Raymondville Chamber of Commerce Continues to Strive

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RAYMONDVILLE – Following the closures of Walmart and the county prison, the Raymondville Chamber of Commerce wanted to make a point to show people they shouldn’t count them out.

Elma Chavez is the executive director of the Raymondville Chamber of Commerce and she’s not above admitting that jobs were lost.

“Yes, it was hard on all of us, and yes our city lost a lot of revenue. The county, of course, has lost a lot of revenue but then cutbacks were made,” she said.

For the past eight years, business people from across the county have met once a month.

“We’ve had anywhere from 15 to 50 people that have attended this place. Sometimes it’s standing-room only,” she explained.

A local State Farm agent, a representative with the American Cancer Society and a CNI director for Raymondville Independent School District are part of the people who meet.

It’s about networking. Attendees can bring printed materials, share ideas and exchange business cards.

“We highlight other good things that we have. Our people are good and our people are like a family,” Chavez said.

New businesses have opened, some by those who were laid off, and others offered more jobs. The community came together.

“We have a co-op that stood up. All of a sudden they revamped their entire store to have other hardware items and items that you need on a day-to-day basis. So everyone stepped up to fill those gaps that we needed. So I thought that was pretty awesome,” Chavez said.

More farms are expected to begin to settle in Willacy County which will bring in more revenue.

The chamber consists of only Elma and one assistant.

“Raymondville is my home. I’m a native, born and raised here. My parents are from here. I treat my job like the community is my family. It’s a passion,” Chavez expressed.

The chamber of commerce plans to continue to help Raymondville rebuild.

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