DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)-?If you have driven down Highway 81 in Duncan, you may have noticed several new restaurants, businesses, and construction sites.
Taco Bueno opened a couple of months ago, and Shine Time Car Wash is also up and running.McDonald's is getting a complete makeover and will be closed for a few days. Now, Papa John's Pizza is moving into an existing store front and looking to hire. Construction is almost compete on a Marco's Pizza in front of the mall. About two weeks ago construction started for Taco Casa Mexican Restaurant.
City officials and the President of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation said companies are seeing growth and want to start their businesses here.When it comes to new businesses and retail shops, the City of Duncan has grown and blossomed.
"And you know we have had our ups and downs within the economy because of us being so much of an energy based economy. So, we have seen those surges and you know a year ago we were sitting at about 11 percent of unemployment now we are down to somewhere in the sixes and those are positive things for the community," said Roggow.
With those positive changes comes more jobs.
"It's priceless anytime that you bring new companies that means one you are increasing your labor force that is out there looking for those jobs and you are also trying look for those jobs that are paying above the county average wage of $35,000 it helps the community," said Roggow.
The man in charge of Community Development said companies are starting to see the city's potential and are willing to invest.
"This is just that first step we hope that these first few restaurants that are going on right now and that have been going on will bring more restaurants and establishments," said Schacht.
Once a new business establishes a location, they can submit their plans to the City for review as part of the permit process.
"If there is a utility company that needs to be there we will invite them, if it's eatery the Stephens County Health Department will review those plans as well, our fire department looks at it, our plumbing inspector, electrical inspector, and state mechanical inspector. We bring everyone to the table," said Schacht.
"These companies have targeted the community because they see it being undeserved in the community and it's the opportunity for them to come in and grow their market as they see it," said Roggow.
Taco Casa is expected to open in February of next year. As for McDonald's, those renovations should be complete in the next couple of days.
Marco's pizza and Papa John's are expected to be open before the end of the year.