By Jimi Coplen, DCOH Executive Director
Did you know Texas has the second-largest state economy in the United States? With a gross state product of $1.706 trillion (2017) the size of its economy is only surpassed by California. If Texas were a country, it would represent the 10th-largest economy in the world in terms of GDP (gross domestic product). According to Forbes, 100 of the 1,000 largest public and private companies in the U.S. are based in Texas, including giants like AT&T, ExxonMobil, and Dell.
The growth in Texas has been somewhat slow to hit the rural areas, but it is coming. Haskell’s local sales tax has been on the rise since March with this past month weighing in at a 29% increase. We hope to continue this trend the remainder of the year and into next year. Haskell has several big projects underway that will help: a Kent Kwik Truck Stop is currently under construction at the intersection of 277/380 with a slated opening of Dec. 2018. The Rolling Plains Detention Center is reopening in September under new ownership and management. A large, one-of-a-kind museum is being built in Haskell. The new RV Sales Center continues to grow. And, there are new retail stores and offices in the downtown square. There are also other new developments we can’t tell you about just yet.
If you have ever considered investing in a new business, now is the time. There are prime locations up and down highway 277. (Highway 277 runs north and south across Texas and into Oklahoma, spanning 633 miles.) Traffic counts have continued to increase, and we will see more of this as the truck stop is discovered by travelers. If a by-pass is ever built around Anson, we can expect those numbers to rise even more.
Haskell is in a great location for growth. The DCOH is working hard to market the community as a viable place for new businesses to succeed as well as the expansion of existing businesses. Let’s keep this momentum going. Stop by the DCOH office to discuss any ideas you might have and I will see how we can help. As always, you can call 940-864-3424 for more information.
By Mary Jane Buerkle, IOM, Vice President of the Board of Directors
Can you believe it’s already school time again? We always see increased activity around town during the school year, and we want to welcome all of our students, teachers, administrators and staff members!
We’re a little more than a month away from our semi-annual City/Community Wide Garage Sale on Saturday, October 6, so now is the time to start getting ready! To have your sale listed, please call our manager, Amanda Hernandez, at (940) 864-2477. She’s in the office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Entry fee is just $10.
Our board also set the date for our next “Sip, Shop and Stroll” during the holiday season. This year’s event will be Thursday, December 6, and we encourage everyone to participate, whether you’re a seller or a shopper! That will be a very busy week for us as the annual Christmas Parade will be that Saturday, December 8. We’ll have more information on those as we get closer to the date.
Finally, we want to encourage you to let us know how we can be of even greater benefit to you and your business. We realize that membership is an investment, and we want to maximize the opportunity for you to realize a return on that investment even beyond simple community support. We are proud to be a voice for business in Haskell, and we need your continued involvement to be the best Chamber we can be!
As always, we thank you for your support of the Haskell Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.
By Christina Isbell
After more than 25 years of the Don’t mess with Texas campaign, litterbugs still roam the roadways, tossing trash from their car windows and letting litter fly out of their truck beds. We’re talking about cigarette butts, fast food wrappers, and the like. They’re small, but they’re still trash.
Keep Haskell Beautiful has joined the challenge in reducing litter in our community. To report a litterbug go to www.dontmesswithtexas.org or http://haskelltexasusa.com/keep-haskell-beautiful/.
When you see litter thrown or flying out of a vehicle, intentionally or accidentally, take down the following information—license plate number, make and color of vehicle, date and time, location, who tossed the litter, and what was tossed. Let’s keep our community clean.
Triple Threat Tournament, Abilene Gives and Volunteer!
Keep Haskell Beautiful would like to thank all the sponsors and participants of our annual Triple Threat Tournament. It again turned out to be a great success. Another thank you to all those who donated during Abilene Gives. The total amount given was $1500! KHB stays grateful by the community’s continuous support.
KHB is always on the lookout for ideas and volunteers. Do you have an idea, or want to help out sometime? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on our Facebook page.
By Jimi Coplen
The Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program is gearing up for its fifth year! This 8- month leadership series will be packed with outstanding speakers, tours, workshops, networking and much more. The Development Corporation of Haskell (DCOH) and the Knox County Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Service are sponsoring the Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program.
Each class will include curriculum elements such as communication, conflict management, dealing with difficult people/situations, diversity, leadership styles, customer service and team building to name just a few. In addition, there will be local tours of businesses, museums, and other places that make each county unique.
This class will also teach you the inter-workings of city, county and state governments, school boards, economic development and more. These tours will help participants learn more about their community and the region.
“This program is excellent for people who are new to the community or have recently returned to the community. Also, for anyone wanting to get involved in the community, this is a great opportunity,” said Jimi Coplen, DCOH Executive Director.
The leadership series will be open to 20 people. Those participating will attend an orientation on October 5, 2018. Monthly sessions will be held on the first Friday of each month from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., starting October and going through May 2019 in Knox and Haskell County. The group will take a trip to Austin in February 2019. And, each group will launch a community project upon completion of the training in May.
The program costs $275 and may be paid by the employer or by individuals. Each participant will receive 4.8 CEUs from Vernon College. This fee includes all travel, food, a shirt, the overnight trip to Austin and all supplies. Applications are available to Knox County residents at the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Service office in the Knox County Courthouse. For Haskell County residents, applications can be picked up at the DCOH office located at 24 Ave. D or by emailing email@example.com The application deadline is September 15, 2018, but sooner is better because space is limited.
For more information call the DCOH at 940.864.3424 or Knox County at 940.459.2651.
Download Application Here: Leadership Application
By Mary Jane Buerkle, IOM, Vice President of the Board of Directors
Welcome to summer! These past few weeks have been unbearably hot, but we are grateful for the rain we have received this week! We hope to get timely precipitation throughout the rest of the growing season so as to ensure the best potential for our crops.
As the annual Texas Sales Tax Holiday approaches (August 10-12), during which most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks sold for less than $100 will be tax-free, we want to reflect upon what makes our community strong – our businesses. We know how easy it is to click-click-click and make purchases online or leave Haskell to shop in bigger cities, but we want to encourage everyone to stay and shop in Haskell as much as possible. We are fortunate to have a thriving business community with so much to offer! Please keep Haskell merchants in mind when you’re making your purchasing decisions – it’s vital that we support each other!
Speaking of our thriving business community, we’re proud to welcome a new member to the Haskell Chamber and congratulate a member business on their ownership change! The Chamber hosted ribbon cuttings for Kaleidoscope to celebrate their new owners, and at Texas Star Antiques, a brand-new business, both of which are located on the square. It is great to see people believing in Haskell as they launch their businesses, and we certainly wish them the best!
We have several activities coming up for which to prepare. We’ll have our semi-annual City Wide Garage Sale in October, and we’re planning to do another “Sip, Shop and Stroll” during the holiday season. We also already are making preparations for our Christmas Parade – we now have less than five months until Christmas! As warm as it is now, we’ll soon be trading that for cozy blankets, pumpkins, fall leaves and eventually (we hope!) a little snow!
As always, we thank you for your support of the Haskell Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. We encourage you to stop by the Chamber and visit with our manager, Amanda Hernandez, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the office on the east side of the square or call her at (940) 864-2477.