Wichita Falls: Growing Stronger

Over the last year, officials in Wichita Falls have made a lot of positive strides with the economy.

New manufacturing companies have committed to call the Falls home, and more retail and restaurants are moving in.  They also committed to the city before the drought was over.  So, the companies must have seen the potential the city has.

"You've got to have manufacturing jobs that pay good wages and you've got to have retail and restaurants that give people that live here options," Henry Florsheim, President/CEO of the WF Chamber of Commerce said.

He explained it also gives people outside the city a reason to take a trip and spend some money.

"If they come in from out of town to spend money here, they're also going to spend money on gas and food and other things here," he said.

It also gives people looking to move a reason to choose Wichita Falls.  In addition, the more money people spend, the more sales tax that's generated.

"Those sales taxes are what the city uses to fix roads and do economic development and build infrastructure and all those sorts of things that we have to have to be a great city," Florsheim said.

Of course, one of the largest retail companies coming to Wichita Falls is the Burlington Coat Factory.  This is great for the city because a lot of residents in Wichita Falls and the surrounding communities would travel to the Dallas, TX location.  Now, that money will be spent at the local level.

Quite a few of the most recent restaurant and retail companies will be located near the Caulfield and Kemp intersection.  This has some Texomans concerned only certain areas in the city are build built up.  However, Florsheim said there is a reason why businesses go there.

"The traffic counts are there, the demographics of the people that work and live around there, are there, and we don't want to do anything to hinder that," he said.

Still, officials will continue talking to future businesses about locating to other parts of the town.

While officials don't have an exact number on how many jobs are being added with all of the new businesses, over 500 will be created just in the industrial industry.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6