Bexar County Grants Nomination for New Call Center to Gain State Incentives

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Medina County Judge Chris Schuchart asked Bexar County commissioners to join his county in protecting the Edwards Aquifer.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

The Bexar County Commissioner's Court at the Bexar County Courthouse.

Bexar County commissioners approved a proposal Tuesday to nominate a new health care call center for economic incentives through the Texas Enterprise Zone.

GreatCall, a California-based subsidiary of consumer electronics store Best Buy, provides wearables and health, safety, and wellness applications for seniors. The company announced in April it would open a 50,000-square-foot service center in San Antonio this fall.

The center represents a $7 million capital investment and will bring 450 new jobs to San Antonio within five years. The company estimated 71 of those jobs will have an annual salary of more than $50,000, 188 jobs will pay less than $34,000, and 191 jobs more than $34,000. Bexar County and the City of San Antonio did not provide any direct economic incentives for GreatCall.

The Texas Enterprise Zone Program (Texas EZP) is a state sales and use tax refund program designed to encourage private investment and job creation in economically distressed areas of the state. For an enterprise to be eligible for the program, a community must nominate the company on its behalf.

Bexar County is not considered an enterprise zone. The EZP allows for projects that are located outside an enterprise zone to qualify if the company commits that at least 35 percent of its employees meet economically disadvantaged or enterprise zone residency requirements.

Commissioners nominated Charter Communications for an EZP designation in August 2018 to support its call center and the incentive was approved in September.

The maximum potential refund for a company investing at the level that GreatCall has committed is $1,250,000 and $2,500 per job annually up to five years.

GreatCall provides connected health and personal emergency response services for the aging population through mobile products. Best Buy acquired GreatCall in 2018 for $800 million in an effort to enter the growing market of technology-driven health products.

The call center will be located at the One51 development in the Westover Hills area. There are numerous other call centers located along State Highway 151 and on Northwest Loop 410, including centers for QVC, CVS Health, and Conn’s.

Job openings with GreatCall in San Antonio are posted here.

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