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  • 15 Feb 2013 5:23 PM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)
    The Chamber of Commerce held their monthly networking luncheon at Giddings Downtown Restaurant on Friday, February 15, 2013. Bill Thompson with the Texas State Small Business Development Center and Janice Young with Texas Workforce Commission discussed the many services available to business owners that are free or low cost. Technology training, customer service training, and business plan development are just a few of the many services provided.

    SBDC, SCORE and SBA along with Texas Workforce are here to help business owners start, grow, expand and improve their business. Call the Chamber of Commerce for more information.

    We will have the next meeting on March 15th at Giddings Downtown Restaurant at 11:30am. Our speaker will be Chuck Holland, creative mind behind the Steampunk event that will be held on December 7th in Giddings at the Yellow Depot.

    Call to reserve your seat.
  • 18 Jan 2013 4:54 PM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)

    Greetings Friends,

    We are so fortunate to live in Texas!  There is so much good news to report, we don’t know where to begin…

    Welcome – Tex Toler, Executive Director of Giddings Economic Development Corporation,

             We are pleased to have Tex as our new Executive Director for the Giddings Economic Development Corporation.  He is already working hard for our community by attending several of our meetings and getting to know our members.  Stop by the Red Depot for a cup of coffee and to visit. Project Update – Join us in welcoming Corporal Sean and Anna Friedrich to Giddings

    Community Helps Vet Start New Life in Giddings

    Ribbon Cuttings and Open Houses –

    • •·      St. Mark’s Professional Building is hosting their Grand Opening of their new location at 185 Decker Drive and FM 141.  This new location has X-Ray and Lab offices in addition to the physician facilities.
    • •·      Pizza Hut will host their Grand Opening of their new location with a ribbon cutting on February 7th at 10:30 am. 
    • •·      Future ribbon cuttings will also be held for Salon Tonic and Pauly’s Restaurant.  We are just waiting for them to let us know when.
    • •·      Special recognition goes out to Los Patrones on their new façade upgrade!  They have made a huge investment in their business and the community appreciates their efforts.  GOOD JOB!


    Sales Tax Report - January numbers indicate that there were additional taxable sales in the amount of $1,500,000 in Giddings over the same time frame as last year. Great job by our businesses in this economy!

    Unemployment Rate - Unemployment Rates Fall in All Counties of the Rural Capital Area; Largest Declines are in Bastrop and Caldwell Counties

    Posted on by headlight

    The Rural Capital Area unemployment rate currently stands at 5.5%, which is relatively low compared to the US rate of 7.6% and represents a drop of -0.6% over the past six months.  Currently 23,400 workers are unemployed in the Rural Capital Area.

    Unemployment rates continue to vary within the Rural Capital Area.  The counties with the highest unemployment rates are Caldwell County (6.4% rate; 1,100 unemployed); Williamson County (6.3% rate; 12,800 unemployed); and Llano County (6.3% rate; 500 unemployed).  The counties with the lowest unemployment rates remain Lee County (4.5% rate; 500 unemployed) and Fayette County (4.5% rate; 600 unemployed).

    The change in the unemployment rate over the past six months reveals sizeable drops in some counties.  The counties in the Rural Capital Area with the greatest drop in unemployment rate between March and September were Bastrop County (-1.5% drop) and Caldwell County (-1.0% drop).  By comparison, the Rural Capital Area’s rate fell -0.6% while the State of Texas and US rates dropped -0.7% and -0.8%, respectively.

    Board of Directors Notes – The Board of Directors has voted to create a task force that will investigate the possibility of making Giddings known as a Pet Friendly Community.  This Task Force is forming to look at the costs and effectiveness of developing a recognizable logo and designated areas throughout the community that welcome pets as a way to get more traffic to stop as they travel through Giddings. Stoppers are Shoppers!  Call the Chamber to get details!


    Education and Training – Education and training is important in every field at every level.  We have lots of information for you and your business about possible training.  We have access to Texas State Small Business Development programs, SCORE and SBA.  There is also plans to have several seminars in the future to help Non-Profits stay in compliance with the new IRS rules.  Let us know if you have a training need.  One of the all time favorites is Customer Service Training for your staff.

    Chamber Luncheons – We are pleased to announce the return of our Chamber Membership Networking Luncheons.  This is a great way to develop new contacts for your business.  They are held on the third Friday of each month.  We will let you know where they will be located for the February luncheon. 

    As you can see, we have a lot to be thankful for today!  Our blessings are many and our troubles are few if we keep smiling and work hard. 

