AUSTIN (KWES) - Senate Business & Commerce Chairman Kelly Hancock submitted the Texas Rural and Opportunity Zone Jobs Act for economic improvement.

Senate Bill 826 attempts to help expand Texas job opportunities in rural and Opportunity Zone communities.

Bill objectives include supplying a more broad and accessible network within the private sector to propel economic development.

In response, this will stimulate a stable economic market that will grow small businesses and create new jobs.

“The Texas Rural and Opportunity Zone Jobs Act is the right thing to do for Texas,” Hancock said. “Across our great state, businesses in rural areas and distressed communities don’t have enough access to private sector capital to grow, strengthen local economies, and provide good quality jobs. This bill unlocks that opportunity, without government picking winners and losers in private industry, and provides greater economic security for all Texans."

Recent low unemployment rates in Texas due to a demanding labor market sparked the need for incentives such as on-the-job training and workforce solutions programs.

While providing a free market for small rural businesses, the private sector is given the opportunity to capitalize on investments.

“The Texas Rural and Opportunity Zone Jobs Act program is welcomed by TEDC members who work tirelessly every day to create jobs in their local communities,” said Carlton Schwab, President and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Council. “It’s clear that our rural economic development officials need tools and capital to help existing companies expand facilities and create new jobs. As an organization we fully support helping businesses obtain the financing they need to grow, provide good jobs and revitalize our communities and economies.”

Only federally-licensed investors with experience in rural growth-focused investing can participate in the new program.

Participants have to be able to produce a positive return on investments and follow specific job creation requirements.

Visit Texas Legislature Online at to read the full bill text.