NACOGDOCHES – As part of its goal to provide expert economic research, analysis, and advisory services to the East Texas region and beyond, Rusche College of Business at Stephen State University F. Austin created the Center for Business and Economic Research.
Housed in SFA’s Economics and Finance Department, the nonprofit center offers data analytics, market research, and economic impact analysis to the community while providing hands-on training for SFA students.
“We want to become the go-to resource in the region for analysis and expert commentary on economic policy and economic development issues,” said Mikhail Kuliavtsev, chairman of the department.
He believes that new relationships can be built and existing ones strengthened between the university and local businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations through CBER, as evidenced by projects completed by the department.
These include an analysis of sales tax revenue for the town of Nacogdoches; economic impact assessments of various events and entities, such as the Texas Blueberry Festival held annually in Nacogdoches and SFA’s economic contribution to the local economy; and a detailed study of the impact of the Texas Purchasing from People with Disabilities Program for the Texas Workforce Commission.
CBER also works to inform the public and the media about the impact of national and state policies on the local economy, the effects of major events on the economy, and the role of new initiatives, such as the Highway 69, in local economic efforts. .
In addition to increasing the SFA’s reach and visibility in the community, Kuliavtsev said the center will benefit the university in two key ways.
“A center like this attracts high-quality students and faculty to SFA and fosters collaboration with other research centers on campus,” he said. “Additionally, SFA offices and departments that normally outsource market research, economic forecasting, and other analysis to outside consultants may request CBER’s assistance instead.”
CBER is one of several entities recently launched by the College of Business to help strengthen local businesses. Others include business and community services; the Greg Arnold Center for Entrepreneurship, or ACE; and the Small Business Resource Hub, hosted by ACE.