Q&A with Port Lavaca chamber director
July 8, 2010 at 2:08 a.m.
Summer tends to bring a pep in the step of coastal towns like Port Lavaca.
The recent uptick in the community's economic activity improves progress that was stunted, but not terribly slowed, by the recession last year, said Lacey Ekberg, director of the Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce.
Ekberg visited with the Advocate to talk about new business development in Port Lavaca and Calhoun County.
How is the business climate in Calhoun County?
It has remained stable, and is starting to see significant growth. Tourism numbers are at an all-time high. The hotels are full, and several new businesses have opened this year, including Tractor Supply, Beijing Buffet, Walgreens, Labels of Love, Audrey Ann's and others.
How did the county fare during the recession?
Calhoun County has withstood the downfall very well. During the immediate start of the recession, business remained at a lull, with little growth. However, we did not see a great drop in numbers or sales. Now, it is coming back strong.
Any new businesses coming in the near future?
We have several new businesses getting ready to open in the very near future - new restaurants, hotels, and small businesses.
How does Calhoun County compete for businesses, given it's close to Victoria, a regional hub?
We are a tourism destination, and our plants and industry are strong. We have many different sources of revenue and don't have to compete directly with Victoria.
What is the short and long-term plan to grow?
The city and county are both working diligently for new growth, creating a business-friendly atmosphere. New ordinances and code enforcement are clearing the way for making the town look vibrant. Strong marketing concepts, branding, and destination marketing are proving to be very successful, with a huge increase in tourism traffic. A new master parks plan is being developed ... This will increase the support services and businesses needed to enhance this growth.