Businesses return to Lufkin and Angelina County following pandemic-related closures

Businesses return to Lufkin and Angelina County following pandemic-related closures
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Slowly but surely, businesses are returning to Lufkin and the surrounding Angelina County after pandemic related closures from the past two years.

The City of Lufkin’s communications director Jessica Pebsworth said the city’s sales tax revenue continues to return over the previous year’s amount - on average over 14 percent.

“With our sales tax numbers, it looks like business is doing well here in our community,” said Pebsworth. “The sales tax numbers seem to steadily increase over what we have seen and what we have projected and expected so that’s always encouraging. That means that people are coming to Lufkin and spending money.”

One place they will soon be able to spend money is Rusty Axe Brewing Company, which is in the process of building its location on First Street. They plan to open at the end of the summer. It will fill a void left by the Angelina Brewing Company which closed in February, citing concerns since the fourth quarter of 2021 with product shortages and costs. Rusty Axe head brewer Trey Allen says the hardest part has been getting building materials, but he knows there is demand for his business.

“We’ve got nothing but positive encouragement from everyone we meet,” said Allen. “They say hurry up and open please and we can’t open fast enough, that’s for sure.”

In addition to the Rusty Axe, Skyline Burrito Bowls is expanding with a new location that will be opening soon on Gaslight Boulevard. Nina’s Tacos y Mas on East Denman Avenue opened in late March. The better business climate in 2022 includes the surrounding cities and towns in Angelina County. M&J’s café recently opened last week on Temple Drive in Diboll. The café was busy this morning, and after a trying past year for owners Jose and Meredith, they are happy to see things on the rise.

“You can find joy during the hard times,” said owner Meridith Jenkins. “You just have to push through, make sure that you pray and keep God first and your family first and everything will fall into place.”

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