SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
The morning after Thanksgiving may mark the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but a growing number of shoppers are bypassing the malls and chain stores to find unique gifts and support their friends and neighbors by shopping small on Small Business Saturday. This year, Small Business Saturday is Nov. 24. “Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for small, independent businesses to really shine,” NFIB State Director Annie Spilman said. State-specific data isn’t available, but last year, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion at small, independent stores and restaurants the Saturday after Thanksgiving, according to a survey by NFIB and American Express. Ninety percent of consumers surveyed said Small Business Saturday has a positive impact on their communities. “Small Business Saturday gives merchants and restauranteurs an opportunity to introduce themselves to new customers who’ll hopefully visit them throughout the year,” Spillman said. “It’s an opportunity small business owners can’t afford to miss.”
BEN’S BRANCH CONVEYANCE RESTORATION PROJECT
Ben’s Branch is a channel within the Kingwood community which stretches from Northpark to the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. During Hurricane Harvey this channel was completely inundated with water and sediment. As a result, a considerable buildup of sediment has infiltrated the southern bends of the channel south of Kingwood Drive around Town Center and behind the Lake Houston YMCA. This stretch of Ben’s Branch Channel from Kingwood Drive to about 1,800 linear feet downstream of W. Lake Houston Pkwy. is owned by the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD). As property owners, HCFCD is currently conducting a field survey of the reach to remove sediment accumulations within the system and restore channel conveyance capacity. The next steps for HCFCD are to develop a set of construction plans for a desiltation project to have the sediment removed. The final design for this project is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2019. Once final design has been completed, HCFCD will bid the project. A timeline for construction does not exist at this time. Other channels in Kingwood and the Lake Houston communities within the City of Houston are also being evaluated by HCFCD for projects. There is one portion of Ben’s Branch, between Woodland Hills and Rocky Woods Drive, that is currently under review with City of Houston Legal, HCFCD and the Bens Branch Trail Association. This review has no impact on the Bens Branch Conveyance Restoration Project. Eventually all open and natural channels will be maintained by HCFCD while the City of Houston maintains all closed storm sewer systems and drainage. To monitor progress of this and other Harris County Flood Control projects, visit hcfcd.org.