    Thank you to our Board of Directors, our community leaders, and the many hard working businesses that strive daily to make a difference!

  • 16 Jan 2013 11:33 AM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)


    We are pleased to report that Mike Warren with Fox 7 News will do a special report on Thursday at 5 and 9pm featuring the story about our project going on in Giddings.  We want to make your aware of the story so you can see what the project is all about and share that information. 

    Our goal is to welcome Corporal Sean and Anna Friedrich to our community.  Our office is keeping an official list of all donations, volunteer hours, sponsorships and contact information for the project. 

    Watch the story Thursday evening! We are so proud of our community!
  • 14 Jan 2013 10:26 AM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)

    The following press release has been sent out to local news outlets.  The Chamber of Commerce is the leading business organization in our community. We Serve, Protect, and Promote our members each and every day. Thank you for continuing to support our mission!

    Denice Harlan of Giddings Completes First Year at

    Institute for Organization Management
    A Leadership Training Program Produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

    Washington D.C.undefinedInstitute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is pleased to announce that Denice Harlan, Executive Director, of the Giddings Area Chamber of Commerce has recently completed her First year at Institute for Organization Management, a four-year nonprofit leadership training program at University of Arizona in Tuscon.

    “Institute participants are recognized across the country as leaders in their communities,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management. “These individuals have the knowledge, skills, and dedication to achieve professional and organizational success in the dynamic association and chamber industries.”


    Since its commencement in 1921, the Institute program has been educating tens of thousands of association, chamber, and other nonprofit leaders on how to build stronger organizations, better serve their members and become strong business advocates.  Institute’s curriculum consists of four weeklong sessions at five different university locations throughout the country.  Through a combination of required courses and electives in areas such as leadership, advocacy, marketing, finance, and membership, Institute participants are able to enhance their own organizational management skills and add new fuel to their organizations, making them run more efficiently and effectively.


    Graduates of Institute receive the IOM recognition, signifying completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management. In addition, participants can earn credit hours toward the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) or Certified Association Executive (CAE) certifications. Nearly 1,000 individuals attend Institute annually.

    Institute for Organization Management is the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association and chamber professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.            @GetConnectedIN         



    Denice Harlan attended Institute for Organization Management in Tuscon, Arizona

    I am amazed at how much I learned in that short time.  We are very fortunate to live in a community such as ours.  My classmates and I compared notes on many of the things that make our communities similar and different. What was really interesting was how much passion each of these professionals had for their community.

    I came back to Giddings ready to tackle some big issues and to find some answers to some challenging questions.  Our board of directors and I will develop several task forces that will work on some of these areas that need attention. Our community is amazing and we want every person that travels through here to see why we love it so much.

    Let’s get to work!


    To create a progressive business environment, take a leadership role in the community, be an information resource for members and increase growth of tourism.

  • 07 Dec 2012 10:40 AM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)

    If you think health insurance rates are high now...just wait.

    There are still a lot of unanswered questions about Obamacare, but there is one thing we know.  It's going to cost everyone more, and mean some very tough decisions for businesses and individuals.   

    Bill Hammond
    President & CEO
    Texas Association of Business

    The Affordable Care Act: Ten Months to Launch "Obamacare"––Get Ready for Some Startling Rate Increases

    What will health insurance cost in 2014?

    Will the new health insurance exchanges be ready on time or will the law have to be delayed?

    There Will Be Sticker Shock!

    First, get ready for some startling rate increases in the individual and small group health insurance marketplace due to the changes the law dictates.

    In a November 2009 report, the CBO estimated that premiums in the individual market would increase 10% to 13% on account of the health insurance requirements in the ACA. In the under 50 employee small group market, the CBO estimated that premiums would increase by 1% to a decrease of just 2% compared to what they would have been without the ACA. All of these differences in premium would be before income based federal subsidies are applied to anyone's premiums.

    In recent weeks, the Obama administration issued a series of proposed regulations for the health insurance market. Since then, I conducted an informal survey of a number of insurers with substantial individual and small group business. None of the people I talked to are academics or work for a think tank. None of them are in the spin business inside the Beltway. Every one of them has the responsibility for coming up with the correct rates their companies will have to charge.

    Hold onto your hat.

    On average, expect a 30% to 40% increase in the baseline cost of individual health insurance to account for the new premium taxes, reinsurance costs, benefit mandate increases, and underwriting reforms. Those increases can come in the form of outright price increases or bigger deductibles and co-pays.

