Community Introduction & History
Ask any resident of Lubbock why they have chosen to live here, and the answers will be as varied as the people who make it their home. Some are here because this is where they have chosen to raise and educate their families. Some came to get a first-rate education at one of our four institutions of higher learning and chose to remain. Others love the open plains and the beautiful breathtaking sunsets. Some will say that it is because the job market is excellent here. Many enjoy the simple, but excellent quality of life that Lubbock has to offer, coupled with the lower cost of living. Still others will say that the medical facilities here are second to none.
Lubbock is home to approximately 200,000 residents. The existence of its first inhabitants is still being unearthed, with the archeological discovery of a site in north Lubbock now known as the Lubbock Lake Landmark State Historical Park, that archeologists estimate predates us by 12,000 years. This region of the South Plains is known as the Llano Estacado. Lubbock sits on the eastern edge of the Llano Estacado. Spanish conquistadors explored this region dating back to 1541, when Francisco Vasquez de Coronado first explored North America’s Southwest. Evidence of the Spanish influence in the region is apparent in the naming of several sites in the area, including Estacado, Monterey, and Coronado High Schools, as well as in the Spanish architecture found throughout the city.
Lubbock County was formally created by the Texas Legislature in 1876, and was named in honor of Thomas S. Lubbock, an officer in the Confederate Army, whose brother was Frank R. Lubbock, the Civil War governor of Texas.
By 1891, the town had acquired its first official newspaper, The Lubbock Leader. It was followed in 1900 with the first publication of the current newspaper, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, as well as the construction of the first house of worship, the Church of Christ. By 1913, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce was founded and in 1923 the area broke ground on its first institution of higher learning. Originally it was named Texas Technological College and was renamed in 1969 to Texas Tech University. The growing population and emphasis on education gave way to the forward thinking of Lubbock citizens with the construction of Lubbock High School in 1930. By 1949, Reese Air Force Base, formerly known as Lubbock Army Airfield, was training thousands of military pilots.
The Lubbock Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – LHCC or COMA , which means Organization of Mexican American Businesses – had its beginning in 1974 when a small group of businessmen and women met to discuss common problems facing them such as: (1) Acquiring financial assistance for expansion and growth, (2) Learning to network among ourselves and other groups, (3) Advertising and marketing our services and products, (4) Educate ourselves in the business industry and become more involved in our community and (5) Learn what services were available for small/minority businesses.
Hispanic businesses in Lubbock and the surrounding communities are very young; few are over 30 years old. In 1974, we were a very small number and there was not an organization that catered to our needs and dreams. Being young and pioneers in the business world, the needs were very basic: e.g. “How do we select a bank and get to know our banker?”, “How and where do we go to do DBA?”, “How about payroll taxes?”, etc. COMA soon became a strong and viable organization which spoke out for the needs and rights of Hispanics and minority businesses.
LHCC is a leader in affecting positive change for our members and seeking business opportunities for the advancement of business development in our community. We believe in promoting leadership skills among our members and becoming involved for the welfare and growth of our city, state and nation. We seek to work hand in hand with other groups who have the same mission as LHCC.
LHCC has won the distinguished State Chamber of the Year Award in 1979, 1992 and again in 2001 and we went on to win the Regional Small Chamber Award and also the National Small Chamber Award in September 2001. We are very proud of these Awards.
Since 2002 after several meetings with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce President, Mr. Eddie McBride, a great relationship was established between him and the LHCC President. Much good has come out of this as both chambers are coming together in hosting events and also attending each other’s functions. LHCC also works hand in hand with the African American Chamber, as well as the City of Lubbock, Market Lubbock, Inc., the Universities and other economic agencies.