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 email@example.com. 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.
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
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.
By Mary Jane Buerkle, IOM, Vice President of the Chamber’s Board of Directors
Hello from your Haskell Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center! Summer is upon us, and even though we don’t have any immediate upcoming events, we still have plenty to do.
We hope you’ve had the opportunity to meet our new Chamber Manager, Amanda Hernandez. She has done an amazing job of representing our members and developing key relationships within the community in the short time she’s been with us. Amanda and board member Christina Isbell attended a “Chamber Best Practices” seminar a couple of weeks ago in Abilene with the Texas Midwest Community Network. They gathered a ton of great ideas, and we’ll be implementing as many of those as we can.
However, our board and staff cannot take on all these projects alone. In addition to a renewed focus on our membership, we’re going to work to build volunteer committees for events and initiatives. An organization is nothing without volunteers who share a passion for their community. Volunteering with the Chamber allows you the opportunity to network with others and tell them about your business and have a lot of fun doing it! Plus, you get to give back to Haskell and the surrounding area while gaining valuable experience and building not only your connection base but your resume. Volunteering also can pave the way for leadership development.
The bottom line is – we need you to help Haskell prosper! If you’re interested in volunteering with a Chamber event or initiative, or if you have any questions about the Chamber or becoming a member, please call Amanda at 940-864-2477.
March 12th City Council meeting cancelled due to a lack of agenda items.