Fdi Alliance International speaks to Leslie Chalmers executive director Jacksboro EDC

» Leslie as the new economic development director for Jacksboro EDC what new strategies will you be implementing to continue to attract foreign direct investment in 2021 and beyond?

As the EDC moves forward, I will continue to provide the same great service and attention to detail that the previous Executive Director, Lynda Pack, provided, but with the intentions to expand on that through increased social media awareness, an aggressive marketing and promotion plan and identifying those that realize the opportunity of business growth and expansion in a community such as Jacksboro. Our community has the ability and location to be extremely successful and profitable for a foreign direct investment, and my goal as an Executive Director is to provide the environment for them to do just that.

» How important is it to Retain, expand and attract new business in Jacksboro Texas?

To be successful within business, retention is key. Without it, it's extremely difficult to address the other two aspects of expansion and attraction. Retention is built through relationships with business owners. Understanding both their struggles and their success in order to expand upon it and utilize them as examples for attracting new business.

» What measures are being taken in Jacksboro Texas to support small businesses during and after the covid - 19 pandemic?

Responding to COVID-19 in Jacksboro Texas has truly given our small businesses an insight to the extent we will go to support them. We recently launched a Business Rescue Grant program where small businesses were given the opportunity to apply for up to $2,500, in an effort to help them bridge the gap on general expenses that normally would be covered by customers. We realized that with the shutdown of most businesses and their daily foot traffic that general operating doesn't shut down, and with continuing cost and no customers, they potentially face closure. We were able to assist over 20 businesses in our small community, granting nearly $48,000 in funding. We have also just launched a partnership with The Retail Coach and their Small Biz 360 program that will also be grant funded and will enable existing small businesses without e-commerce the ability to take their products/services to the world wide web and reach an entirely new demographic. This is a huge benefit to those that otherwise would not be able to make that investment and capitalize on reaching a new market.

» Leslie what are the top 4 industry sectors in Jacksboro Texas? what other industries would you like to welcome to your community?

Our top four industries at the current time are healthcare, retail/ restaurant, education and oil & gas. Each of these provides our community with jobs and resources and enables Jacksboro to offer prime amenities that both businesses and families are searching for.

» Briefly outline the incentive and start up programs for new businesses in Jacksboro Texas?

Jacksboro is determined and eager to competitively compete for new business by offering the following programs: Tax Abatement Incentives, 380 Agreements & Property Enhancement Grants.

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» What are the key benefits of doing business in Jacksboro Texas? Focus on workforce, business climate and quality of life.

Doing business in a rural community such as Jacksboro, you get to “have your cake and eat it too.” It’s truly the best of both worlds. You will enjoy the convenience of location and proximity to major metropolitan areas such as Dallas/Fort Worth and Wichita Falls, both within an hour’s drive, for meetings and acquisitions, but far enough away to truly understand the meaning of community and family life, not to mention those infamous Jack County sunsets. Jacksboro has 5 major highways that all intersect and allow for ease of transportation and transporting of goods/services. Our community offers a competitive workforce with a diverse skillset, afforded to them by top rated high school, trade schools and higher-level education. Living and owning a business in Jacksboro allows you the opportunity to do what you love in a community that you will love.

» Leslie how will acquired skills from previous roles in other companies allow you to effectively market and position Jacksboro as a great destination for business in the state of Texas?

Marketing and positioning became a passion of mine in college. After earning my B.B.A in marketing, I went on to cover a vast background in sales, retail development, donor relations, business development and expansion. Experiences like these have inspired me within my role as ED at the JEDC to take Jacksboro to new and exciting levels. I truly thrive on watching a project, business or program start and end in success. I am also very passionate about building and developing Jacksboro because I want to give back to a community that has given so much to me. This role has enabled me to return to my high school hometown and contribute on a much larger level.

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» How affordable is the cost of living in Jacksboro Texas compared to other cities in the United States?

Jacksboro’s housing is extremely affordable in terms of surrounding areas and especially with its close proximity to major metro areas. There are also exciting plans for future development that will encourage demographics of all income levels and ages to view Jacksboro as a top choice for their next residence. Whether you are looking to rent, buy your first home or retire, Jacksboro wants to be a top contender and community of choice.

» Where do you see Jacksboro Texas in the next 3-5 years? What partnerships will you be forming to achieve these objectives?

Working towards economic development success is our ultimate goal, and that can only take place if we are building relationships through business retention and seeking out new business opportunities. Our corporation will continue to set attainable short- and long-term goals. The Jacksboro EDC will continue to strive towards being viewed as an economic ally for any business looking to grow and expand within our market. With retaining existing and building new, you gain new business, new families, new residents, new jobs, and new opportunity. The Jacksboro EDC is positioning itself to connect commerce & community for ultimate success.

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Leslie Chalmers
Executive Director
Jacksboro Economic Development Corporation

PO Box 610, 302 S. Main St. Jacksboro, TX 76458

940-567-3151 (W)

817-374-3323 (C)

Jacksboroedc.org