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Sonic Drive In Restaurant Sign Pics by Mike Mozart of JeepersMedia and TheToyChannel on YouTube./flickr

America’s Drive-in expanding in Eagle Ford area

What’s one of the best parts about a local economy in oilfield country? Aside from jobs and community revenue, how about all the businesses that pop up around the boom? Smaller communities that were previously unattractive to expanding businesses now shine bright thanks to booming populations. The indirect impacts of energy production could, to an extent, be measured in units of new businesses moving in to strike gold with growing populations and increased average incomes.

Sonic restaurant franchise owner Henry Sanchez is one among many looking to expand in Eagle Ford country. According to a report from the San Antonio Business Journal, Sanchez, who currently owns four Sonics in Floresville, Kenedy, George West and Alice, is adding two new establishments. One is expected to occupy a space off Highway 123 and Main Avenue in the heart of Karnes City and another off Highway 44 in San Diego along opposite ends of the Eagle Ford Shale zone.

The future Sonic in Karnes County will cost $450,000 to develop and should be open in first quarter 2015, according to building permit records obtained by the Business Journal. Construction on the other $450,000 restaurant in San Diego will start also begin sometime in the new year, public filings show.

New eateries seem to follow oil booms at the same pace as Olympic runners. Last year, towns that were limited in options preceding increased oil production such as Watford city, North Dakota (which had a population of 1,744 in 2000), now offer prime sushi restaurants and chains unimaginable prior to the boom. However, filling these new establishments with workers in a job market reality where fierce competition exists among employers is an ongoing issue for businesses in oilfield country. To read the full story from the San Antonio Business Journal, click here.

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