The Results Are In, See What Businesses Had to Say!

The results for the 2019 Business Climate Survey are in and based on those results, Southlake is looking like a great place to be doing business!

The City of Southlake recently conducted its first annual business climate survey. This survey enabled businesses to share their perceptions, ideas and suggestions about the quality of services provided by the City of Southlake, their challenges and other important business data that local elected and appointed officials can use when making decisions.

“As the business environment continuously evolves, it’s important for us to know how businesses are being challenged and what they find beneficial to being in Southlake,” said Deputy Director of Economic Development Daniel Cortez. “This survey is a great tool for us to start tracking not just the environment, but also satisfaction and sentiment as well.”

The results were largely positive and provided insight as to how businesses feel not just about the local economy, but the state and national economy as well. Some highlights of the survey are:

  • Most businesses indicated they were meeting or exceeding their sales targets;
  • Over 80% of businesses described the local business climate in Southlake as excellent or good;
  • More than three-quarters of businesses indicated they expect sales to increase over the next 12-months;
  • Eighty percent or more of businesses rated City services as excellent or good as it pertained to street quality, water service, trash services and overall City satisfaction;
  • Most businesses also indicated they expect their business to grow or expand in the coming year; and lastly,
  • Ninety-two percent of the businesses surveyed rated Southlake as an excellent or good place to do business.

The survey results also identified some local challenges that some businesses were experiencing such as the availability of labor, local traffic and competition from other businesses. Overall, most businesses felt there is nothing they would change about the local business climate and felt the sense of community is the biggest benefit of being a business in Southlake.

At the closing of this survey on March 22nd, there were 144 respondents or 8% of all businesses in Southlake. For complete survey results please visit the Business Climate webpage and click on the survey report.

 

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Businesses encouraged to seek certification as Age- and Dementia-Friendly

More than five million Americans — one in eight people age 65 and older and one in three age 85 and older — are living with dementia and supported by 15.5 million family members and friends who provide 85 percent of their help. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia is estimated to reach 7.1 million. Nearly 60 percent of people with dementia live in their own homes, and one in seven live alone.

As part of developing an Age- and Dementia-Friendly Fort Worth, the City of Fort Worth launched the Certified Age-Friendly Business program in 2018 and the Certified Dementia-Friendly Business program in 2019.

“This is an opportunity for businesses to connect to citizens at every stage of life,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “What’s good for someone who is 80 years old is also good for someone who is 8 years old.”

These programs allow the business community to show their support for an Age- and Dementia-Friendly Fort Worth. By undergoing a review of their business and committing to make any age-friendly improvements needed, a business can earn the designation and be included in the Age-Friendly Fort Worth Business Directory.

Learn more about becoming certified.

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SKIL Students Engage with Area Businesses During Annual Day of Internship

Students from Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership (SKIL), the community’s youth leadership program, experienced a day on the job with area business owners and managers during the program’s Annual Day of Internship March 22.

With the participation of 14 area businesses, including AT&T Corporate Offices, Educational Employees Credit Union (EEUC) and Highland Landscaping, SKIL students got an insider’s perspective in several industries and businesses had an opportunity to showcase their companies while mentoring the next generation of potential employees and business leaders.

“The SKIL program provides real-life shadowing opportunities for our students. Students learn theory in the classroom, and the SKIL program provides them a chance to translate the classroom to a real-world job environment,” stated EECU Director Barbara Walker.

This is the fourth year of SKIL, a program created in partnership between the City of Southlake, the Carroll Independent School District and the Southlake Chamber of Commerce. The program provides opportunities to develop leadership qualities in young citizens and create better decision makers by engaging students in their community.

SKIL does more than simply educate students about opportunities, it creates experiences for the students to participate and engage in leadership activities. Students learn about and actively contribute to projects within the City of Southlake’s various departments, as well as work with the Carroll Independent School District and the Southlake Chamber of Commerce. Through the program’s Annual Day of Internship, students also expand their entrepreneurial experiences as well. Carroll Senior High School students interested in participating in the program apply at the beginning of each academic year, and then 20 high school juniors are selected and begin program activities each October.

