Small Town, Big Business
A suburb outside of Texarkana, Texas, the city of Nash has seen consistent growth in recent years. New and old businesses alike have brought vital economic opportunity to the region and rebranded the city as a hot spot in Bowie County.
Nationwide commerce has taken a hit since the introduction of COVID-19. Despite the pandemic, however, Nash’s business activity was ultimately unaffected because many of its businesses are industrial or production based. For example, the recently restarted aluminum mill just added 300 jobs to the area.
“Nash’s success can be attributed, in part, to our Business Park that is owned by the Nash Industrial Development Corporation,” says Robert Bunch, Mayor of Nash. “The Nash Business Park hosts businesses that include hair salons, HVAC, woodworks, gyms, precision hydraulics and machining, Amazon distributorships, dry cleaning, custom clothing, professional lighting and sound, commercial recording, healthcare equipment, construction companies, firearm supplies and heavy manufacturing.”
This eclectic selection of businesses has been fundamental to prosperity. Nash’s retail sales tax revenue has seen an increase of 20 percent for 2020 and now has an increase of 17 percent for the first half of 2021. Higher sales tax revenue means more money is being spent at home, and more taxes equal more funding for local services like fire and police departments and education. A great example is Atwoods Ranch and Home, which is currently the largest source of sales-tax revenue in Nash.
“We pride ourselves on ease of doing business in Nash,” says Bunch. “We want to see businesses locate here and we do our best to keep the process simple and timely for builders and business owners. With regard to residential, we have plenty of land available for housing and neighborhoods that could enjoy low property tax, friendly citizens and quiet living.” The population of Nash is approximately 3,400, with around 1,500 workers coming in from outside of Nash every day.
Although it is a small-town, it provides substantial employment opportunities to the surrounding area. Both BWI Companies, Inc. and JCM Industries, Inc. had a record-setting fiscal year in 2020. Combined they supply about 300 jobs for the city. Texarkana Aluminum currently has 275 employees. Located across the street is Amerinox Processing, a new aluminum finishing factory, with 15-20 employees and growing.
BWI has long supported Nash residents and made sizable contributions outside the state. Founded as a retail seed store in 1958 by Betty and Bob Bunch, the company moved to wholesale operations in 1972. According to Amy Bowers, BWI’s Director of Human Resources, they have since “expanded to a total of 20 locations, including eight full line distribution centers across the mid-south and southeastern United States.” There are 151 employees who work in Nash and a field sales staff of over 125, with over 600 employees company-wide. BWI also hosts an annual expo that produces a significant portion of the company’s overall annual sales; however, like most businesses during the pandemic, BWI has had to adapt. “[We were] faced with the inability to host a large in-person event, but the company’s extremely talented IT team immediately began working to launch a virtual expo. The virtual expo debuted in August and was so successful that the company is considering a hybrid event in the years ahead,” says Bowers.
A staple of Nash production is aluminum, agricultural and infrastructure repair supplies, which several businesses have specialized in for decades. Nash’s companies prove their market can keep up with the times. In 2001, Texarkana Aluminum “launched what has become the metals industry’s most popular and powerful Internet web order platform,” according to Ta Chen International, Inc. “Today, over 75 percent of the company’s daily transactions are completed efficiently through this technology platform.” This quarter Texarkana Aluminum will transition to twenty-four seven production, and will be at 100 percent operation. Its sales are already at 100 percent of production.
JCM Industries planted their roots in Nash in 1976 by locals Gladys and James Morriss. Since then, they’ve become a leading manufacturer in pipe fittings and fabrications. As 2021 kicks off, they are on a record-setting pace. JCM Industries is “looking forward to a very productive year in that expectations are that the new administration will put much emphasis on the country’s infrastructure.”
Amerinox Processing is one of the newest developments in town, with a state-of-the art 130,000 square-foot factory that will work in cohesion with Texarkana Aluminum. It resides on 26 acres which allows for future expansion. “We have client interfaces with the mill and our system providing real time access to inventory, work in process, mills test reports, bills of lading and more,” according to Amerinox Processing. “These advanced systems provide unique and useful information to the customer, allowing instantaneous exchange for exceptional service.”
We don’t consider Nash as an island. We consider ourselves as a member of the whole region.” —Robert Bunch
More jobs means more need for housing. Two multi-family housing units are currently under construction: row-house apartments on Kings Highway and duplexes on New Boston Road. Mayor Bunch says he would love to see more residential opportunities in the future, as well as services. “If I had a wish list, I would like to see more retail businesses and restaurants in the City,” says Bunch. There is always room for improvement in any town. What is crucial is a city’s stability, growth and community. “We are fortunate to have a City Council and Mayor that have a unified vision for the City,” says Bunch. “We enjoy quality relationships with Bowie and Miller Counties, Texarkana, Texas and Arkansas, Wake Village, Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, TexAmericas Center and AR-TX REDI. Not to sound cliché, but we do feel that a rising tide lifts all ships, and we try to put that in practice in everything that we do.”
Nash does not have the metropolitan exuberance that other Texas suburbs may have, but it has familiarity and provides a space for new beginnings. “I love that Nash has a thriving industrial and commercial base and it also has a small-town feel when it comes to home and family,” says Bunch. Although Nash can be seen as just another suburb, Bunch recognizes its importance and its potential. Its growth has only begun.
“I believe that Nash has an extremely bright future,” says Bunch. “We don’t consider Nash as an island. We consider ourselves as a member of the whole region. We want our citizens, businesses and visitors to have a seamless experience while they are here.”