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In Commerce Street, a podcast from KENS 5, host Erica Zucco and producer Kristin Dean explore topics about business, the economy and technology in the Alamo City.
Oct 9, 2021
Business program offers coaching & up to $20k to help SA businesses start or grow
La'Queena Gonzales has been doing hair for 20 years, but opening her salon came after a coincidental encounter at the carwash with her grandmother eight years ago. "This man pulled up next to her that she knew and she said this is my granddaughter, she's a beautician," Gonzales said. "He was like, really? I have a building that used to be a salon that no one's in right now." In this episode of Commerce Street, a podcast from KENS 5, we talk to Gonzales about an innovative new idea to expand her business as well as being chosen to receive coaching, support and funding from the Maestro Center. We also spoke to the Executive Director of the Maestro Center on how a new program is helping the community and economy of San Antonio.
Sep 19, 2021
‘Something unique to San Antonio‘ | How the nation‘s largest Hispanic Chamber says SA can support local businesses
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the nation's oldest and largest organization of its kind, making its mark in the Alamo City by advocating for small businesses, fostering relationships, and spotlighting local successes. In a new episode of Commerce Street, an Eyewitness News Original podcast, KENS 5 spoke with Marina Gonzales, President and CEO of SAHCC and the owner of one of the chamber's client businesses, Mexico Lindo, a restaurant that opened during the pandemic.
Sep 5, 2021
‘Dream the unimaginable‘ | New SA Lighthouse CEO on nonprofit‘s mission & her own full circle story
Cynthia Watson's new role as CEO for the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind is bringing her career full circle -- and giving her the chance to amplify a mission she's incredibly passionate about. In this episode of Commerce Street, an Eyewitness News Original podcast, KENS 5 spoke with Watson about her personal and professional journey as well as an employee who is thriving under the Lighthouse's manufacturing department.
Aug 24, 2021
How freestanding ERs are filling the gap in patient care during COVID surge
As a rise in severe COVID cases fills hospital beds across South Texas, emergency rooms are also being impacted both by an increase in patients and the wait times needed for those who must be transferred to longer term or specialized care. In an new episode of Commerce Street, an Eyewitness News Original podcast, KENS 5 spoke with the head of a major hospital's emergency department about the increase in both COVID patients and non COVID patients. KENS 5 also spoke with staff from freestanding ERs in the surrounding areas about how those businesses are filling the gap in patient care.
Aug 1, 2021
Buying or renting? Either way, the demand for homes is affecting your wallet
"Are you in a situation to be able to compete in this market?" That's the question that realtor Sarah Briseno Gerrish says every first-time homebuyer needs to ask themselves in a real estate market where homes have been getting harder to find for about the last two years. In this episode of Commerce Street, a KENS 5 original business podcast, experts talked about how the "seller's market" is affecting rent and mortgage assistance programs, how first-time home buyers can still get the house of their dreams and the benefits of buying a home right now. Full story here.
Jul 15, 2021
Jobs in healthcare, education and trades up for grabs in San Antonio
Education, trades and healthcare are just some of the huge industries in San Antonio that are hiring right now. The pandemic put a pause on services and hiring in many companies, but things are roaring back to life in 2021 and there are thousands of job openings. On Commerce Street, a podcast from KENS 5, a series of episodes is taking a closer look at some of the companies urgently in need of staff and some of the incentives or bonuses they are offering.
Jul 8, 2021
Help Wanted: Four SA businesses offering incentives and benefits to attract staff
Hundreds of San Antonio employers are hiring and the job market is booming. For people who lost their jobs during the pandemic, or who started to consider a career change during the crisis, there are many opportunities out there with some interesting benefits and incentives. In a new episode of Commerce Street, a business podcast from KENS 5, we spoke with four companies about what they're looking for and the pay or benefits they're offering.
Jun 16, 2021
Filling a shortage of truck drivers with a free San Antonio training program
Participants could be eligible to receive income while completing free training programs through the City of San Antonio's Train for Jobs SA program. KENS 5 spoke with participants in the commercial driver's license program; the credential helps with roles in a high-demand industry, as companies face a driver shortage. Train for Jobs SA offers a wide variety of career tracks, including roles in business, IT, manufacturing & logistics, and trade industries.
