By Jimi Coplen, DCOH Executive Director
The month of August was another good month for sales tax. It was up 15%. This rise means people are shopping local and Haskell is headed in a positive direction.
The DCOH has been working on recruitment for the Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership program. This program kicks off in October. There is still time to get signed up, simply contact our office.
We have also been working on developing strategies for highway 277, specifically, the land south of the RV Sales Center and Rolling Plains Detention Center that is owned by the DCOH. One critical need for development is a road and/or exit ramp off of highway 277. This can be accomplished with a Texas Capital Fund grant; however, we have to have a NEW business locate there first in order to qualify for that. In the meantime, we will keep working on different strategies to get that accomplished.
We have added another great business to the downtown square on the northwest corner. Roger Roewe has opened a retail store. That building is owned by the DCOH. We had to make some improvements to the downstairs space to get it rentable such as HVAC, electrical and a restroom. Mr. Roewe took care of all the cosmetic improvements. It has been a great partnership to breathe new life back into that space and help revive the downtown square.
The DCOH is also working with the Rochester VoTech campus on a High Demand Job Training Grant for equipment. The DCOH will be pledging matching dollars in order to maximize the grant. The VoTech campus supplies our community and region with a pipeline of future workforce and we are fortunate to have them.
As always, the DCOH can be contacted at 940-864-3424 or stop by our office at 24 Ave D.
By Mary Jane Buerkle
September is upon us, school is in full swing, and the rain this past week was such a blessing! This should help put the finishing touch on the cotton crop we have here in Haskell County. Agriculture is business in Haskell – when our growers have a good year, our business community thrives even more.
Hopefully you’ve been cleaning out closets and rooms and setting aside things to sell during our semi-annual City/Community Wide Garage Sale on Saturday, October 6! 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. You also can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry fee is just $10. This is a great event and you definitely want to be “on the map”!
As a reminder – because we all know how fast the “-ber” months fly – the Chamber’s “Sip, Shop and Stroll” event will be Thursday, December 6. Mark your calendars! If you are a retailer and already know you would like to participate, please contact Amanda. Also, our annual Lighted Christmas Parade will be that Saturday, December 8. It is not too early to begin planning your float or parade entry! Also, if you’re interested in being a parade judge, please let us know.
Amanda has been visiting several businesses over the past few weeks, encouraging membership renewals and recruiting new members. In order to be the best Chamber we can be, we need everyone’s support! It isn’t always as simple as realizing a direct return on membership investment; the Chamber is a prime example of the saying, “you get out of it what you put into it.” We welcome ideas and involvement! We always need volunteers – that’s a great way to increase your opportunities for networking while giving back to your community. It takes volunteers to create the success we all want, whether it’s serving on the City Council or another community board, working with Keep Haskell Beautiful, helping with various community fundraisers, or supporting our schools. Many do all of that and then some, and we thank you.
As always, we thank you for your support of the Haskell Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. We encourage you to contact us with any ideas or feedback you may have as we continue to grow.