The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation announced late Thursday that it is partnering with the Musk Foundation to accelerate downtown revitalization through one of BCIC’s most effective programs, the Business Improvement and Growth (BIG) program.

BCIC Executive Director Josh Mejia confirmed that his organization had received $1 million from the Musk Foundation toward BIG.

“Our only hope is through this continued partnership we receive additional funds through the Musk Foundation,” he said. “We hope to knock it out of the park.”

BCIC board Chairman Michael Limas said BIG started as a pilot program to help spur downtown economic development but has turned into a “juggernaut of a program for BCIC.”

“We are very honored and appreciative of the Musk Foundation for supporting BIG and helping to amplify opportunities for those within our community,” he said.

Leveraging $450,000 over three years, BIG was able to bring about $3 million in private investment for downtown businesses and properties. Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez predicted the Musk Foundation donation would spur additional investment.

“We know that through this donation others from the private sector will begin to partner closely with BCIC to continue accelerating the … success we are achieving for our community,” he said.

In April, Elon Musk, who is also the founder and CEO of SpaceX Explorations, tweeted the foundation would be donating $20 million to Cameron County schools and $10 million to the City of Brownsville for the revitalization of downtown Brownsville.

The Brownsville Independent School District was awarded $2.4 million and the Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District was awarded $624,148. Other school districts in the county that also reported receiving donations from the Musk Foundation include the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District with a $1 million donation and IDEA Schools with a $459,000 donation. The Point Independent School District announced that it too had been awarded money from the foundation.


sclark@brownsvilleherald.com