Archive for the 'Business Development' Category


2014 Par Busters Golf Tournament

The Longview Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Par Busters Golf Tournament, is set for September 8th at Oak Forest Golf Club. The field of 200 golfers is made up of some of the most influential members of the local business community, as well as dignitaries from the surrounding area.

Only nine teams are available for AM tee time!!!

Get your team today before it is too late.

Parbuster program artwork 2012

We are in need of volunteers and door prizes.

This is a great way to get your company name in front of this group of business leaders!!!

What kinds of Door Prizes do we need?  Be creative…think of what your company can offer…

Folding Chairs, Restaurant Gift Certificates, Golf Clubs, Golf Gloves, Shirts, Jackets, Golf Tees, Club Head Covers,  Luggage, Duffle Bags, Pens and Papers, Memorabilia, Game tickets, Retail Gift Certificates, Trips, Umbrellas….

Please contact Melissa Saunders or Diana Velazquez at 903.237.4000 for more information.


Longview Comprehensive Plan

If you could have your say in Longview’s future, how would you envision our community? Starting in November 2013, the City of Longview is seeking input from residents to help us create _MG_3794a long-term comprehensive plan that will help shape our community. We need you to tell us how you’d like to see Longview 10 to 20 years in the future. The Longview Comprehensive Plan will serve as our city’s roadmap to the future.

Please take a moment to complete an online survey on the Longview Comprehensive Plan website.

Also, please plan to attend a special event on Monday, February 10, 2014 at the LeTourneau University Belcher Center. The City of Longview will host a comprehensive planning community forum from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres. Meeting participants will then receive a free ticket to the East Texas Symphonic Band’s winter concert. Tickets will be for sale as well.

The City of Longview has contracted with consulting firm Freese & Nichols to assist with the Comprehensive Plan process.

For more information about the comprehensive plan go to for more information.

You can also discuss ideas on Or, you can host a discussion with your neighborhood, church, organization, or business.




Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Initiated by Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Commissioner Tom Pauken and adopted by the Texas Legislature, Texas Back to Work (TBTW) is a statewide employment initiative that offers employers monetary incentives of up to $2,000 for hiring qualified out-of-work Texans. TBTW is funded by the Texas Legislature, promoted by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and administered by TWC.

Texas Back to Work is available to employers through Workforce Solutions offices, which also provide employers with workforce recruitment assistance, pre-screening of qualified applicants and training programs.

Program Details

Private sector employers with a valid TWC tax ID and who are current on all payroll taxes qualify for participation. There are local restrictions in some areas. Each of the 28 Texas Workforce Development Boards (Board) drives the project in its region.

  • The program provides a $2,000 incentive to employers for each qualified Texan hired and retained 120 days.
  • Employers must have the intent to retain the employee full time at the end of the contract period.
  • Employers train, develop and oversee the new employees with the intent of retaining the employee after the 120-day period.
  • Employers receive an incentive from the local Board in each of the four months employees are enrolled in the program.

For more information contact Business Service Unit at your Local workforce Development Board or


Watts New From SWEPCO

John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant:

•    Approximately 89% complete

•    Currently 1700+ construction employees on site

•    Currently 108 full-time employees on site

•    The 600 MW plant will be the most efficient and cleanest coal-fueled plant in US

•    Will provide safe, reliable service and affordable rates for customers in AR, LA and TX

•    We appreciate the support of all our community partners and look forward to bringing the unit online late 2012

 A Powerful History – Celebrating a Century of Service in 2012

SWEPCO is celebrating a century of service to its customers this year, and 100 years is a long time. Our centennial logo even displays the popular gold and black colors from SWEPCO’s past. Formed as Southwestern Gas and Electric Company in June 1912, AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) is 100 years old, has undergone a name change twice, and no longer provides gas, water, ice or transportation services.

The original Southwestern Gas and Electric Company was the product of a merger between three utilities – Shreveport Gas, Electric Light and Power Company, Caddo Gas and Oil Company, and Texarkana Gas and Electric Company in 1912.

SWEPCO Seeks APSC Review of Flint Creek Power Plant Environmental Retrofit Plan

SWEPCO has asked the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) to review the company’s plans to install environmental controls on the Flint Creek Power Plant in Gentry, AR.  To comply with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, we must install additional environmental controls to continue operation of the Flint Creek Power Plant beyond 2015, or we must replace that base load generating capacity.

