Approximately $400 million dollars per year is “leaking” from local retailers and is being spent in other towns, Altus Chamber of Commerce President Brian Bush said as the guest speaker at the Southwest Oklahoma Republican Women meeting on Thursday, Aug. 28. That is potentially $14 million annual that could go to City services and infrastructure based on the city tax of 3.5 percent, he explained. Bush discussed several points Altus’ economic potential and bringing more prospectors to the area.
“It’s pretty amazing the tools that we could put in the hand of our folks right her without ever raising taxes,” Bush said. “That would transform this community. There are things all over this town that we need to work on but because we have good folks in positions that are doing their best not to waste any money, those projects have to wait.”
The big picture extends beyond a population of 20,000 residents, rather, Altus in fact has a “trade area” of approximately 80,000 people from Altus and surrounding communities, Bush explained.
In bringing new businesses to Altus, Bush said, “This is a 21st Century land run. We’ve got opportunity and space… Guess what we have in Altus? All kinds of opportunities. We have a great work force. People who understand how to work and they’re not afraid of doing it. And we have people that can help make those businesses successful when they choose to come here.”
On the map, “Altus is located in the middle of everywhere,” Bush explained. From “right here in Altus, America, you can reach over fifty percent of the United States population in overnight or next day delivery. If you want to place your manufacturing plant here, you can get your product to over half the United States tomorrow. That’s a big deal for a manufacturer. If you are a retailer or distributor, you can get your product sent here with next day delivery in almost every situation.”
“There is a great story to tell about the City of Altus. About this community, about who we are, about what makes up this group of people, not only in this room but all around us. These folks put their heart and soul into these businesses around the square and around this town. The people who put their heart and soul into these fields, who sweat and work and do everything they can to make a living around here. There is a really neat story to tell and that’s the job that I get to do.”