BROWNFIELD, Texas (KCBD) - The Brownfield Chamber of Commerce executive director Lorena Valencia says with Brownfield being at the intersection of several U.S. highways, they have many travelers passing through.
Valencia said in the two blocks in front of the chamber, they estimate around 17,000 cars pass through each day.
They aren't just Texans coming through, either.
Brownfield attracts visitors from across the world as a part of true Texas culture they are seeking.
“A lot of those come from other countries,” Valencia says. “Some are coming from New Mexico traveling through or from the Metroplex going out to New Mexico and they stopped here to get into information. We’ve had people leave their cars here for the weekend. And people that come from Hong Kong or from Australia, it’s just Texas is fascinating to them. So they stop along the way at all of the Visitor Information centers that they drive through because they want all the information they can get.”
But, many of those travelers have not come through lately.
The coronavirus pandemic has been impacting Brownfield in many ways.
Aside from the lack of visitors, many businesses have had to close their doors for good.
Brownfield city manager Jeff Davis says one of the biggest businesses to close was the Halliburton yard.
He says City Hall was closed for a while and city workers were staying home.
But, it’s not all bad news, staying home and shopping local has produced an economic boost elsewhere.
“There’s a lot of businesses, local businesses and matter of fact, on our sales tax, we actually had some months we’ve actually seen increases in sales tax, so sales, retail sales and stuff like that have actually increased during the COVID-19,” Davis said. “Some of it may have been to the stimulus, some of it may have been to the related to you know, different things but one local place or lumberyard was packed in there every single day.”
The heart of downtown Brownfield, or the town square, will soon look a bit different, for the better.
In 2019, the city received a grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture for a downtown revitalization project.
And is something that is now in the works.
City Manager Davis says there will be new sidewalks, curbs, and decorative streetlamp posts.
“Our downtown is really growing. I think right now we have one building, it’s empty. The rest of them actually have something in them and operational right now. So it’s really good. Our downtown is really thriving right now.”
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