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 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.