Survey: Pflugerville attracts diverse residents

Members of the Pflugerville business community say a recent U.S. Census Bureau survey showing the city’s diversity compared with its neighbors is a good indicator of economic growth.

The report—released by the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey in December—found minorities make up approximately 54 percent of the population in Pflugerville, compared to 47 percent in Round Rock and 32 percent in Cedar Park.

“When you start comparing these municipalities, Pflugerville is by far [one of] the most diverse communities in Central Texas,” said Floyd Akers, outgoing executive director of the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. “We believe diversity is part of the reason for all our success.”

In April the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce announced an expansion of its services to Pflugerville and a formal partnership with the PCDC. The GABCC and the PCDC plan to host entrepreneurship meetings and partner on the 2015 State of Black Business in Central Texas Program, according to the chamber.

Pflugerville is nearly one-third Hispanic, a demographic that is increasingly represented among entrepreneurs and businessowners, said Mark Madrid, president of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“There is a projection that there might be upwards of 50,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in the region by 2020,” Madrid said. “That means there is an opportunity for economic benefit, not just to the Hispanic community, but to the business community. Cultivation of diversity is going to help areas in terms of career readiness, job expansion and job creation.”

Renae Mitchell, developer of the Magnolia Ranch Estates neighborhood in Pflugerville, said she has seen Pflugerville’s diversity grow since starting her company 11 years ago, but said she is still in the minority as a female African-American business owner.

“Nobody in this industry looks like me; you will not find a developer who looks like me,” she said. “I’m OK—I do not see it in terms of ethnicity or whether someone looks like me. If I have a passion, I go for it.”

Dennis Spencer, an African-American business owner in Pflugerville, said the city’s wide range of businesses and growing population influenced his decision to open promotional product company Ricochet Promotions there.

“Looking around and seeing how much Pflugerville has grown and seeing the type of people that are in the area—it’s a very good business climate,” he said. “Having that diversity in my client base allows me the exposure in different areas of my business, and it keeps it fun for me because I get to learn new things and meet new people who are excited about promoting their business.”

Patricia Gervan-Brown, president and CEO of the Pflugerville Chamber of Commerce, said Pflugerville’s welcoming business environment has proved to be a draw for a wide range of companies and entrepreneurs. During the past several years, Gervan-Brown said she has noticed an increase in the diversity of local businessowners.

“I think Pflugerville is a very welcoming community, and I think that is reflected in the population diversity we’re seeing now,” she said. “There are multiple opportunities for people to work or be entrepreneurs in this market. [...] There are just great opportunities locally here in Pflugerville.”
By Emilie Shaughnessy
Emilie covers community news in Central Austin and is the beat reporter for Austin City Council. She started with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 after working as a journalist in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.


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