SWEPCO Signs Wind Power Purchase Agreements for 359 Megawatts

SWEPCO has signed long-term power purchase agreements for a total of 358.65 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy from wind projects in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. This was done as a commitment in a recent settlement of legal issues involving the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant. The agreements will more than quadruple SWEPCO’s wind energy portfolio. With these long-term power purchase agreements, we have added a substantial amount of wind energy to serve SWEPCO customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, and we have combined efforts with a Turk Power Plant partner to exceed the 400-megawatt commitment in our settlement.

SWEPCO Plans For Rate Case Submittal with Texas PUC in Summer 2012 

SWEPCO plans to file a full base rate case in Texas during summer 2012, with new rates going into effect around December 2012. The primary drivers for the filing are to fully include the J. Lamar Stall unit and the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant in SWEPCO Texas rates. The Stall facility is a 508 MW gas-fired generating unit that has been providing power to customers since June 2010 and the Turk plant is a 440

MW (SWEPCO’s share) plant that is expected to begin service in late 2012. SWEPCO continues to gather the information required for the filing (the last base case filing we made in Texas in 2009 required over 10,000 pages of information). Further details regarding this filing will be sent directly to city offices with follow-up visits from SWEPCO as the filing becomes more firm.

What is a Service Quality Improvement Program (SQIP)?

The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) and SWEPCO entered into a SQIP in 2000. The intent of the program is to increase overall service reliability and customer satisfaction by providing for and agreeing to maintain the following; 1) a minimum number of overall employees in the service territory (Louisiana), both field and management, 2) a tree trimming and vegetation spend program, 3) an apprenticeship program to fill future lineman vacancies, and 4) a 10-year inspection program for overhead and underground network service.

 SWEPCO Announces Settlement

SWEPCO announced on Dec. 22, 2011, that the company had settled all legal actions brought against it by the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society and Audubon Arkansas related to the Turk Power Plant under construction in Southwest Arkansas. The settlement includes a provision that SWEPCO and its affiliates will construct or secure 400 MW of new renewable energy resources by the end of 2014.

Avoid Contact with Overhead Lines When Performing Outside Spring Cleanup Chores

Overhead power lines are often forgotten about or dismissed as potential safety hazards. A quick scan overhead can help to keep you safe. Whether you are cleaning a pool, trimming trees, painting your house, cleaning your gutters, or installing a TV antenna – all could put you near energized overhead power lines. Always maintain at least

10 feet of clearance between you and anything you are touching and the wires. If you have trees near your service drop (the power line from the utility pole to your home or business), make arrangements with your power company so they can de-energize the line. If a ladder, tree branch, antenna or pole falls into a power line do not touch it – serious injury or death can occur. Visit for more electrical safety information.

 SWEPCO Is Committed to the Environment – Celebrate Earth Day April 22, 2012

Eagles gather on SWEPCO Lake near the Flint
Creek Power Plant in Northwest Arkansas.

 •    SWEPCO informs people living in Gregg, Smith and Upshur Counties, Texas about Ozone Action Days through its WEATHERLINE service. Call 903-234-1000 for the days’ forecast and ozone action awareness.

 •    A supporter of the Black Bayou project, located in the northwest corner of Louisiana. The site contains five miles of spring-fed streams with a diverse habitat prime for preservation, including the globally rare Arkansas Oak.

•    With strong community partnerships, SWEPCO built an eagle and wildlife observation pavilion and nature area at the Flint Creek Power Plant.

 •    SWEPCO undertakes environmental assessments of all new projects, including endangered species surveys, archaeological investigations, wetlands mapping, groundwater testing and socio-economic impact determinations.

 •     SWEPCO supports and promotes efforts to use electricity wisely by its customers. For information on how to save energy and money, visit

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) headquartered in Shreveport, La., serves territories in Louisiana, Arkansas, East Texas and the Panhandle area of North Texas. SWEPCO maintains regulatory offices in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, LA., Austin, TX. and Little Rock, AR. External affairs offices are located in Shreveport, LA., Longview, Texarkana, TX. and Fayetteville, AR. SWEPCO Serves 520,400 retail customers in three states, including 113,700 in western Arkansas, 225,700 in northwest and central Louisiana and 181,000 in north and eastern Texas.  

Visit our website more information or contact regarding the contents of this edition of Watts New From SWEPCO.


Connect at BusinessExpo! Longview’s Largest B2B Event!


