Yoakum EDC Blog

Discussion of Economic Development in Yoakum, the State of Texas, the USA and around the world.


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Handy Stop Expansion

Ray Robinson of Tex-Con Oil Company can spot opportunities. “There is an expectation that for every dollar of gas sales, the store can expect a proportional amount of profitable indoor sales from soft drinks, beer and food,” said Robinson, who is celebrating his 50th year in the gas station business. The potential for Handy Stop is mind boggling, says Robinson, because Read More

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The Grand Opens Second Screen

After months of planning and construction, The Grand Theater will introduce an additional movie screen this week. The owners of The Grand, which opened fall 2016 at 212 May Street, purchased half of the adjoining building Read More


Last Chance: Harvey Grants for Historic Buildings

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) will disburse $12.3 million in federal funds to address the impacts of Hurricane Harvey on significant historic properties. Eligibility: Any “contributing” building in the Yoakum Commercial Historic District can apply for Read More

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Business Appreciation

The Yoakum Economic Development Corporation hosted its fourth annual Business Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday May 1. This year, two businesses received Community Investment Awards: Dairy Treet (901 W Grand) and Perk and Brew (210 W Grand). “Eddie Varela and family had a successful business in the Stanley Center for 18 years, yet they chose to invest Read More

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Wayfinding for Yoakum

Chamber of Commerce Chair Diane McCommas, at the January meeting of the Yoakum EDC, suggested installing signs to entice highway travelers to visit multiple City of Yoakum points of interest. Three months later, “Wayfinding for Yoakum” findings were presented Read More


YEDC Mid – Year Update

By the mid-point of fiscal year 2018-2019 the Yoakum Economic Development Corporation approved fourteen grants in the categories of Retail Enhancement, Preservation, General and Community. Yoakum construction projects totaling $1,217,504 were matched by Read More

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O’Reilly Motors into Yoakum

Heavy equipment could be seen lining up at the former Double J Saddlery last week as the new owners began demolition. Weather permitting, construction on the new 7,500 square foot O’Reilly Auto Parts is expected to be completed by Read More

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Kevin Chance knew he needed to move. The Yoakum office of Complete Hometown Physical Therapy (CHPT) had grown beyond the confines of its rented space on May Street. As the conversation with his wife, Kelly, progressed Read More

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Economic Developers Meet with Senator Kolkhorst

South Central Texas economic developers took time out from their bi-annual state legislative meeting to visit Senator Lois Kolkhorst at her Capitol office on Thursday, February 21. Read More

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Customer Service Training - February 27

Customer service is the ability of an organization to constantly and consistently give the customer what they want and need. Join us for a free, two hour session professionally instructed by the UHV- Small Business Development Center. Attendees will learn about: Read More

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Customer Service Training, Act I

The desire for Customer Service training hit a chord last week when the Chamber of Commerce announced a free two hour training session to be held Wednesday, February 27. “Over 20 people signed up in the first 24 hours”, said Read More

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New Retail in Yoakum

A previously vacant Yoakum building was filled with activity this past Thursday evening when both Anytime Fitness and Ace Hardware opened their doors at 201 US HWY 77A South. Read More


Destination Marketing

Sometimes a business hits it right on the head. Several years ago, my work cohorts and I would frequent lunch in a non-descript medical office building. None of us knew the restaurant name. We only knew it as “Apple Pie”, the Thursdays-only desert, Read More


Ace Hardware, Anytime Fitness to open in Yoakum

Yoakum residents will soon have the chance to work out any time of the day and have a one-stop shop that will offer most needed merchandise. The owners of Anytime Fitness and Ace Hardware hope to open their stores in mid-January at Read More


Training Makes for Good Employees

Many young adults today demonstrate the maturity levels of pre-teens or teenagers of past generations because they have not yet learned to work. Minimum wage, liability insurance, the cost of transportation, excessive smart phone use and parental bail-outs have collectively reduced youth employment opportunities. The result is a maturity deficit Read More

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Changes to Downtown Zoning Proposal

Comments from building owners who attended the Central Business District (CBD) Open House Nov. 27 - 28 were shared with the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Committee, a group of seven volunteer citizens, on Dec 10 and the following changes to the proposed CBD were made. Read More

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View the Yoakum Commercial Historical District Nomination!

The final draft of Yoakum's National Register District nomination is available for viewing on the YEDC web site. The nomination contains 104 pages packed with local history, architectural descriptions, historical photos and current photos. The nomination will be reviewed at the Texas Historical Commission public meeting on Wednesday, December 5 at 530pm at Yoakum City Hall. The public is welcome. Read More

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Putting up the Lights!