“SKIL offers current Southlake community leaders, business owners and residents a valuable opportunity for cultivating the next generation of leaders, which ultimately strengthens our community. The real-world insight youth leaders gain during the experience fosters an interest in government and business, which gives students a better understanding about leadership paths they may want to pursue in the future,” stated Mayor Laura Hill.

For more information about SKIL, contact Daniel Cortez in the City’s Economic Development Department at 817-748-8039.

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Southlake Businesses, Make Sure Your Business Counts!

The Southlake Business Climate Survey is now open.

The 2019 Southlake Business Climate Survey launched on Feb. 8. All Southlake business owners, managers, presidents and CEO’s are encouraged to participate in this survey and share their opinions about today’s economic environment, City services and other business-related topics.

“This survey will help us improve our service quality at the City and provides an opportunity for our corporate residents to voice their opinions,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski. “Southlake’s businesses are key stakeholders in the community and their opinions and ideas will help us to better plan for the future.”

Businesses can take the survey online from their smartphones or computers. Knowing how important time is to our businesses, the survey is set up to take no more than 5 minutes to complete. The businesses can then choose to answer additional questions or simply submit their answers.

If you’re a Southlake business and would like to participate in this survey, follow this link.

To learn more or for questions about the survey, the Office of Economic Development & Tourism is available at (817) 748-8039 or by email at EconDev@ci.southlake.tx.us.

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Corporate Memberships to Champions Club Available for Employees of Southlake Businesses

Do you work for a business in Southlake? You’re eligible for a discounted corporate membership to Champions Club!

An inclusive corporate membership gives you access to all of Champions Club’s amenities and benefits at 10% off the base membership rate. You’ll also receive members-only pricing for room and meeting space rentals.

Southlake businesses must be verified by the City of Southlake to qualify for corporate membership rates. Employees must show proof of current employment in the form of a pay stub dated within thirty (30) days of enrollment.

Employee Wellness Programs

If you’re a Southlake business owner or corporation looking to increase employee engagement and satisfaction, we can help you transform your workplace.

Employee well-being is directly tied to a company’s efficiency, productivity and overall culture. An inclusive and thoughtfully-designed wellness program can have a positive impact on your employees’ physical, mental and emotional health, ultimately contributing to a healthier, happier workplace. Corporate memberships to Champions Club make it easy and affordable for employees to take advantage of our many health and wellness opportunities, including:

  • Lunch and Learns
  • Health and Wellness Seminars
  • Walking/Running Club on Indoor Track
  • 50+ Group Fitness Classes
  • Personal Training

To learn more or purchase a corporate membership, contact our Membership Services Coordinator at (817) 748-8955 or memberships@themarqsouthlake.com.

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Shop Small in Southlake: Support Independent Businesses on Saturday, November 24

Although Black Friday is synonymous with holiday shopping sales for big brands, the Saturday following Thanksgiving is not to be overlooked for smaller retailers. Launched by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday has become a national movement of supporting independent shops and restaurants during the holiday season. Cities, communities and neighborhoods throughout the country participate in the program, rallying locals to join in.

Here in Southlake, Mayor Laura Hill officially proclaimed November 24 as Small Business Saturday. Owned and managed by members of the community, independent shops and restaurants form the backbone of many local economies, including Southlake. With dozens of small businesses offering unique assortments of products and services, you will be able to check off many items on your holiday planning and gift list.

Since it is the season to deck the halls and trim the trees, put The Christmas Shoppe at the top of your list. Located at 2325 E. Southlake Boulevard, the boutique gift shop offers exquisite custom florals, upscale home décor and seasonal décor, as well as unique gifts for any occasion. Custom-made wreaths, garlands, swags and centerpieces stock the showroom and can be custom-built to match your personal style, colors and price range.

Just down the street at 2225 W. Southlake Boulevard, find gifts for all ages at The Gift Store. From apparel and cosmetics to baby items and gifts for sports fans, the store offers unique products for one-of-a-kind presents. Stop by the store on Small Business Saturday for special deals on favorite brands.

Making a list and checking it twice? If you’re shopping for a Nutcracker Prince or Sugarplum Fairy, find everything from affordable dancewear to custom tutus and pointe shoes at 5678 Dancewear Defined at 475 W. Southlake Boulevard. With action figures, books, cars, trains, dolls, games and more, The Toy Maven is your one-stop-shop for gifts for children. Drop in at 1275 E. Southlake Boulevard, Suite 437, explore and play, and go home with beautifully wrapped gifts. The store will have hands-on activities and multiple brands on sale during Small Business Saturday.

