More than 100 years ago, pioneers came upon the vast plains of the Llano Estacado. Known as the “Staked Plains,” marking the ground beneath them did more than claim the territory; it established a sense of place amid the endless horizon. Why here? They found resources and saw opportunities. Generations later, we share in their legacy of resilience. As I reflect on this past year, our community experienced hardship as a result of this worldwide pandemic, but we also witnessed the character and the strength of our city.
As small businesses were confronted with difficult financial times, the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) established a $2 million Support Lubbock Fund which assisted sole proprietors and small businesses with everyday operation costs. Along with this effort, Market Lubbock, Inc. helped process applications for the City of Lubbock’s Microgrant Support Program. These programs helped individuals and small businesses weather the storm during this challenging time. I commend the team for their swift action to aid our community in both financial resources as well as manpower.
These unique circumstances also presented many challenges for our travel and tourism industry. Our Visit Lubbock team is working diligently to accommodate meetings safely for both the attendees and our community. We will continue to see the effects of this pandemic on the tourism industry for some time, but as we take necessary precautions, we are poised to have a strong comeback in Lubbock.
As I reflect on the impact of this public health crisis and what’s on the horizon for us, I can say above all else – there is no place I would rather be than in Lubbock, Texas. With so many densely populated cities seeing immense challenges, we enjoy the conveniences of a large city that is naturally socially distanced with the vast landscape of the South Plains.
This year presented its own set of challenges, the likes of which we have not seen before; however, the teams at LEDA and Visit Lubbock, led by John Osborne, pivoted and committed time and resources to the recovery of our city. As we look to the future, we have several significant projects coming to a close, some of which take nearly three years to come to fruition. I am grateful for the teams’ commitment to Lubbock and its economic vitality.
On behalf of the board, I would like to thank our outgoing board members: Vice Chairman Mark Griffin, Calvin Davis and Kristin Murray. We are incredibly grateful for the time they’ve devoted to advising these organizations and their commitment to making Lubbock a better place.
The past few months have been difficult, but our commitment to serving our fellow citizens is unwavering. In future years, we will look back on 2020 and see a city that recovered quickly because of the tenacity of its citizens.
Chairman of the Board for Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, Market Lubbock, Inc., Visit Lubbock and Lubbock Sports