This past year was like no other. One way or another, we all have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been devastating for many families and small businesses in our community. Despite the unprecedented challenges we face every day, we have seen firsthand the strength of our community and character of its people. From healthcare providers and first responders fighting on the frontlines to the essential workers providing products and services, each and every citizen played an integral role in ensuring the prosperity of our city and the safety of our people.
In times of adversity, it is our response to these hardships and how we overcome that defines our character. As a city, we have witnessed firsthand the supportive efforts of those who sewed masks, and donated time and resources to local businesses and those in need. As an organization, we worked with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and others to donate the funds for face shields, masks, plexiglass boxes and ventilators to be distributed to hospitals across West Texas.
To bridge the gap for businesses during this financially difficult time, Market Lubbock, Inc., LEDA, and South Plains Association of Governments (SPAG) partnered in April to create the Support Lubbock Fund. This fund allocated $2 million to help small businesses that experienced economic hardships as a result of the pandemic. Within two weeks of developing the fund, businesses received money to help cover necessary costs. We recognize that every small business – each restaurant, retailer, manufacturer and professional office – along with our workforce, are essential to the success and vitality of our economy.
While this year was difficult, Lubbock is on the path to recovery. Lubbock, unlike many cities, has seen a “V” rebound to our economy. This means that while we saw the effects of this pandemic, our future is bright. We are already seeing this as others recognize Lubbock as a great place to live and work. Since the pandemic, the “Hub City” was named No. 1 in Texas Millennial Homeownership (Improvenet.com), No. 3 of the Top 25 Cities for Newly Remote Workers (FinaceBuzz) and No. 17 Best Place for Outdoor Enthusiasts to Live and Work (SmartAsset). This is a direct reflection of how attainable it is to live out the American dream in Lubbock. As a new generation of workers makes their way to West Texas, bringing with them families and new perspectives, they are met with good paying jobs and an unmatched work/life balance.
In closing, I’d like to thank our board of directors and the city council for their support and dedication to our city. Also, I’d like to recognize our city officials and community leaders for the continued dedication to the wellbeing of our city.
As we reflect on the year 2020, let this not be a year defined by hardship, but by the resiliency of our people. Resilience is in our genes. As we look to the future of our city, we are optimistic with the progress that continues to be made.
President and Chief Executive Officer