“We want to get to know our customers and help them choose toys that support their child’s development over the years. Play is so important for children as it advances language, social, cognitive and emotional growth – and we strive to guide parents to products that support those goals and interests, rather than just the most advertised or popular toys,” stated Candace Williams, owner of The Toy Maven.

Toys for tech-minded kids at heart can be found at Gadgik!, the mobile device and repair specialty shop. The veteran-owned small business designs, qualifies, tests, inspects and packages its products in Arlington, Texas before showcasing and selling its gadgets and accessories in Southlake at 2140 E. Southlake Blvd, Suite K.

If you’re looking for a bit of sparkle this season, Southlake has a dazzling selection for jewelry. Pieter Andries Jewelry, located at 2525 E. Southlake Boulevard, has perfected the art of fine jewelry making and offers custom designs, a stunning variety of engagement rings and is an official Rolex jeweler. Located at 1101 E. Southlake Boulevard, Suite 420, and with a name that pays tribute to a non-profit, The Gatehouse Jewelers offers a large selection of exquisite jewelry from designers from around the world. Half of the store’s profits benefit a supportive living community where women and children in crisis receive safe refuge. Located at 2140 E Southlake Blvd, Suite M, Southlake Jewelers is one of the oldest jewelers in the area and boasts numerous awards for its custom designs and new jewelry, appraisals, laser engraving and jewelry repair.

After a Saturday filled with shopping, stop and satisfy your appetite. Named after the owner’s older son, Armend’s serves authentic Italian cuisine in a casual, family-friendly environment. Known for its delicious pizzas and BYOB environment, Armend’s is one of the first restaurants in Southlake, having originally opened in 1994 in a different location from its current spot at 2315 E. Southlake Boulevard, Suite 101.

As its name implies, Wildwood American Grill puts a contemporary spin on wood-fired grill favorites, offering everything from steaks and seafood to burgers and beyond. The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine list, and carries specialized liquors and craft beers. Located at 2700 E. Southlake Boulevard, guests also enjoy the private dining rooms, spacious bar and outdoor patio.

Inspired by the kitchens of the royal Mughal emperors dating back to 16th century India, Mughlai Indian Cuisine offers rich, aromatic dishes, including biryanis, pulaos, kebabs and kormas. With a fine dining atmosphere, Mughlai is dedicated to ensuring an exceptional dining experience that satisfies guests, staff and the community. With another location in Dallas, Mughlai brings ancient flavors from the far east to Texas for Southlake diners at 3311 E. State Highway 114.

“It’s rewarding being an independent business owner in Southlake. We not only work here, but we live here as well and feel very connected to the community. We’ve gotten to know our customers and even know what our frequent customers order,” stated Sonia Khan, owner of Mughlai Indian Cuisine. “Being a small business owner is hard work – we always give 110% –but it’s worth it to please our customers and keep them coming back.”

Tired of turkey? The Drunken Cow has a food truck at 2190 E. Dove Road, located in the parking lot of Yates Corner Grocery and serves BBQ sandwiches, tacos, brisket, pulled pork, sausage, chicken, and yes—turkey, or head to Feedstore BBQ, Southlake’s oldest retail establishment. The Southlake dining staple has been selling BBQ since 2001, but was originally a feed store in the 1950’s. In addition to traditional BBQ favorites (brisket, pork, chicken, turkey, ham and sausage), customers also keep coming back for the catfish, big bowl salads and homemade desserts.

Support small businesses in a big way through shopping small on Saturday, November 24 and throughout the year. With unique product offerings and exceptional customer service, it pays to shop small in Southlake.

 

 

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Startup Crawl showcases businesses, entrepreneur community on Fort Worth’s east side

Fort Worth Startup Crawl will be taking place from 4:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 15 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). The event, which is set up like a “pub crawl for startups,” will showcase venues and resources available to entrepreneurs on Fort Worth’s east side. Crawlers can start the event at any one of the four participating locations, and travel from place to place by car.