Jun 6, 2021
CEO of minority-owned tech company shares her story, hopes for a more diverse tech future
From the early years of the World Wide Web to the modern era of social media dominance, tech CEO Janie Gonzalez has been at the forefront of the tech industry in San Antonio for the last 27 years. In this episode of Commerce Street, an Eyewitness News Original business podcast, Gonzalez shares her story as one of the first Latina tech CEOs in Texas and a leader in SA's tech industry. Read full article here.
May 23, 2021
SA's own version of Shark Tank: Alamo Angels matches angel investors with start-up companies to spur great ideas
In this episode of Commerce Street, an Eyewitness News Original podcast, KENS 5 speaks with Sebastian Garzon, executive director of Alamo Angels, andy Randy Hartig, CEO OF Velocity TX, about how Alamo Angels connects startups with angel investors and how its mission aligns with local economic development organization Texas Research and Technology Foundation (TRTF). Read full article here.
May 9, 2021
San Antonio gamers embrace boom in eSports competitions and opportunities
Globally, eSports competition, culture and commerce are booming. In San Antonio, some schools, businesses and innovators are taking note. Some San Antonio gamers say they've been craving more opportunities to connect and compete for decades- and in recent years, business has begun to grow and investments have started to sprout. KENS 5 Eyewitness News took a look at some local developments.
Apr 28, 2021
Spurs looking for 'next shining stars' in operations with new talent academy
Spurs Sports and Entertainment is scouting talent, but not just for what happens on the court. The organization is launching a new talent academy to help college students and postgraduates get a glimpse of professional sports business and operations. The program will allow them to get not only get job experience, but also help from seasoned professionals all the way up to the CEO! In this episode of Commerce Street, a business podcast from KENS 5, we wanted to get a closer look at the program, what they are looking for in all of their employees and how to get noticed.
Apr 18, 2021
Housing battleground in San Antonio as home supply plummets and prices surge
Record low supply, dozens of offers on a single home, people moving to Texas from out of state, and investors paying all cash to snap up house are all factors leading to a hot and competitive real estate market in San Antonio. In this episode of Commerce Street, a business podcast from KENS 5, we hear from real estate professionals about the market for buyers, sellers, and people who might want to buy a home some day. Full story: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/record-low-supply-of-homes-and-rising-prices-in-hot-sa-real-estate-market-podcast/273-7f9e9ee8-5451-4129-ba30-e8e0f3164cdf
Mar 28, 2021
Lone Star Brewery: Inside the ambitious project to transform Lone Star into a trendy, mixed-use development
The Lone Star Brewery site is one of fascination for San Antonians, and several owners have taken a shot at redeveloping the space since it closed years ago. Now, new owners and developers believe they have the right timing, mission and vision to make it stick. Plans are underway to develop the historic buildings and massive 32-acre property near Lone Star and Probandt into a mixed-use development packed with apartments, shops, restaurants, art and culture, with input from the community helping to shape options and events at the site. In this episode of Commerce Street, KENS 5 speaks with Peter French, director of development for San Antonio-based GrayStreet Partners, which is working with Houston-based Midway on the project. Read full article here.
Mar 13, 2021
Power crisis from Texas winter storm could lead to years of economic impact
The weather may be warming up, but the winter storm in Texas just weeks ago won't be easily forgotten, especially by Texans who suffered through the cold weather without power, paid up to fix damage and replace spoiled food in just days. We learned how unprepared our state was for days of record low temperatures and the toll they took on our power grid. The costs are tallying up and could be passed on in some ways to taxpayers. In this episode of Commerce Street, a business podcast from KENS 5, we're taking a look at the overall economic impact of the winter storm power crisis. KENS 5 spoke with Dr. Taylor Collins, an assistant professor of economics at the University of the Incarnate Word, and Dr. Thomas Tunstall, the senior research director for the UTSA Institute for Economic Development.
Feb 27, 2021
Winter storm's supply chain disruption affects SA families
As the San Antonio and Hill Country areas continue to recover from the devastating winter storm and associated power crisis, business and organizations are scrambling to return to normalcy and literally take stock of their reaction to the crisis. In this episode of Commerce Street, KENS 5 speaks with two organizations that help families get the formula, food and supplies they need to care for children. Between unsteady supply chains, dangerous roads and people stocking up for survival, a lot of grocery stores ended up with empty shelves. Read more on latest episode.