    In states with the least mandates or for health insurance companies with the tightest underwriting now, the increase could be a lot more.

    But when you add the impact of the requirement that older consumers can be charged no more than three times as much as the youngest consumers (the usual standard is now a five times difference), premiums increase dramatically for the youngest.

    For example, expect individual health insurance rates for people in their 20s and early 30s to about double.

    People in their late 50s and 60s might see net decreases because of the benefit they will get from the rate band compression.

    Small group rates won't increase by quite as much as for those in the individual market––a baseline increase of 10% to 20%. Small group policies won't be as hard hit as individual policies because the underwriting reforms aren't as big a leap in this market. But small groups with lots of young people will be hit disproportionately since each person in the group has to be rated on an individual basis and then all of those covered rolled up into an average rate. Older groups might see rate decreases.

    And, the new regulations require that insurance companies have to treat their old and new business the same. Most existing business will not come under the "grandfather" rules. That means most existing individual and small group customers can expect pretty much the same thing.
    That will be a shock to those who already have insurance and don't think the new law will impact them.

    The health law also sets a maximum individual deductible of $2,000 for the "Silver" plan in the small group market. However, the new proposed rules gave insurance companies flexibility to make the deductible higher if they can't reasonably price such a deductible into a plan and still hit the coverage targets (i.e. covering 70% of all medical costs in the "Silver" plan). That flexibility is there for only one reason––it's looking more and more like the health plans will have to put higher deductibles on at least some of these plans so that they can comply with the overall cost and coverage requirements.

    Come October 1, consumers will find that they will be faced with very comprehensive health plans but those plans––including the lower cost "Bronze" and "Silver" plans––will have very high deductibles. Middle class families (300% to 400% of poverty), who aren't fortunate enough to be in employer-sponsored plans and will be eligible for only partial federal premium subsidies, will still have to pay many thousands of dollars in premiums. They will also be confronted with a choice––pay the big premiums for a plan that will cover only 60% or 70% of their health care costs, with a big upfront deductible, or pay a fine equal to 1% of their income for each adult in the family.

    Consumers with incomes in excess of 400% of poverty ($46,000 single and $92,000 family of four in 2014) are going to have to pay the full cost of these health insurance policies. But consumers who make less than 400% of poverty will have their premiums capped at a percentage of their income. So, anyone getting a subsidy will be insulated from the very highest premiums. Who will pick up the rest of the premium? Federal taxpayers.

    Will the Health Insurance Exchanges Be Ready On Time?

    In ten months, Americans without access to employer health plans are due to be able to purchase their own health insurance on the new health insurance exchanges.

    So far, only 18 states have said they will run their new insurance exchange––and that does not necessarily mean they will all be ready. The feds are required to run the exchange if the state won't do it––20 have already said they won't do it and five more are "partnering," which essentially means they are leaving most of the work to the feds.

    Complicating this even further, ten months out we are still waiting for the detailed rules on how those insurance exchanges are supposed to operate.

    Will the feds be ready to provide an insurance exchange in all of the states that don't have one on October 1, 2013?

    I have no idea. And neither does anyone else I talk to inside the Beltway. We only hear vague reports that parts of the new federal exchange information systems are in testing.

    The former CIA director couldn't get away with an affair in this town but the Obama administration has a complete lid on just where they are on health insurance exchanges and haven't shown any willingness to want to talk about their progress toward launching on time––except to tell us all not to worry.

    We are all worried. I would not want to be responsible for the work that remains and only have ten months to do it.

    The feds keep extending the states' deadlines but there is one deadline that isn't moving––October 1, 2013.

    Another Big Date

    Given the big rate increases that are coming because of the ACA and the political risk the Obama administration faces if they don't get the exchanges up on time, I would suggest there is another big date they need to be worried about––November 4, 2014.

    The Republicans said this would not work. If it does not launch on time, or does with serious problems, I would not want to be an incumbent Democrat.

    I told them not to call this the "Affordable Care Act."
  • 04 Dec 2012 5:03 PM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)


    Our Chamber Open House and Christmas Mixer is Thursday night at 5pm at 290 Grind.  Chamber Networking is always a great way to get your name out there to our business community.  You never know who you will meet or how they can help you and your business.

    Our Santa on the Square will be that night also, and we are having our Christmas Wreath Celebration benefiting the Lee County Youth Center.  The Giddings High School Band will play Christmas music as Santa arrives. We also have a George Strait Autographed Guitar that will be raffled off during the evening, benefiting the Lee County Youth Center.