The locations for Startup Crawl include:

  • Jack Morton Business Accelerator at Texas Wesleyan University, 3114 E. Rosedale St., provides undergraduate and graduate students opportunities, skills and firsthand experiences that help build their networks and professional portfolios. Crawlers will get to meet students who will share their experiences about a recent social entrepreneurship project, EntrepreneurHER, which empowers women entrepreneurs.
  • Tarrant County College’s Opportunity Center, 5901 Fitzhugh Ave., is dedicated to providing hands-on accelerated training to the area’s workforce. Crawlers will experience a tour of the facility’s training areas, including robotics, welding and logistics, and can visit with instructors.
  • UTARI (University of Texas Arlington’s Research Institute), 7300 Jack Newell Blvd. South, will present some of its newest innovations in biomedical device development during the Startup Crawl. Additionally, crawlers will get a look at UTARI’s state-of-the-art prototyping lab (complete with 3D printers, a laser engraver and more) as well as its autonomous systems lab, which allows for the indoor positioning of multiple drones and driverless vehicles.
  • Handley Wedding District, at the corner of East Lancaster Avenue and Handley Drive, is home to an eclectic family of local wedding and special-event businesses that value old-fashioned customer service and have a knack for creative flair. All unique shops in the area — from event planners, to photographers and makeup artists, to wedding cake bakeries and dress shops — are independently-owned and specialize in one-on-one collaborations with customers from all over the DFW Metroplex.

An after-party will be held at 4 Color Press, 3300 Lawnwood, from 7-9 p.m. to give participating entrepreneurs a chance to connect and network with one another.

Get involved

Tickets to Startup Crawl are available for $10.

This is the second Fort Worth Startup Crawl to be held this year as part of the city’s rollout of the Economic Development Strategic Plan, which specifically focuses on identifying ways to ensure community vitality and support small businesses.

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Small businesses move closer to victory as top 25 announced for Fort Worth Business Plan Competition

Registration for the fifth annual Small Business Plan Competition closed June 15, and the top 25 applicants have been selected to move on to the next round.

The Top 25 for the 2018 Business Plan Competition:

  • Aspen Tyke Traveler (by RDY4IT Inc.).
  • Belzoni’s Catfish Restaurant(s).
  • Block System Inc.
  • Cache.
  • Clearview Speech and Consulting Services PLLC.
  • Culture Consultants.
  • DroneAlytic LLC.
  • Envy Designz LLC.
  • FlyFix Inc.
  • Funky Picnic Brewery & Café.
  • Infant Swim DFW LLC.
  • Journal Junkie.
  • Kristen Soble LLC.
  • Locavore.
  • Mercy Care Pharmacy.
  • myBlueCar.
  • Panther Ballistic.
  • RMS Movers.
  • RxAnytime LLC.
  • Sarge’s Manufacturing.
  • Signature Cuffs LLC.
  • The Bar-Gym For Women.
  • TOTAL K.O. BOXING CLUB (TKO).
  • Tremmedics Medical Devices LLC.
  • Worth Media LLC.

The owners of these small businesses will begin five weeks of group training provided by the Business Assistance Center and their local partners. This group training includes one-on-one counseling, professional development workshops and coaching from industry experts.

Final business plans will be due Sept. 10, and 10 businesses will be selected to compete in front of judges during a Pitch Night on Oct. 11.

The top three finalists will compete Oct. 25 for the prize packages, which include $10,000 cash for first place, $5,000 for second place and $3,000 for third place. Additionally, numerous businesses have donated in-kind services for the three finalists.

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Fort Worth partnering with businesses for greener practices, greater water efficiency

The Fort Worth Water Department is offering free, comprehensive water efficiency assessments for industrial, commercial and institutional customers.

The facility-wide assessments will evaluate all water use, including irrigation, cooling towers, metering, process water, bathrooms, showers, laundries, kitchen/cafeteria, outdoor fountains and more.

How it works

Before the site visit, a consultant will request information to help in the preliminary assessment of your water use. After the visit, a comprehensive report of the site assessment will be provided, typically within 30-45 days. This report will make it easy to see and consider best management practices. It will include recommendations of estimated savings in both water and money, with projected costs for implementation.

Although implementation of the recommendations is not mandatory, those options with three years or less return on investment are encouraged for consideration.