Feb 7, 2021
As businesses move from California to Texas, San Antonio casts net to catch fresh talent
2020 brought a string of headlines about companies moving operations to more convenient locales - in some cases, from California to Texas. Some of the moves were planned before the pandemic, while others sprang from fundamental shifts in work behavior and norms caused by COVID19. KENS 5 Eyewitness News spoke with the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation about its pitch to companies- and potential remote workers- and the impact moves to San Antonio could have on the economy. KENS 5 also spoke with the CEO of Tech Bloc for perspective on how San Antonio's tech industry is progressing, and what might be done to attract more investment and grow the local workforce. Full story: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/san-antonio-casts-its-net-to-catch-tech-talent/273-8c731614-c03b-4960-b795-ea79baa86f09
Jan 24, 2021
Schools and local companies training students to fill high-paying tech jobs
San Antonio's tech industry home to a growing variety of companies offering, in some cases, high-paying jobs and room for growth. But to make sure those career opportunities can be extended to local residents, employers say they need people with the specific skills necessary to fill unique positions. That's just one of the reasons schools and businesses are working together to build potential pipeline for the workforce. In this episode of Commerce Street, a podcast from KENS 5, we're highlighting two companies in San Antonio that are investing in the next generation through internships -- and talking with students at one San Antonio high school about their experiences. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/schools-and-local-companies-training-students-to-fill-high-paying-tech-jobs/273-bef1c75b-ce01-409d-8f18-77db43c15d19
Jan 10, 2021
Making the Vaccine: Inside a Texas A&M center manufacturing parts of the vaccine and creating skilled jobs
In this episode of KENS 5 Commerce Street, we spoke with W. Jay Treat, PhD, the Chief Manufacturing Officer and Principal Investigator for Texas A&M University's Center for Innovation and Advanced Development in Manufacturing about the center's involvement in vaccine manufacturing, and how the center could lead to more jobs in Texas. Then, we speak with Venkatesh "Venky" Shankar, PhD, the Coleman Chair Professor of Marketing and Director of Research at the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University's Mays Business School. Full story: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/inside-a-texas-center-making-vaccine-components-and-adding-skilled-jobs-during-the-pandemic/273-9a3fde0d-cfc0-464c-8fa8-a3cce85d3157
Dec 20, 2020
Talking with Toyota Texas: A major SA employer's 2020 journey
Toyota Texas, like nearly every business, was forced to pause, plan and pivot quickly to keep workers safe and production steady. KENS 5 spoke with Vice President of Manufacturing Susann Kazunas about how the manufacturer crafted new protocols, the measures that protected much of their supply chain process and progress on reinvestment to update the plant. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/money/economy/commerce-street-toyota-texas-supply-chain-manufacturing/273-adc58a5e-3d71-486f-8ef9-bbf45f80a68f
Dec 13, 2020
Hotels offering deals to attract local visitors and survive a drop in tourism
With out-of-state vacations discouraged, typical tourists cancelled trips amid the pandemic. But some hotels are pivoting to attract people within driving distance. In this episode of Commerce Street, a business podcast from KENS 5, we talk to a hotel industry research group and consultancy firm and one of the many hotels thinking outside the box and finding ways to engage with customers safely. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/commerce-street-hotel-industry-in-sa-sees-signs-of-recovery/273-72762b80-2629-4b16-9993-25ca8f276a89
Nov 29, 2020
Saving downtown: How a local group is helping downtown businesses survive and thrive
Have you started your holiday shopping? San Antonio small businesses hope you’ll choose them for gifts or take-home meal; and a local organization hopes you’ll do it downtown. Without tourists, convention-goers or government workers it’s been a tough year. Subscribe to the KENS 5 Commerce Street podcast or listen here to find out Centro San Antonio is helping them survive and thrive. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/saving-downtown-nonprofit-organization-works-with-city-to-help-downtown-businesses-in-need/273-91fcaf53-d0c4-42c8-a0bd-d008ff209aaa
Nov 15, 2020
Retail resilience: How some SA businesses switched gears to stay afloat
Few businesses have been untouched by the coronavirus pandemic, and retail and restaurants have been particularly hard hit nationwide. The challenges have forced small businesses to be creative to survive or thrive, and there are many examples of innovation during a stressful and erratic time. In this week's episode of Commerce Street, KENS 5 spoke with two business owners at San Antonio's The Historic Pearl about the changes they've made and new products and services they've introduced to respond to the changing market. Full story: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/commerce-street-san-antonio-retail-resilience-niche-high-street-pearl-coronavirus-safety-shopping/273-abfbcef2-4f8d-4cad-afed-85873da923d3
