Located a few miles north of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle, Dumas, Texas has garnered some noteworthy attention for their innovative approach to economic development. With a five-year success rate of 30 new businesses and expansions under their belt, the Dumas Economic Development Corporation knows the key to their continued growth is rapid and creative responses to the needs of private industry, and then figuring how to maximize on these investments. “We listen to the issues and concerns of our business prospects and invest in solutions that help eliminate these speed bumps, while using our solutions to encourage additional development,” explains Mike Running, executive director of the Dumas EDC. What Running describes is a progressive plan to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. “If a firm needs a new location, we will find a way to provide it, while designing the project in such a way that we can use it to entice additional businesses to the community.” When Prime Building, Inc. indicated that they wanted a green field site off of U.S. 287, the Dumas EDC responded with ½ mile of full utility extensions.
As a result, eight additional firms have constructed locations and tapped into the utility investment. When Equipment Supply Company Inc. (ESCO), requested a new road, the Dumas EDC bought 100 additional acres of land in their business park to accommodate them. Now, several new businesses are expected to locate in the 265 acre park in the next year. Nelson-Jameson indicated a need to lease a facility, so, the EDC built it bigger to accommodate two more companies. Before construction ended, they had landed Integrated Dairy Herd Testing and Anemometry Specialists as tenants. “As a rural community, we have a solid industry foundation,” says Running, “but we can’t sit back and rely on the Valero McKee Refinery and the JBS Beef Processing Plant forever; we must continue to diversify.” The investments continue for the Dumas EDC with projects that include giving 11 acres of land to Amarillo College to build a 37,000 SF Career Skills and Technical Training Center, building a second speculative building for anticipated businesses, incentivizing two retail developments that will provide space for nine new chains and constructing a new hangar at the Moore County Airport for a new jet refurbishment company. Running believes companies, developers and site selectors are failing to see the lengths at which Dumas will go to entice new business and industry primarily because it is extremely rare for a community of this size to be so aggressive. But Running is quick to explain “This is Dumas, Texas; and in Texas, we do things bigger!” For more information on Dumas, TX, visit: www.DumasEDC.org