    We hope you will be able to come by and spend some time with us.  We always have fun!


    ·       Sponsored by Giddings Area Chamber of Commerce, Lee County Youth Center, 290 Grind, Insurance Network of Texas, Saunders Distributing, Mike Hopkins Dist., and Giddings New Horizons Lions Club.
  • 03 Dec 2012 9:57 AM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)



    We are so excited about the holidays and the many events and activities that are fast approaching our community.  We hope you will participate in as many activities and events and possible!  There are lots more events that are not listed here but may be listed on our website.  See you in the neighborhood!


  • 28 Nov 2012 1:27 PM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)
    Blinn College is considering Giddings as a future location for offering college credit courses as well as courses toward professional certification. Your input is needed and will help influence the outcome. Blinn College would like to know the level of interest our community has in using and supporting such a facility. If Giddings can demonstrate substantial interest, the message would be clear.

    We want Blinn College to have a presence in Giddings!

    The first step is to fill out a survey indicating your level of interest in a local Blinn College facility. Mail or turn in the survey to one of the drop off locations listed below. Your response is appreciated!

    Call 979-542-2854 to find out more or visit

    Drop Off Locations:

    GISD Admin Office
    GISD Campuses
    Local Banks
    Public Library
    Chamber of Commerce
  • 08 Nov 2012 11:26 AM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)

    Good Morning,

    The weather is beautiful today!  Enjoy the Fall temperatures while they last! 

    Just wanted to bring you good news about our Texas economy according to Susan Combs.

    Comptroller’s Economic Outlook

    Updated November 2, 2012

    Job growth, sales tax collections undefined both from business and consumer purchases undefined as well as automobile sales, signal that the Texas economy has emerged from the recent recession.

    Another indicator that the state’s economy has been comparatively healthy was the U.S. Census Bureau report that Texas added more people (421,000) than any other state from 2010 to 2011.  Although Texas has only 8 percent of the nation’s population, the state added nearly 19 percent of the nation’s population growth for the year.

    By December 2011, Texas employers replaced all 427,600 jobs shed during the recession as our economy rebounded more quickly than the U.S. as a whole, and continues to add jobs. Nationally, through August 2012 only 48 percent of recession-hit jobs have been recovered.

    Texas and the nation returned to economic growth in 2010 and 2011.  In 2011, Texas real gross domestic product grew by 2.4 percent, compared with 1.6 percent GDP growth for the nation.


    •·        The U.S. added 171,000 nonfarm jobs in October 2012. The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.9 percent for October 2012, up from 7.8 percent in September. Between October 2011 and October 2012, U.S. total nonfarm employment increased 1.5 percent.

    •·        Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 21,000 jobs during September 2012. Between September 2011 and September 2012, Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 2.5 percent.

    •·        The Texas unemployment rate was 6.8 percent for September 2012.

    •·        The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 69 consecutive months.


    •·        Thus far, Texas has weathered the national real estate crunch without significant damage to property values.

    •·        A total of 5,827 building permits for single-family homes were issued in September 2012. In the 12 months ending in September 2012, a total of 71,682 permits were issued, 19 percent more than in the previous year.

    •·        There were 3,575 multi-family building permits issued in September 2012. During the 12 months ending in September 2012, a total of 48,447 permits were issued, 82 percent more than in the previous year.

    •·        In September 2012, there were 19,268 sales of existing single-family homes, an increase of -21percent over the previous month but 9.1 percent more than in September 2011.

    •·        The median sale price for an existing single-family home was $159,000 in September 2012, 6.9 percent higher than a year ago.

    •·        In September 2012, the Texas home foreclosure rate was one in every 1,336 mortgages.

    •·        This was substantially better than Florida's one in 318, California's one in 361Arizona's one in 398, and Georgia's one in 532.

    Consumer Confidence Index

    •·        The U.S. consumer confidence index was 70.3 in September 2012, up from 61.3 in August 2012.

    •·        The Texas region’s consumer confidence index was 77.8 in September 2012, up 4 percent from August 2012, and 12 percent higher than one year ago.

    Oil and Natural Gas

    •·        Oil and natural gas production tax collections for fiscal 2012 were 41 percent higher than collections during 2011.

    •·        After reaching a record high closing price of $145.29 per barrel in July 2008 then falling to a low of $33.98 during February 2009, crude oil futures reached a settle price of $87.09 on Nov. 1, 2012.