City Electrical Department employees Robert Haynes and Kenny Eggemeyer put the finishing touches on the new downtown Christmas lights. Read More

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National Register District News

If all goes as planned, the Yoakum Commercial Historic District will be the newest addition to the 342 National Register Districts statewide and the fifteen National Register Districts within a 60 mile drive of Yoakum. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) will return to Yoakum on December 5 Read More

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New Downtown Zoning Proposed

The City of Yoakum Planning and Zoning Commission, City Council, and Yoakum EDC recently asked downtown business and building owners to weigh in on proposed changes to downtown zoning. The downtown zoning changes are intended to identify preferred uses for the future. Read More

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The Grand Theater wins People’s Choice Award

The Texas Downtown Association’s annual People’s Choice awards resulted in Yoakum’s Grand Theater winning, by popular vote, the state’s Best Economic Game Changer. Over 450 people cast their votes for The Grand Theater Read More

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Christmas Lights to Return to Downtown Yoakum!

After an almost ten year black-out, Christmas Lights are coming back to downtown. The Yoakum Chamber and Yoakum EDC will split the cost of new light strings and LED bulbs, while the City of Yoakum electrical department will perform the installation. Read More

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Yoakum Municipal Airport Expands

A new private hanger is currently under construction at the Yoakum Municipal Airport. Travis McKee, of McKee Construction, is constructing Read More

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♫..when I’m 64 ..

In 1967 the Beatles released a song about a young man asking if his mate would still care for and feed him when he got older. With my own 64th year rapidly closing it may be time I get serious Read More

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Historic theaters increase foot traffic in Crossroads' downtowns

Last week the Texas Downtown Association announced The Grand Theater as a finalist for its Economic Game Changer of the Year award. The winner will be announced November 7 at its annual meeting in Corpus Christi. CONGRATULATIONS to The Grand Theater! (article and photo credit Kathryn Cargo, Victoria Advocate) Read More

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Video: Downtown Yoakum's Game Changer

A seven minute video on the Grand Theater and its impact in Downtown Yoakum. Read More

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Downtown Yoakum's Game Changer

The Grand Theater entertained generations of Yoakum residents with movies since the depression era. It abruptly closed in the late 1990's. About twenty years passed when Tammy Steinmann and her husband Phillip decided to purchase and rehabilitate the property. Read More


Recent YEDC Grant Awards

The Yoakum Economic Development Corporation recently changed its long-standing policy to accept grant applications monthly. Previously the YEDC Read More

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Yoakum’s Grand Birthday Bash!

Thanks to a growing number of downtown enthusiasts the City of Yoakum will celebrate its birthday for the first time in decades. According to local sources, land was donated by John May on July 28, 1887 Read More


First Steps to Start Your Own Business

Begin your business the right way! Do you have a great idea you think could be a successful business but just don’t know how to get started? This is a no-cost workshop recommended for those considering opening a business. Read More

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Boost for National Register District

Yoakum’s bid to become a National Register District got a big boost when the top Texas Historical Commission (THC) reviewer visited Yoakum recently. “This city’s historical buildings are remarkably in tack” Read More

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YEDC to Hire Intern

A job posting from the Yoakum EDC has been posted on the City of Yoakum website. The position, which will last for eight weeks beginning June 25, will primarily entail research Read More


Anytime Fitness Coming to Yoakum

The Yoakum area will soon exercise a new option for keeping fit. Anytime Fitness, an international franchisor of fitness clubs, will open in the former Alco building on US Hwy 77A. Read More

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YEDC Hosts Business Appreciation Luncheon

Yoakum businesses were treated to a panel program at the fourth annual Business Appreciation Luncheon. About 125 people attended the meeting at the community center on Wednesday, May 2. Receiving the 2018 Community Investment Award were Read More

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Perk & Brew Coming to Historic Downtown

Yoakum’s newest residents will open a unique store in Historic Downtown. “We really feel Yoakum needs a place for both a relaxing cup of coffee and a nice adult beverage. A place where people can socialize without the stigma of a bar” Read More

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Opportunity Knocks

A Lavaca County census tract located mostly in the City of Yoakum gained a tool to encourage long-term private investment after Governor Greg Abbott submitted the state's Opportunity Zone designations to the U.S. Treasury Department. Read More

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Downtown Revitalization Committee Appointed

Seven representatives of the Yoakum community were appointed by City Council at its February 13 meeting to participate in the newly formed Downtown Revitalization Committee. Read More

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Joint Promotions Coming Up

Laura Henson has a vision of creating a regional tourism effort among area cities. Henson, the director of the Yoakum Heritage Museum, Read More

