Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced a task force Monday to promote small business for a COVID-19 economic recovery.
Johnson said Texas is considered the top state in the nation for starting a business, but Dallas may not be seen in the same manner.
“Dallas, as we do in many other ways, should be leading our state in that regard,” Johnson said. “As we recover from COVID-19, we should strive to make Dallas a hub for entrepreneurs.”
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One of the co-chairpersons of the task force is Mandy Price, a founder of the firm Kanarys.
After 12 years of practicing law in Dallas, the businesswoman, who is Black, said she saw a need for diversity and inclusion tracking of large firms.
“And so I decided to create Kanarys, to help provide that data-driven approach and really help companies use those researched best practices to foster inclusion and diversity in the workplace,” she said.
COVID-19 added a new challenge.
“It's been very hard for small businesses and the start-up community in particular,” Price said.
Johnson said he wanted an action plan of recommendations from the new task force by the end of April.
“We want this economy to lead the nation in recovery from COVID-19. We want Dallas to be the first city in the United States, first major city certainly, to bounce back,” Johnson said.
Dallas does already have an entrepreneur center led by Trey Bowles, who will also be a co-chairperson of the task force.
Bowles said what Dallas is missing to create more small business jobs is free flowing capital to help foster entrepreneurs, which some other cities have provided through public/private partnerships.
“When we all play our role working together, there is no question that Dallas will be second to none on the planet for entrepreneurs and start- ups to succeed,” Bowles said.
Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins, chairman of the council's economic development committee, is another key participant in the mayor’s new task force. Atkins said he wants to see more investment in small Southern Dallas businesses.
Johnson said Monday he wanted to see all the recommendations from the task force on innovation and entrepreneurship before committing to any single strategy.