BIG IDEA COMPETITION: FEB. 1 in HASKELL

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Do you have an idea for a business? Would you like to win $15,000 to help launch your big idea? If so, we have an event you need to attend.

The ACU Springboard Competition helps local entrepreneurs develop their business model at an early stage and get feedback on their business ideas from local investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. It’s like a mini Shark Tank for rural Texas.

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The competition includes three phases, each designed to help your team move to the next milestone.  The phases include…

  1. Initial Elevator Pitch (Done in Haskell on February 1, 2018)
  2. Training Workshop and Mentoring to create a business model
  3. Business Model Competition, ending in the top 3 teams presenting at the Springboard Community Lunch in April  for a chance to win $15,000

Get started today by registering for the Haskell elevator pitch event held on February 1, 2018. All you have to do is share your idea in two minutes or less and get feedback from our judges. Your team could end up winning $15,000 in cash and in-kind resources to help pursue your big idea.

At the Development Corporation of Haskell (DCOH), we know opportunities like these are few and far between; therefore, we do not want you to miss this opportunity to turn your big idea into a reality. No idea is too small or too big to compete. You do not have to have all the details figured out initially. You just have to come with your idea.  To register, call or email the DCOH at 940-864-3424.

The DCOH would also like to help you with additional business resources on launching your big idea or expanding your business. We can help you further develop your idea, help you get resources together and also help with workforce issues.  We can also put you in touch with other partners around the region who can help you with business planning, financing and more. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 864-3424.

 

Sip, Shop & Stroll

By Jimi Coplen

Get ready for a fun evening out in downtown Haskell on December 7, 2017, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. The Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center along with the Development Corporation of Haskell will be hosting a Sip, Shop and Stroll holiday event. Businesses will be open late for your shopping pleasure. There will be live entertainment and several drawings for Haskell Dollars. There will also be a friendly, ugly sweater competition.

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The Sip, Shop and Stroll event will consist of businesses providing refreshments as you stroll through the downtown and shop. Every twenty dollars spent on this night enters shoppers into drawings for a total of $200 Haskell Dollars. Receipts can be shown at the COC office and a ticket will be given for each $20 spent. Shoppers must be present to win, and a winner will be drawn every 30 minutes.

Also, there will be an ugly sweater contest. If you would like to play along, simply wear your ugliest sweater and check in at the COC office. Someone will take your photo and a panel of judges will decide who in fact is wearing the ugliest sweater. All entries must be entered by 6:30 p.m. and the winner will be picked at 6:45 p.m. The grand prize will be $50 in Haskell Dollars.

If you are a business with no storefront and would like to participate in the event, a space can be provided for you to set up in downtown. You will need to bring your own table. If you have a storefront and would like to extend your hours for this event, please let us know as well. We will be putting a list together of all participating businesses. There is a $10 fee for non-chamber members to participate.  You do not have to be located on the square to participate.

Make plans to join us Thursday night, December 7, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for a fun-filled, holiday event. For more information call the COC at 864-2477 or the DCOH at 864-3424.

Host Your Next Meeting in Haskell

If any of you follow the DCOH & Chamber Facebook page – Haskell Texas USA – you may have noticed that we have been focusing on places to meet in Haskell. As locals, we sometimes forget what is in our own backyard and how we can utilize those venues to drive our local economy. We can all agree that we want a stronger economy, right?

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When a group comes to Haskell, they sleep in our motels, eat at our restaurants, buy our gas and shop at our retail stores.  People want to spend money when they are out of town. They multi-task while they are here and run errands, pick up a gift, and fill up their tanks before they head home. We all do this when we visit a different town. That is why it is important to remember Haskell when scheduling meetings and events.

Think about this: Do you belong to a regional organization of any kind?  Do you belong to a club? Does that group get together and meet? Is your family planning a family reunion this year? The next time they are looking for a location, speak up about all the great spots we have in Haskell. From small events to large ones, Haskell can accommodate almost any group size. Here are some of the meeting spaces available in Haskell:

  • Civic Center
  • Country Club
  • Macias Ballroom
  • The Women’s Space
  • First Bank Texas Meeting Room
  • The Hospital Education Room (Meetings must be heathcare related.)
  • American Legion Hall
  • Church fellowship halls

Can you believe we have that many places to host a meeting or event? They have everything you need, including tables, chairs, AV equipment and sound systems. Many of them also have kitchens available.