Connect at Longview’s Largest B2B Event!

Business Expo is your chance to connect with over 60 companies in one location to get the products and services your company needs!  This is Longview’s ONLY comprehensive Business to Business event during the year.

Low-cost business development sessions will also be presented during Business Expo.  This is an opportunity for you and your employees to receive quality education without traveling out of town and incurring additional costs. Leadership Development Program Sponsors are and Evans World Travel

Business Expo kicks off at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at Maude Cobb Convention Center.

This year’s event is presented by the Longview Economic Development Corporation and sponsored in part by Computerland of East Texas, Good Shepherd Medical Center and UnitedHealthcare.

Admission to the show floor is free and open to the public until 5:00 pm.  However, Chamber members are given exclusive access during Business After Hours, which begins at 4:45 pm and will conclude at 6:30 pm.

   Act Now!  Space is Limited!





Knowledge Nook Toys the Toy Place Featured in this week’s Business Chronicle

Supporting and promoting business in the Longview trade area is a core competency of the Longview Chamber of Commerce.  Our Chamber understands in order to have a healthy economic climate we must have a strong and diverse business base that creates jobs.

This week’s business feature is on Knowledge Nook Toys the Toy Place — a premier teaching supply store, PLUS toy store! Knowledge Nook the Toy Place opened for business in 1975. Attributes for their success range from providing great customer service, free gift wrapping, follow up phone calls after a purchase, and offering personable care.  “We take great pride in providing a friendly loving atmosphere for each and every customer.  I believe that is why we’ve not only stayed in business but have grown our business to provide a wider variety of in-stock products,” explained store manager,   Nick Rogers.

What makes the Knowledge Nook the Toy Place unique is their ability to target two different markets, the toy and educational industry.  They offer new teaching alternatives for today’s educators as well as provide innovative gifts for parents. 

Diana Northcutt asked Nick, Knowledge Nook the Toy Place, what do you like about doing business in Longview?  Nick explained, “We opened in 1975, our first goal was to create a close knit family feel with our customers.  Establishing these types of relationships allow us the opportunity to provide products/services that meets the needs of all generations; grandparents, children and grandchildren.”

Diana also visited with Nick about Chamber benefits and what he has enjoyed taking advantage of.  Recently, I had the chance to attend a customer service webinar on “Delivering WOW” with Myra Golden at the Chamber.  I enjoyed meeting other business professionals while being able to take advantage of a great AFFORDABLE training.  I’m glad the Chamber offers business education programming to help me be a better store manager…that’s customer service.

Knowledge Nook Toys can be found at:

114A Johnston St

Longview, TX 75601

Ph:  (903) 753-8741

Check them out on Facebook:


ABC Auto Parts Recognized as Large Business of the Year

The Longview Chamber of Commerce’s Large Business of the Year Award was created to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions that make an impact not only on the business community but the community at large. Large businesses are the backbone of the economy. They create jobs, cement communities, and build strong cultures.  Tonight’s recipient, ABC Auto Parts,  has been in business since 1968 creating over 400 jobs. 

 ABC Auto Parts is the leading supplier of auto parts to automotive repair centers in the Shreveport/East Texas area. Family-owned since 1968, their number one priority is and always has been customer satisfaction. With their commitment to customer service and an unbeatable product selection, ABC is a complete resource for a wide range of customers; including do it yourselfers, new car dealers, automotive repair shops, tire stores, and oil change centers. ABC is a trusted name and the local leader in auto parts and service.

The company was started in 1968 when Loyd Pyle opened ABC Auto Parts #1. One year later he opened his second retail store. That year he also opened a warehouse distributorship and began selling other parts stores and new car dealers.

By 1985 the company had grown the wholesale business significantly, built a new 63,000 square foot distribution center and was operating four retail stores. Company President Larry Pyle and Vice President David Gordy began to expand the company store base, opening about one store per year from 1985 to 2000.

Today the company is still expanding through the addition of new stores. The goal remains to be the number one parts store in each new market it enters. The company now consists of the warehouse distribution business, twenty six retail stores, two automotive glass shops, and a truck accessory store.

ABC remains a family owned company. Today the company is owned and managed by founder Loyd Pyle’s two children, Larry Pyle and Karen Cloud, and several third generation family members. ABC remains committed to high quality products, superior customer service and strong employee relations; the business principles established by Loyd Pyle in the early days of the company.

July 2018
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