The depressed national economy forced many out of work and onto the already saturated job market. Yet there is one economic bright spot that sustained jobs and even created business in Texoma.
Mom and pop shops in Iowa Park, as well as major national chains, took advantage of low land prices and tax incentives. While the economic bubble burst for most of the nation, many entrepreneurs in Iowa Park realized their dream of being their own boss.
Paula Lyons opened Defining Moments Dance Studio 3 years ago. This week, she started working full time for herself.
"Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to own a dance studio. I've danced for a really long time and I just decided to do it one day," Lyons said. "The people here are awesome, they are great, great customers. They are very loyal."
Kathy Hicks, owner of Kathy's Deli, Kathy's Wedding and Event Planning, and Kathy's Bakery, used a state loan to relocate her business to Iowa Park. The Texas Capital Fund is an interest free loan offered to people looking to start their shops in small communities.
Not only is Hicks paying back the loan, but she expanded her business in the last 6 months. She also bought a building because of the local economy.
"Just hope the economy continues to grow and that everybody prospers from that," she said.
Even though locally owned business and national chains benefit from the increased Highway 287 business traffic, some in Iowa Park still yearn for more job creation.
"As far as putting an actual large number of people to work they need some type of industrial park here," said Tommy Lee, a resident. "Give maybe some local people jobs, might be a start for other business to take place."
While the city is attempting to attract more industry, the smaller shop owners feel Iowa Park is perfectly poised to sustain existing and new industry.
"I think we're growing at a good pace and I think we are developing pretty well," said Lyons. "So if you think you might want to locate here it would be a good decision!"