Even if your group is small, every dollar counts in small communities. It makes a difference. Also, if you put together packets for your group, check in with the DCOH or the Chamber of Commerce for maps, booklets, etc. Also, some of the local businesses have marketing giveaways they will give you to fill your packets.

If you would like to bring a group to Haskell or put on an event, but you are not sure how to get started, stop by the DCOH office and let us help you. To get more information about our meeting spaces, visit www.haskelltexasusa.com/ or call us at 864-3424.

Yard of the Month -KHB

Christina Isbell, Keep Haskell Beautiful

Yard of the Month recognizes Haskell citizens who contribute to the overall aesthetics and health of our city by maintaining exceptionally clean and beautiful properties. Nominations for the program are open to the public January – December of each year, and one winning “Yard of the Month” is selected by KHB volunteer judges. A sign will be placed in the winner’s yard, along with photos on KHB website and Facebook page.

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HOLIDAY SEASON: In the months of October, November and December a Yard-of-the-Month award will be given based on holiday decorations and other seasonal presentations. This is usually for Halloween and Christmas/Hanukkah but may be awarded for Thanksgiving decorations.

Have you seen a yard that’s worthy of being honored as “Yard of the Month?”  To submit a nomination, send an email to keephaskellbeautiful@yahoo.com or call 940-207-1729. Winner’s for the following month will be selected on the third Monday of each month.

 

DCOH Needs Your Building for Possibilities Tour

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.pt-logoOur 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.

 

 

Wild Horse Prairie Days 2017 – June 2-3

Summer is almost here and that means it is time for the 22nd Annual Wild Horse Prairie Days Rodeo and BBQ Cook-Off weekend! The rodeo and cook-off will both be held Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3.  See the flyers below for team line ups for the rodeo.

Rodeo Schedule 

Friday, June 2

9 a.m. – Team Roping

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Craft Show  (Civic Center)

12 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Project Show (Civic Center)

5 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Chuckwagon Meal

7 p.m. – Ranch Rodeo

Saturday, June 3

9 a.m. – Ranch Horse Competition

10:30 a.m. – Ranch Horse Competition Finals (Awards at the Civic Center)

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Craft Show  (Civic Center)

12 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Project Show (Civic Center)

5 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Chuckwagon Meal

7 p.m. – Ranch Rodeo

Sunday, June 4

9 a.m. – Barrel Racing

10:30 a.m. – Jeff Gore, Cowboy Preacher at God Loves You Ministries, westside of the downtown square.

BBQ Cook-Off & Cornhole Schedule

Last year was the first year the Haskell Chamber hosted the WHPD BBQ Cook-Off in conjunction with the rodeo and with the help of our event organizer, Tell Stevens, we hope to have an even better event this year.

This year the event will be brought to you by the Haskell Chamber of Commerce and Bailey Toliver Chevrolet. We are also adding several new categories and events to our cook-off including a kids steak competition on Friday night sponsored by Modern Way, cornhole tournaments on both Friday night and Saturday and a welcome event on Friday night. Here is the schedule of all the fun.

Friday, June 2

6 p.m. – Welcome event and cornhole tournament

7 p.m. – Kid’s Steak Competition sponsored by Modern Way (14 and under)

7 p.m. – Steak competition (15 and up)

Saturday, June 3

8 a.m. to 5 pm. – WHPD BBQ Cook-Off. Categories include Bloody Mary, Beans, Chicken, Ribs, Brisket. Turn in times will be throughout the day.

10 a.m. – Cornhole tournament

We will be looking for judges to help with all the categories for both Friday night and Saturday. If you would like to be a judge, please contact Tell Stevens at 2147-500-4506.

For more information about the cook-off and to see all entry fees and prizes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/whpd.cookoff.  To sign up, fill out the form here.

National Small Business Week

By Jimi Coplen

In honor of National Small Business Week, the DCOH would like to thank our small business owners for all they do for Haskell, the citizens and the region. We could not do what we do if it were not for small businesses. They not only provide goods and services, generate sales tax dollars, and employee folks, but they also donate to various causes such as scholarships and events. It takes a lot of tenacity and grit to own your own business. It is not for the faint of heart. Hats off to each of you!

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Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

As you shop this week, be sure and say “thank you” to your local business owners. Let them know how much you appreciate them for all they do! Show them some love on social media by checking in and/or posting a picture from their establishment. When you do, use the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek and #deeproots. For more information on this event, check out https://www.sba.gov/nsbw/ or call the DCOH at 940-864-3424.

