Businesses Return to Lufkin and Angelina County After Pandemic-Related Closures

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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) – Slowly but surely, businesses are returning to Lufkin and surrounding Angelina County after pandemic-related closures for the past two years.

Lufkin City Communications Director Jessica Pebsworth said the city’s sales tax revenue continues to return from the previous year’s amount — averaging more than 14%.

“With our sales tax numbers, it looks like business is going well here in our community,” Pebsworth said. “The sales tax numbers seem to be steadily increasing from what we’ve seen and what we’ve projected and expected, so that’s always encouraging. It means people are coming to Lufkin and spending money .

One place they may soon be spending money on is Rusty Ax 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 about product shortages and costs. Rusty Axe’s head brewer, Trey Allen, says the hardest part has been getting building materials, but he knows there’s a demand for his business.

“We have nothing but positive encouragement from everyone we meet,” Allen said. “They say hurry up and please open 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 opening soon on Gaslight Boulevard. Nina’s Tacos y Mas on East Denman Avenue opened in late March. The best business climate in 2022 includes surrounding cities and towns in Angelina County. M&J’s cafe recently opened its doors last week on Temple Drive in Diboll. The cafe was busy this morning, and after a trying year for owners Jose and Meredith, they are happy to see things looking up.

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

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