Nov 1, 2020
Well-known businessman and philanthropist funds $3M center to bridge education and career
Longtime San Antonio businessman/philanthropist Harvey Najim and the University of Texas at San Antonio hope a new career center will help form a bridge for students and businesses, helping them find the right fit and test it out before students even graduate. In a new episode of Commerce Street, UTSA Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy and San Antonio businessman/philanthropist Harvey Najim break down plans for anew, groundbreaking partnership between UTSA and local businesses looking for skilled, ambitious workers. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/harvey-najim-gift-to-fund-utsa-career-center/273-4ac1a7a7-59cc-4731-8bd4-d7a9ff100ee9
Oct 21, 2020
COMMERCE STREET UPDATE: First wave of students begin free training program at new Port SA training center
The first class of students have begun their training at a free new training center at Port San Antonio. We first told you about Port San Antonio’s plan to transform a former Air Force fitness center into a training hub in August. In this update episode of Commerce Street, a business podcast from KENS 5, we heard from the organizations making the dream a reality and some of the students working toward a better future. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/first-wave-of-students-begin-free-training-program-at-new-port-sa-training-center-commerce-street-update/273-d038efe8-b87f-458b-adfb-2d810338e9c9
Oct 18, 2020
COMMERCE STREET: UIW accelerated program designed to fill nursing shortage
Texas will need at least 60,000 more nurses by 2032 than we are expected to have, according to recent studies. In this episode of Commerce Street, a business podcast from KENS 5, we look at a new UIW accelerated program that allows students to use what they have already learned to become a nurse. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/syndication/podcasts/commerce-street/commerce-street-new-uiw-program-to-help-alleviate-critical-nursing-shortage/273-4059cc45-5966-4017-91e2-c1e5dccb698f
Aug 5, 2020
COMMERCE STREET: Talking with Mayor Ron Nirenberg about a proposal for educating, training thousands of SA workers
UPDATE: San Antonio voters did pass the ballot measure on Nov. 3, 2020, to redirect a one-eighth-cent sales tax portion toward workforce development and job training initiatives. In this episode from August of 2020, we spoke with Mayor Ron Nirenberg before the plan was fully approved. The plan would connect about 60% of participants with short-term training and certification programs for which job openings are in high demand, such as logistics associates, certified nurse aids and child development associates. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/money/economy/mayor-nirenberg-plan-train-thousands-workers-voters-sales-tax/273-f1b8e7cb-a45f-49b4-b2bc-2dffc18b4b5f
Aug 4, 2020
COMMERCE STREET: Free training for open jobs at new center in Port San Antonio
Port San Antonio and the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology are teaming up with local partners to create a tech training hub to fill hundreds of open jobs in growing industries in a time when much of the economy has been hammered by the pandemic. KENS 5 Commerce Street’s Erica Zucco speaks with Port San Antonio President/CEO Jim Perschbach, SAMSAT President/CEO Doug King, District 4 Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia and Workforce Solutions Alamo CEO Adrian Lopez about their hopes for San Antonians using the center- and what this moment means for economic development in the years to come. Editor’s note: These interviews were conducted via Zoom - we’re working through snags presented by the pandemic and appreciate your patience! UPDATE: This program is underway and students are already taking classes. We hope you enjoy this episode as well as our update episode from Oct. 21, 2020 titled, First wave of students begin free job training program at Port San Antonio. It cont…
Jul 7, 2020
'From deep sea to deep space': Southwest Research Institute launches San Antonio into the future
“From deep sea to deep space” | The scientists and engineers at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) are putting San Antonio on the map when it comes to collaboration and innovation. The unique method combining expertise across a diverse number of projects attracts some of the greatest minds in the world to the Alamo City. In this episode of Commerce Street, we spoke with SwRI president and CEO Adam Hamilton and Hakima Ibaroudene, who was part of a team that won an international competition with a revolutionary way to diagnose breast cancer. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/tech/commerce-street-southwest-research-institute-launches-into-the-future/273-41f9238c-ab2a-4342-bec7-00031b6d701f Note: This episode of Commerce Street was recorded on March 3, 2020. Due to a change in operations at KENS 5 because of COVID-19, publishing had to be delayed.
