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September Chamber Update

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Since the founding of Elgin in 1872, small business owners have been the backbone of Elgin’s economy. For 147 years, these hard working men and women have been courageous visionaries in search of economy, who have chosen to pursue the American dream in Elgin, Texas. Their efforts and drive to succeed has made our community what it is today. These businesses create the jobs, pay the taxes, manufacture the products and provide the services that benefit us all.

Occasionally, I hear comments like “there are not enough businesses in Elgin,” or in some cases, derogatory remarks have been made against specific businesses. The fact is there are over 400 businesses in our community. These businesses employ over 2,000 people, generate over million dollars in local sales tax and pay over three million in property tax to the city, county and school district.

Do we desire new businesses to come to our community? Absolutely! We welcome them; we recruit them; and we encourage them to be a part of our wonderful city. But let’s not forget the businesses that are already here.

I encourage you to shop locally. When you shop locally, you are contributing to our tax base to help our city provide the services you desire. Sometimes it is an inconvenience, and perhaps the business may not always have the selection you might find elsewhere. But the benefits of shopping locally are more than just sales tax. These business owners and their employees are our friends and neighbors who have made a huge personal investment to our city. They give back to the community in giving of their time as community leaders, volunteers and also in charitable giving. They support literally hundreds of charitable organizations in our city.

The next time you go to any of the youth sports leagues games and see the business’s name on the back of the uniforms, take the time to thank these local sponsors. When you enjoy our city parks, city library, or community festivals, thank the businesses whose financial contributions help fund the many activities and programs these groups offer. When you or your neighbor needs a helping hand and requires assistance from the local food pantry or the volunteer fire department, you need to thank the generosity of the local businesses that help support these organizations. If you counted up all the money these local businesses have given to these non-profit groups in this year you would be amazed. I believe the average person has no idea how many times these local businesses are asked for donations. But they give because they are part of the community. They have invested much blood, sweat and tears to this community. If you are not shopping locally, that is your choice. But I encourage you to thank these businesses for what they do for each of us. Every citizen in Elgin has benefited in some way from their generosity. These businesses, both big and small, are an important part of our community. On behalf of the Elgin Chamber of Commerce, we respect their dedication. We salute their success. But most of all, we thank them for their extraordinary and continuing contributions to the city of Elgin.