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City Awarded $1M Grant

The Texas Department of Agriculture has awarded a $1 million Texas Capital Fund (TCF) grant to the City of Yoakum for infrastructure improvements relating to an expansion at Eddy Packing, Yoakum’s largest employer. Read More

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Candidates Needed for Downtown Committee

The revitalization of downtown Yoakum will require the coordination of multiple interests with different and sometimes competing ideas. As a partner in the process, the Yoakum City Council moved Read More

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Downtown Survey: Clothing, Craft Beer, and Yoakum-Themed Stores

As evidenced by the 279 people who participated in the Yoakum EDC-sponsored Downtown Vision Survey between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Yoakum area residents really care about their downtown. Most of the participants understood this was Read More

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Part 2:  What Successful Small-Town Downtowns Do

Last week’s article presented two types of small-town downtowns: the first, an active place full of experimentation, excitement, and energy. The second, Read More


10 Things Successful Small-Town Downtowns Do

There are two kinds of small-town downtowns. There are downtowns which are constantly trying new ideas and learning, and always trying to keep a sense of excitement and energy alive. The public takes notice of these downtowns! Why? Read More

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Downtown Vision

Yoakum’s downtown National Register District (NRD) project reaches a milestone next month when the completed historic resources survey is submitted to the Texas Historical Commission (THC). Read More

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Retail Attraction

One of the roles of economic development is to attract new retail development. Retail has proven to create jobs, increase tax revenue, and provide greater selection for residents. A town filled with retail is considered thriving Read More

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YEDC Year in Review

The Yoakum Economic Development Corporation (YEDC) concluded its fiscal year September 30 by successfully providing twenty one (21) matching grants to local businesses and non-profits. In total, YEDC expenditures of Read More

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Yoakum General Store - Open for Business

Jackie Boswell and the owners of the Yoakum General Store accept a $50,000 ceremonial grant check from Mayor Annie Rodriguez and Read More

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Foreign Direct Investment

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting site selectors from the European American Investment Council (EAIC) while on a stop in Victoria. Site selection is a unique class of consultant service whose commercial clients Read More

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Grant application workshops

UPDATE: Due to Hurricane Harvey the YEDC grant workshops were poorly attended. Interested parties are encouraged to contact YEDC for a private consultation. Read More

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National Register District Update

Since the effort to create Yoakum’s first National Register District (NRD) began in May, significant progress has been made on the Historic Resources Survey. Read More

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Retailers! Christmas Season Stress?

"Christmas in September - Planning for the Holidays". The holiday season accounts for 20% or more of retailers' annual sales. Small business retailers gear up! Hear fresh ideas for the holidays. Read More


“Made in America” Won’t Come Easily

A Walmart official recently stated that 57% of its sales were Made in America. That surprised me. I thought nearly everything in Walmart was made in China. But consider this: A few higher priced USA-made products exceed Read More


Texas Rural Leadership Program

This column will not bash Millennials. I promise. Well, I’ll try. So much written and discussed about Millennials, those born between 1982 and 2004. As baby boomers yield their positions, are Millennials prepared Read More

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Yoakum NRD research in full swing

The effort to establish a National Register District (NRD) began last December when the YEDC discussed the idea with downtown building owners. After additional presentations with local banks, businesses, civic clubs and Read More

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Digital Marketing for Business

CANCELLED: "Digital Marketing.. It's a little scary" scheduled for Wednesday, June 14. Read More

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YEDC News Column

The former president of an East Texas grocery chain once explained how his company chose new store locations. Read More

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How Does Texas Stack up Against Other States?

The 50-STATE SCORECARD compares and ranks all fifty states' Population & Demographics, Business & Workforce, Economic Indicators, Quality of Life, Tax & Debt, and Natural Resources. Read More

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MARKETING! Session for Yoakum Businesses

MARKETING! Participants will explore creative ideas outside the box of conventional marketing strategies. Read More

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Circle Y Saddles Accepts Grant Check

Circle Y Saddles President Steve Tucker accepts a ceremonial check for $30,000 from the Yoakum Economic Development Corporation (YEDC). Read More

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Generating CA$H

The Yoakum Economic Development Corporation (YEDC) invites Yoakum area businesses to attend “Generating Ca$h”, a two hour session with tips on how to increase profits and cash flow. Read More


Yoakum Pre-Qualifies as National Register District

Yoakum EDC Director Chuck Dart announced today that Downtown Yoakum has passed pre-qualification as a National Register District. Read More


Outages Happen! - Business Essentials Session

When business is disrupted, lost revenues combined with extra expenses mean reduced profits. Read More