Haskell Representatives take on D.C. for Help with the RPDC

Haskell County and the Development Corporation of Haskell (DCOH) embarked on Washington D.C., August 17-19, 2016, in order to meet with federal officials who make decisions on placing federal detainees at the Rolling Plains Detention Center (RPDC). The facility is slated to close by end of year if additional detainees are not found to occupy the facility.

Haskell County Judge -David Davis, DCOH Executive Director - Jimi Coplen, Intergovernmental Relations Chair - Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., DCOH Board of Directors & Haskell National Bank - Randy Hise
Haskell County Judge -David Davis, DCOH Executive Director – Jimi Coplen, Intergovernmental Relations Chair – Texas Senator, Eddie Lucio, Jr., DCOH Board of Directors & Haskell National Bank VP – Randy Hise

Haskell representatives David Davis, Jimi Coplen and Randy Hise traveled to Washington D.C. and met with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), US Senator Ted Cruz’s office,  US Senator John Cornyn’s office, and  the US House of Representatives Randy Neugebauer’s office.

The most important meeting was with ICE officials. That is the current detainee population held at the RPDC.  The hope is that ICE could fill their new facility at Alvarado and still have enough detainees to fill the RPDC. The three ICE officials that met with the group were attentive and positive.  Each of them had visited the Haskell facility in the past and was familiar with it. They assured the group the only reason for building a new facility was logistical and to have detainees closer to the federal court in Dallas.  They said the plan was to start moving detainees around December 1, 2016. The group also discussed with ICE the vast number of detainees crossing the Texas border, but then shipped to various places around the United States. ICE officials stated they have not had enough beds in Texas to house them here. Our group assured them there were beds in Texas and soon there would be more beds in Haskell. And, Haskell would like to be considered for additional populations. They agreed to send overflow to Haskell; however, this is not enough to fill the facility. Haskell will need more than 20-40 overflows in order to keep the facility open and thriving.

The group also met with HHS. This organization places unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally into facilities across the United States. Those minors are housed at the expense of the United States until they can go before an immigration judge.  The average stay is around 35 days.  They are later placed with a foster family. This population is housed differently than a prisoner. They are detained, but it is more of a camp-like environment, large dorms, common areas, etc. The RPDC is not set up for this type of population. The current facility would have to be extremely retrofitted to accompany them. HHS was also attentive and very gracious to hear about the Haskell facility. In order to be considered by HHC, one must submit a grant proposal and it could take up to a year before a child is placed.  This is certainly not the ideal population for the RPDC due to the configuration, but it will be taken under considered.

Haskell representatives had hoped to meet with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) while in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday, August 18, 2016, that they would no longer be contracting with private facilities. This will be a hard hit on many Texas counties who currently house BOP prisoners. This decision does not affect ICE detainees as are in the Rolling Plains Detention Center because ICE is part of the Department of Homeland Security and not the Department of Justice.

Haskell representatives were not able to meet with the US Marshall Service, but did receive a phone call from them. Haskell resides in the Northern District. The acting Marshall who called was very helpful, but said they did not need any beds at this time. The group inquired about a recent article that stated the Odessa district was in need.  He told them to call that office directly to see if they would be interested in housing people in the Haskell facility.

Fortunately, Haskell was able to have congressional staff attend meetings with them. Before the group arrived, a joint letter was sent to HHS, ICE, BOP and the US Marshall Service from Texas Senator Charles Perry and Representatives James Frank and Drew Springer. This helped set the stage to get them in the door with Congressional representatives Ted Cruz, John Cornyn and Randy Neugebauer. Because it is August in Washington, only their staff was available. Haskell representatives were able to brief them on the situation, have them attend meetings with them, and they agreed to circle back with these offices in the future.

Randy Hise, Eddie Lucio, Jr, David Davis, Hannah Jaeckle (Neugebauer's office), Jimi Coplen
Randy Hise, Eddie Lucio, Jr, David Davis, Hannah Jaeckle (Neugebauer’s office), Jimi Coplen

The current RPDC jail management company, Emerald, is also actively seeking additional inmate populations for the RPDC. They are meeting with groups not associated with the federal government such as other states and various special interest groups who house prisoners. Haskell County is briefed weekly on their efforts. Emerald is  interested in staying in Haskell and running the RPDC facility as well as the new facility in Alvarado.

Haskell County and the DCOH hope this article clears up any confusion or rumors that have been floating around the community. They also want the citizens to know that no stone is being left unturned. They are working diligently on this project and will continue to do whatever it takes to keep the RPDC open. It’s a vital part of the community and will have a huge economic impact on every entity in Haskell and the general population if it were to close.