    •·        Natural gas futures prices reached a summer 2008 high of $13.58 per MMBtu then fell to a low of $2.51 in September 2009. Subsequently, the price rebounded through the end of 2009 but has trended downward since then, closing at $3.70 on Nov. 2, 2012.


    •·        Texas state sales tax receipts for September 2012 were 11.6 percent higher than for September 2011.

    •·        Fiscal 2012 state sales tax receipts were 12.6 percent higher than for fiscal 2011, following a 9.4 percent increase in fiscal 2011.

    •·        Sales tax collections have increased for 30 consecutive months (year-over-year), boosted by strong business spending in the oil/natural gas and manufacturing sectors, and to a lesser extent by retail sales activity.

    •·        Texas motor vehicle sales and rental tax collections for September 2012 were up 11.6 percent from September 2011.

    •·        The nationwide average core transaction price for a new car or truck during the first 15 days of August 2012 rose 7.8 percent to $32,181 from the first 15 days of August 2011.

    •·        For the first 15 days of August 2012, total national new auto sales were 469,750 units, up 11.6 percent compared to first 15 days of August 2011.

    •·        Nationally, leases accounted for 27.2 percent of all new vehicle sales for the first 15 days of August 2012, an increase of 7.4 percent from the first 15 days of August 2011.

    Stimulus Package

    •·        In Texas, an estimated $18 billion in federal stimulus money is flowing to state and local governments. The Comptroller’s office is tracking the $14.3 billion that comes through the state Treasury. The Comptroller’s analysis is ongoing. For the latest information, visit our ARRA Web site, A Texas Eye on the Dollars.




    • •·       November 10th- Bryan Titman Benefit Bulls & Barrels at the Lee County Sheriff’s Posse Covered Arena, tickets are $5 for adults(12 & under Free).  Barrel Racing, Bull Riding, Live & Silent Auctions, for Donations, Sponsorships, & Auctions will benefit Bryan’s medical expenses from broken hip and pelvic bone.
    • •·       November 10th – St. Mark’s Monte Carlo Night at K. C. Hall in LaGrange. Tickets are $75. Doors open 6pm.
    • •·       November 11th – Veteran’s Day
    • •·       November 12th – The Chamber office will be closed.
    • •·       November 15th – Diabetes Awareness Walk at Giddings Buffalo Stadium from 6-8pm.

    See you in the NEIGHBORHOOD!  Remember to shop at home to support local businesses so they can continue to support the many, local community events that we all love to attend!


  • 03 Nov 2012 9:29 AM | Kelita Alberts (Administrator)


    We had a great Chamber Networking Luncheon Friday and heard from several business owners and community leaders about why Giddings is doing great!  Hope you can come to our next Chamber Luncheon in January!

    This weekend should be interesting for businesses along Hwy 290.  Opening of deer season is tomorrow, the races start Friday night in Paige, and the Giddings Buffaloes will challenge Smithville at Buffalo Stadium. 

    BUSY, Busy, Busy! That is all we can say about that!

    Hope you have a truly wonderful weekend.  See you in the neighborhood!

    Upcoming Events

    Monday, Nov. 5
    11:00am - Giddings Economic Development Corporation in Council Chambers
    5:30pm - Country Music Monday at GHS Cafetorium
    7:00pm - City Council Meeting in Council Chambers

    Tuesday, Nov. 6
    7am-7pm - Election Day
    7am-7pm - Mop & Broom Sale at Classic Bank benefiting the Noon Lions Club
    9am-1pm - Election Day Coffee & Plant Sale at Eleanor’s Cottage benefiting the Giddings Garden Club

    Friday, Nov. 9
    10am - Dime Box Schools will welcome Governor Rick Perry

    Saturday, Nov. 10
    6:00pm - 7th Annual Monte Carlo Nite benefiting St. Mark’s Medical Center at the K.C. Hall, LaGrange

    Monday, Nov. 12- Holiday - Veteran’s Day

    Wednesday, Nov. 14
    6-8pm - Juvenile Diabetes Walk at Buffalo Stadium. The community is invited!

    Saturday, Nov. 17
    7-11am - Sips & Sweets at 290 Grind

    Sunday, Nov. 18
    10am - 5pm - Christmas Merry Marketplace Arts & Crafts Show at the Lee County Youth Center

Giddings Chamber of Commerce
183 E. Hempstead
Giddings, TX 78942
Located in the Lee County Museum, off the Courthouse Square

Contact:  (979) 542-3455
Chamber email:
Tourism email:

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