This phrase comes up often: “…we aren’t Dallas or Austin and don’t want to be.” Over the last two years Lubbock in the Loop has researched and learned of many new businesses (local and national) coming to Lubbock. We then report what we find to you, our followers. Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of power on WHAT will be built here, but we do feel like we have some influence. And by “we,” we mean our followers. Your comments on our page and website are actually read by businesses looking to build here or wanting to learn more about our community.
We posted a picture about new businesses to our Instagram page recently and asked the question: What would you like see in Lubbock? Here are some of the answers:
Is this rapid growth good for Lubbock? Does it hurt local business? How can local businesses overcome the big box boom? What would your answers be? Comments from you really got us thinking about Lubbock’s growth.
The growth has been evident over the last several years. The Marsha Sharp Freeway connects downtown to Wolfforth (almost, at least). It makes sense that businesses are popping up in these high trafficked areas. Also, houses are popping up all over southwest Lubbock which has spurred the business growth well past 82nd Street. The northwest side of town is also seeing some growth with the new overpass at Quaker and the finally finished Erskine. As much as construction is a pain, it is paving the way for all of these new businesses. Check out these statistics below:
Lubbock experienced a spike in growth from 2000-2012, but is now leveling off near 6%. The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance is a great resource to view more stats pertaining to popular growth, the job market, and industry strengths. These figures can show you WHY all of the businesses are setting up shop in Lubbock.
We have heard our followers thoughts, but we wanted to find out from business owners their thoughts on Lubbock’s growth and new businesses. We did try and reach out to local franchisers of national businesses, but did not have much luck.
“I think that owning a local business is of some benefit because I think people in west Texas rally behind it being local… Lubbock is the biggest small town I’ve ever been to or lived in. I think growth is good because it brings in more jobs and more options for people to choose from. I think local business owners can overcome big business or big chains by offering a better product and better service. Those two will go a long way with anyone. If you go out of your way for someone, they will never forget it.”
-Josh Nelson, Blue Oasis Italian Ice
“…with Lubbock bringing in more nationally familiar corporate businesses and restaurants, it creates new jobs and new ways to stimulate and promote our local community… As long as you’ll keep a positive attitude and you work hard towards whatever you do, you’ll make it here in Lubbock. Italian Garden welcomes the new corporate businesses that are coming to this town because it gives people new options and creates new jobs for our local friends and families. However, we do pride ourselves that we continue to be a top choice for them because we maintain a level of excellence that our customers expect from us regardless of any new businesses.”
-Murat Brati, Italian Garden
“Is growth good or bad? Growth can be a double edged sword. On the one hand it’s fantastic because it generates money which has the trickle down affect to make Lubbock a better place to live and work. However, “big box” stores can affect the local entrepreneurs who helped sustain Lubbock through the lean times. I have learned, as a small business owner, you have got to be aware of what is coming down the road and how you and your business can prepare to roll with the punches. Diversity is the name of the game and you simply have to offer customers what the “big box” stores cannot offer; that thing that is uniquely you and will keep them happy, coming back, and spreading the word to friends. Anticipating growth and change, and preparing how you are going to handle it, will only make your business stronger in the long run. Anticipation and expectations can be very high for “big box” stores, and if it is anticlimactic for the customer, you can always be that mainstay that is there for them to return to once the shine of newness has worn off.”
-Kelle Barnard, Kelle B Designs, LLC
“Our business has “culture” in the name because we feel like it is the most important aspect of what we do. We want to create community- not just sell a product. We want it to be an inviting place- somewhere that people will want to come back to even if they move from Lubbock. We are able to put together and participate in many local events and feature local musicians and artisans. Shawn and I have met some of the most incredible people since opening Culture Clothing and our eyes have really been opened to how cool Lubbock is!”
–Lissa Anglin, Culture Clothing and Lissa Anglin Photography
Are all of the new businesses just making Lubbock another city? Have we lost our uniqueness? Were we unique to begin with? This post is in no means for or against national businesses. At Lubbock in the Loop we partake and enjoy many national businesses, but as a small business ourselves appreciate and know the struggle of a local business. We think their is room and enough people to support both.
Check out the Coming Soon to Lubbock list that has everyone talking. We want to hear your thoughts! What do you think about Lubbock’s growth? Big box business? Local business? What businesses do you want to see open in Lubbock? Feel free to sound off below…