Local businesses have an impact on Iowa Park

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 6:40 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Businesses are vital to improving the economic development of any city. David Owen, economic development director of the City of Iowa Park said small businesses are important to Iowa Park.

“Early we realized the importance of keeping the existing businesses that we already have,” David Owen, economic development director, City of Iowa Park.

Those businesses are small businesses like mom-and-pop shops, the ones that are keeping the spending dollars in Iowa Park.

Owen said there was a time when their main highway was dead.

“When I came over here in 2007 the corner of 368 and 287 was pretty much vacant, since then we’ve been able to get Lake Side Travel Plaza. Rafter J and then we’ve got all of our businesses and restaurants downtown,” said  Owen.

Businesses that find a place in Iowa Park help to close the gaps of abandoned businesses.

“We both grew up here so were putting back into where we lived our whole lives. I went to school here, my kids went to school here, my kids went to school here, my grandkids are going here,” said Pappy & Jeremiah Stevens, owners of Rafter J BBQ and Cajun Eats.

For the past 13 years, Rafter J has helped to positively impact the economy.

“It’s not just for us we employ 33 people so that’s 33 more people in this area that’s got a job and they’re not just all full-time but we got high school kids and college kids” adds Pappy and Jeremiah.

“The city is able to offer services on school taxes city taxes and sales tax dollars. Our share of the sales tax dollars is very...our sales tax revenue has almost doubled,” said Owen.

Rafter J has been recognized by America’s Best Restaurant.