Jim Cowan

At this month’s Economic Development Council Board Meeting, I did a recap of what we have been working on this past fiscal year. Starting back in July of 2020 through the end of our current month, the EDC has been busy despite the fact we started the fiscal year in the thick of Covid. So glad that the pandemic continues to lesson every month that goes by and we continue to work back to normal.

It has been a good past 12 months for the Chickasha EDC. We partnered with The Chamber on many program and events to help our local businesses and I feel like we are a stronger community today because of what we went through with Covid. We have seen multiple manufacturers battle through supply chain challenges so successfully that they are expanding and adding more jobs. We have seen multiple retail businesses open up despite Covid restrictions, one was even prominently featured in The Oklahoman for doing so.

The EDC has done the typical things like workforce development, helping grow our housing supply and submitting proposals to the department of commerce when an RFP comes out. Growing our local economy by attracting new businesses will always be one of top priorities, but in the ever changing economics of today, that’s not enough.

We need to help Chickasha stand out from the crowd and constantly work on shining a positive light on our community so that businesses can take notice. From a marketing standpoint, it’s been a very successful year. The EDC produced a music video/movie “Hometown Christmas” that featured all the charm of our small town during the Holiday Season. We made a commercial from that movie and used it to promote the Festival of Light.  We took the nod from longtime resident Noland James and purchased a 40 foot inflatable leg lamp since his obituary said he invented it. That leg lamp brought us positive attention from all over Oklahoma, the entire country and eventually all over the world. Between the movie and the leg lamp, the Chickasha EDC has been nominated for three state of Oklahoma tourism awards. We will know the results in a few weeks.

Speaking of movies, thanks to a combination of local investors and the creative talent of Reagan Elkins, Shane Henry and Maggie McClure, Chickasha was the setting for the movie “A Cowgirls Song”. This brought even more exposure to Chickasha since it featured celebrities like Cheryl Ladd, Savannah Lee May and Darci Lynn Farmer and their massive following on social media. Expect more movies to come to Chickasha in the future!

It’s been a productive past fiscal year for the Chickasha Economic Development Council, but there is still so much to do. The exciting thing is that I talk with people every week that are very positive about what we can accomplish next and they want to do their part to make it happen. What’s next for Chickasha? As details are announced over the next 90 days, I can promise you one thing, those details will be full of #TheGoodStuff!

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