It has been a sad year for Carlsbad in terms of us losing some of our most dedicated citizens. Father Tom Gray passed away on Aug. 31 at his home. A public celebration of Father Gray’s life will take place at a later date. Father Gray was ordained in 1974 and spent many years of service at Grace Episcopal Church in Carlsbad. He served as Canon to the Ordinary and was Dean of the Southeast Deanery. He was always well-regarded for reaching out to people, or animals, in need. We offer our condolences to his wife, Judge Jane Shuler Gray, and all family members and friends. Father Gray will be greatly missed.
This year’s Energy Summit is coming together very nicely, and we’re excited about the quality of our speaker list. As we’ve stated before, the summit will be virtual, and you can watch the entire thing from 9-11 a.m. Sept. 24 by visiting https://carlsbadfoundation.org/summit/.
Our confirmed speakers this year includes Mack Energy’s Director of Investments Billy Munn, former Gov. and NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers, Rick Cannon with XTO Energy, Vicki Hollub and Babatunde Cole with Occidental Petroleum, and finally Eddy County Manager Al Davis. Mr. Davis will be taking on the very important role of updating us on road work going on across Eddy County. We have also reached out to the state for an update on local highway construction, including 285.
We have also already received some excellent nominations for this year’s “Spirit of the Oilfield” awards and ask that any additional nominations be made by this Friday. We look forward to being able to have the energy summit in person again, but we believe this year’s event will be highly informative.
We’re seeing numerous signs of economic recovery, but some recent economic studies also offer some very sobering statistics about how much our small businesses were impacted over the past half of a year. According to a recent analysis conducted by Harvard and Brown Universities, the number of small businesses open in Eddy County decreased by 24.7 percent when comparing August 2020 to January of 2020. This isn’t a surprise, due to the state’s shutdown, and the same study shows that small business revenue decreased by 30.2 percent for Eddy County over the same time period. For comparison, the study indicated that the number of small businesses open in New Mexico decreased by 17.7 percent and the total small business revenue decreased by 21.3 percent between January and August. Likely because Eddy County’s economy had been healthy going into 2020, our small businesses here appear to have endured an even greater impact than the state average.
We have a resilient community, and we know our small businesses are working hard and making great strides to recover economically, but the impact of the past six months has been devastating to our business owners.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway