South SA businesses booming despite falling oil prices

January 20, 2015

Businesses along Southwest Military Drive have seen little effect from recent layoffs

logo-1SAN ANTONIO – As oil prices continue to dip, Schlumberger is the latest to announce layoffs, following other energy companies like Apache, Halliburton, and Lewis Energy.

The layoffs are expected to have an effect on the Eagle Ford Shale, but so far, little economic impact has been felt in southern San Antonio.

“Business hasn’t slowed down at all,” said Bob Stewart, director of marketing for City Base Cinema.

While movies like “Selma” and “American Sniper” are drawing crowds to the cinema, business overall, according to Stewart, is on a steady increase.

“We’ve seen steady growth over the last three years that we’ve been open,” said Stewart.  “No dips, no blips — nothing like that.”

In fact, City Base Cinema plans to open a new entertainment venue this spring, next door.

The growth comes as the major oil companies scale back. It is also occurring in a part of San Antonio once thought to be driven by the Eagle Ford Shale.

While it may take time before any effects are felt, many businesses up and down Southwest Military Drive echoed a similar sentiment, free of concern.

“I think the South Side has enough checks and balances that, yes, it does affect all the businesses a smidge, but the South Side is really coming of age,” said Stewart.

Studies show disposable income is high amongst South Side residents, helping to sustain growth. The South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce agreed, stating that they had heard of little if any slowdown.

Raphael Andres, manager at Hurricane Grill and Wings, which sits near City Base Cinema, has seen a similar pattern since the doors opened two and half years ago.

“Oil people are a big part of our business,” admitted Andres. “We have them every single day at lunch and on the weekends.”

But Andres also believed that it would take a significant amount of layoffs to put any kind of dent in his business.

The Eagle Ford Shale began producing oil and gas in 2008 and remains a large play in the state of Texas.