LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Business growth here in Lubbock came to a halt when the pandemic began, but now the President of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, Eddie McBride, says new businesses are opening and it’s possibly due to the vaccine being distributed.
McBride says hundreds of businesses could open in the next six months.
“It’s just outstanding to have all this occur in our community, especially when you have such a distressed time, like right now during Covid,” McBride said of the businesses that are opening in places such as Slide Road and South Milwaukee. He says these openings provide job opportunities.
“When they hire people, that’s income for their families. It’s an all-great economic cycle for the health and wellbeing for our community.”
“Plus, it’s a local owner who’s opening those franchises. And it’s those local owners who opened the franchise that hire people in Lubbock as well.”
“There’s also businesses that unfortunately- due to the pandemic- are having to close their doors too and if this reduced occupancy and closures still exists where we can’t operate it full occupancy, it’s still going to continue to hurt a lot of businesses.” Lubbock was still above what it was pre-pandemic, which is why McBride hopes these new businesses will help bring that number down.
“There’s also businesses that unfortunately-due to the pandemic- are having to close their doors too and if this reduced occupancy and closures still exists where we can’t operate it full occupancy, it’s still going to continue to hurt a lot of businesses.”
McBride particularly mentioned restaurants, which are at 50 percent occupancy right now due to high Covid hospitalizations in Lubbock.
“You need to be at 100% occupancy really to maximize your growth potential.”
“So we hope that is going to be happening with both the vaccinations occurring as well as obviously the return to full occupancy on, you know, opportunities over the next several months.”