institutions.
According to a 2021 economic impact study conducted by Mucho Más Media & Bardero Ventures, “Texas under-indexes key competitive U.S. states in terms of share of Film and TV production related employment, anywhere from 3-5 times on the low-end, and to 10-20 times on the high end.” Should Texas adopt new and more robust incentive structures for production facilities and infrastructure, the state stands to become a global content production hub, which would potentially create thousands of jobs, drive economic development, and give Texas a competitive edge over other U.S. content production hubs.
As a pro-business organization, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce supports recovery efforts and investment to address COVID-19 and helping local communities create jobs and reinvigorate Texas’ robust economy. San Antonio remains one of the fastest growing cities in our state with a population that stands to gain 1.1 million new residents by 2040. The capacity to create and tell inclusive and diverse stories for global audiences will continue to be in high demand.
Ultimately, this is about rebuilding our economy together and taking advantage of equally unprecedented changes to a thriving industry. HB 2417 is a way for us to grow an innovative industry to help achieve this goal. HB 2417 will enhance and diversity our state’s current investment in industry and infrastructure.