Think of San Antonio and you think of the battle at the Alamo. Greatly outnumbered, 188 heroes chose to stay and fight tyranny to the death. Today that spirit of the most significant event in Texas history remains alive and well in the Alamo City. But too often, entrepreneurs in San Antonio need that Alamo spirit and perseverance to surmount obstacles placed in their way by state and local laws.
In more modern days, San Antonio is also known as the Fiesta City. San Antonio’s rich history and cultural flair attract hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. Thanks to the nice weather, there is always a celebration going on, beginning with the Livestock Show and Rodeo in February and continuing through to the Holiday River Parade and Fiestas Navideñas during the Christmas season. The Fiesta City presents seemingly unlimited opportunities for entry-level entrepreneurial activities such as vending curios, regional foods, and crafts or providing a variety of transportation services to tourists. However, it is not always easy or legal for would-be entrepreneurs to seize those opportunities, as they are sometimes kept out of the economic realm by barriers created by the City.
This report reviews regulations imposed on various businesses, summarizes current regulations and provides specific recommendations to improve the status quo. It considers a variety of entry-level occupational opportunities and what it takes to realize an entrepreneurial dream in San Antonio.
All of the businesses considered here share something in common: barring onerous government requirements, they should not require much financial capital or education to enter. This makes them perfect gateway occupations that can lead entrepreneurs down the path of economic success and self-reliance. In addition, as they become more established, they can provide employment to others in their community. These issues are especially important in the context of recent welfare reform.