Jun 30, 2020
Beyond COVID-19: San Antonio's resilient economy embraces the future
Every aspect of our lives has been affected by the coronavirus and there will be many coronavirus angles to cover in the coming months, from medical to education to behavioral and many more. But today, as many San Antonians find themselves furloughed, unemployed or concerned for the future, we talk with the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation’s SA Works Executive Director, Romanita Matta Barrera, about short and long term plans to get San Antonio back to work and which industries are actually on the rise compared to the start of 2020. Full story: https://www.kens5.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/beyond-covid-19-san-antonios-resilient-economy-set-up-for-future-success-commerce-street-podcast/273-f6129a12-1b01-4902-b6a2-56108ad82bc9
Mar 5, 2020
COMMERCE STREET: Esports hits the mainstream in San Antonio
St. Mary's University in San Antonio is adding Esports to its Athletic Department. In this episode of Commerce Street from KENS 5, we take a look at what went into planning for the big change and the future of this multi-billion dollar industry.
Feb 27, 2020
COMMERCE STREET: How the Coronavirus could impact the San Antonio economy
As concerns about coronavirus dominate national headlines, San Antonio industry leaders are keeping in contact with officials and monitoring the situation to see how, if at all, reaction to the virus could impact the local economy. On this episode of Commerce Street from KENS 5, we tell you what you need to know as the news about the coronavirus unfolds.
Oct 22, 2019
COMMERCE STREET: SA becomes magnet for startups
A recent survey showed San Antonio was in the top ten of the most affordable cities for startup companies, according to the website listwithclever.com. In this episode of Commerce Street, a podcast from KENS 5, Eyewitness News reporter Erica Zucco and producer Kristin Dean talked to two startup company leaders about their experiences in the Alamo City. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/news/commerce-street-sa-becomes-magnet-for-startups/273-6ae9a4a7-f6c2-4813-8add-ddd9b2400967
Sep 30, 2019
COMMERCE STREET: Why SA businesses planted roots downtown
Building a thriving business in the heart of downtown is not for the faint of heart. On this episode of Commerce Street, a podcast by KENS 5, we are taking a look at two success stories. One of them is the story of brothers who got to know San Antonio and built the bakery empire of La Panaderia. The other is the story of Rosella, a cozy coffee shop that found a niche in a trendy area and grew into a household San Antonio brand name. Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/news/commerce-street-downtown-business/273-dfc07b37-5ea5-4b3a-84a9-2a81598f480e
Sep 16, 2019
COMMERCE STREET: Tech Leaders of Tomorrow
The rising tech industry in San Antonio demands training programs that are breeding the best tech leaders of tomorrow. In the latest episode of Commerce Street by KENS 5, we explore two programs, each with a different demographic, but both with the same mission of supplying local industries with top talent.
Sep 10, 2019
COMMERCE STREET: Striking gold at Gold Coffee
In some ways, technology helps communities connect; in others, it can do the opposite. A recent report by the Pew Research Center raised concerns about social isolation as a lot of people spend more time online. Brick and mortar businesses could play a role in stemming that tide. KENS 5 Eyewitness News sat down with Gold Coffee Company owner Jason Tantaros to discuss his ethos for starting a shop- with fostering community in mind.
Sep 10, 2019
COMMERCE STREET: Turning the Alamo City into a ‘Smart City’
The City of San Antonio’s Chief Innovation Officer, Brian Dillard, sits down with KENS 5 Eyewitness News to explain what a “Smart City” is, what “Smart SA” means, and what projects are ahead- including testing autonomous vehicles, piloting “smart streetlights” and closing the digital divide.
Sep 10, 2019
COMMERCE STREET: BiblioTech narrows the gap
Bexar County designed BiblioTech to narrow gaps in access to information, education and entertainment, making resources accessible to people who weren't close to branch libraries. But to do that, the county also needed to address the digital divide and increase digital literacy. KENS 5 Eyewitness News talks with Director Laura Cole about the library's journey so far, and what's to come.