Haskell Homecoming is slated for October 20-21. During this memorable weekend, the DCOH will be hosting a Possibilities Tour to showcase available buildings around town. We would like for our visitors to be able to walk through buildings and think about the endless business possibilities available right here in Haskell.
In order to prepare for this event, we need realtors and building owners to participate with the DCOH and answer questions about cost, square footage, and showing their building during this time. If you are unable to show your building, we will help find people to do that for you. Also, don’t worry too much about how the space looks. We aren’t expecting every space to be in tip-top shape. But we will need some room for people to move around safely.Our goal is to feature buildings that are for sale or lease; however, even if a building is not for sale, but an owner/manager would like to showcase it on the tour, we are happy to add them. An example would be someone who has done renovations, or changed up the space in some way that people who have ties to Haskell would enjoy seeing.
The tour is scheduled for Saturday afternoon (Oct. 21) from 2-5 p.m. We will create a map that people can pick up prior to going on the tour. We would also like some of our older population in town to be in each building to tell the stories about what was there before. These stories and history are the reason some people invest in these spaces. They love the back-story.
People love their hometown and many dream of coming back someday. We want to provide them with information to help them make that decision. Some will simply want to take a trip down memory lane, and that is also fantastic. They will tell their friends and help us generate some positive buzz about Haskell.
After the event we will have a gathering point with refreshments for a discussion about what people saw and envisioned in those spaces. We will also be sharing photos and articles after the event. We will continue to answer follow up questions that people have long after the weekend is over. We want to get people talking and dreaming about possibilities in these spaces.
We will have a meeting with interested parties in September to go over more details. If you have a building in Haskell that you would like to feature on the tour, please call the DCOH at 940-864-3424 to get on our list…even if you aren’t 100% decided, still get on our list. Also, if you would like to be a person who shares the history of a certain building, let us know. This is a going to be a fun event and a great opportunity to feature Haskell.
By Jimi Coplen
Business recruitment is always something the DCOH is working on. In the past, the DCOH has been successful at a variety of different businesses that have been recruited to Haskell. Some have been successful and continue to be in business today. Some of the businesses have closed due to owners passing away. And, some businesses simply do not make it because being in business is hard work. Other businesses were so successful they were sold and moved to different locations. New business is part of the ebb and flow of all communities, and the DCOH continues to look for businesses to move, start-up or expand in Haskell.
One way the DCOH works is to identify gaps in the community. We look for things that are missing: retail gaps, service gaps, manufacturing gaps. For example, Haskell does not have an eye doctor, or optometrist. That is a gap, or a service that people drive out of Haskell to find. We then have to evaluate if that type of business could be supported in a community this size. Then, we have to find a market or people in that field, and show them that a gap exists here. Then, we must convince them that there is an opportunity in Haskell to start a business. The process can be fun, but long and much patience is required!
Did you know that the old Monsanto building used to be owned by the DCOH, and it housed a small motor home manufacturer? This gentleman sold his company and went to work with his brother in Stephenville building horse trailers. The DCOH then recruited Delta Pine, a cotton breeding company, and sold the building to them. They later became Monsanto. When Monsanto opened their megacenter in Lubbock, it absorbed the Haskell research center, leaving the building for sale once again. With the help of the DCOH, it was most recently purchased by Steele Fire & Apparatus to expand their business. They are one of Texas’ leading manufacturers of brush trucks, tankers and skid units. We are proud to have them doing what they do in Haskell.
People do not always understand how economic development works. Through these articles, we hope to give you a glimpse into this world of business recruitment, retention and expansion. The DCOH is working for Haskell, and we hope to continue to do so for many years. If you know of anyone wanting to start or expand a business in Haskell, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 940-864-3424. As always, you can follow our Facebook page at haskelltexasusa.