Smartwater Partner awards

These awards are open to businesses that implement any of the recommended strategies in the final report. Winners will be recognized for their leadership in water conservation at an annual awards ceremony in the fall.

To learn more, call 817-392-8740.

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National Small Business Week April 30-May 6: Small Businesses Celebrated in Southlake

To say that small businesses are the backbone of America is an understatement, given that they comprise 99.9 percent of all firms in the U.S. and employ more than 50 percent of the working population, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Defined by SBA as an enterprise with less than 500 employees, there were 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S. in 2013 (the latest figure available), 23 million of which had no employees – giving true meaning to the term “small” business.

It appears the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in North Texas, which is home to more than 147,000 small businesses, ranking fifth in the country, according to a report in the Dallas Business Journal February 24. “The State of Small Business Report” also identified the vitality of small business sectors in major markets across the U.S., ranking Dallas Fort Worth 24th out of 106 metro areas. NOTE: This report defines small business as less than 100 employees.

It is easy to look around Southlake and determine that small businesses comprise a majority of the city’s 2,230 commercial enterprises. Although an exact number is unknown, the Southlake Chamber of Commerce reports that 99.24 percent of its membership is small businesses. Results from the Southlake Chamber’s most recent member survey revealed that approximately 92 percent have less than 10 employees and 55 percent have five employees or less.

In addition to company size, Southlake Chamber members also shared their challenges and obstacles to business growth.

“On a national level, the top challenges that are keeping small business owners up at night are burdensome regulations, healthcare and tax reform,” stated Mark Guilbert, president and CEO of the Southlake Chamber. “Small business owners are enthusiastic about what the current administration is doing to relieve the regulatory hardships so far, but they are  concerned by the recent failure to pass healthcare reform which is causing concerns that tax reform might fail as well.”

Serving the needs of its members is the Southlake Chamber’s highest priority and no one has taken this more to heart than two-term Chairman of the Board of Directors (2014-2016) Ian MacLean, who is also president of an award-winning small business in Southlake, Highland Landscaping. In addition to his executive role in the Southlake Chamber, he serves on the Council on Small Business of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group of more than 120 business owners throughout the nation who share their perspectives on issues including taxes, energy, healthcare, regulations and employee relations.

According to MacLean, serving on the Council on Small Business provides him a platform to represent Southlake businesses at the national level. This came to fruition first-hand when Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber, was in town recently for business and requested an in-person meeting at MacLean’s office.

Seizing the opportunity, MacLean gathered Guilbert, the Chamber’s current Chairman of the Board Peter Ermish, Southlake Mayor Laura Hill, and other local business leaders for a roundtable discussion about doing business in North Texas.

“We talked about the labor shortage, employee retention, increased construction costs, and unique challenges in the area,” MacLean explained. “This was a great opportunity to highlight the value held for small business by the City of Southlake, as well as the initiatives and growing partnership between the Southlake Chamber and the U.S. Chamber that give our local businesses a voice on Capitol Hill.”

Acknowledging the Trump administration is more willing to cooperate with small businesses, the main message expressed to Sullivan was the need to do research and have conversations about the long-term effects before taking legislative action.

“In Washington, DC, we are all about policy. When we get on the road, it is all about listening to leaders like Ian to help inform how things can work better in our nation’s capital,” stated Sullivan, who outlined his top five priorities for the group:

  1. Fix healthcare to allow more small businesses to access health insurance for their employees.
  2. Comprehensive tax reform that lowers corporate and small business rates.
  3. Remove regulatory barriers that stifle small business growth.
  4. Focus on ways that small business can access qualified and willing workers.
  5. Support ways more small businesses can participate in the global marketplace.

 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has an ongoing campaign to help small businesses get the tools and information they need to succeed. Partnering with local and state chambers of commerce, they will host a Small Business Series event June 13 in Irving. In addition, National Small Business Week, sponsored by the SBA, is April 30-May 6. This annual event recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“Southlake is the perfect example of a vibrant community built on a foundation of small businesses. In Southlake, our small business owners work, volunteer and often raise their families here. They have a fierce level of loyalty and commitment to Southlake’s success,” stated Southlake Mayor Laura Hill.

Photo from Meeting
Photos from Meeting
Photos from Meeting

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