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Four business associations visit eastside small businesses

Posted Dec. 19, 2018

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Twenty-five volunteers and eight staffers canvassed the area on Dec. 12 in the inaugural 'business walk,' which began at University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute as a home base.

With recent news about Amazon and other corporate regional relocation wins, people may forget that 80 percent of jobs are created by entrepreneurs and the area’s existing businesses.

As part of the Fort Worth Chamber’s Business Retention & Expansion efforts, the chamber partnered with East Fort Worth Inc., the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber and Southeast Fort Worth Inc. to visit 30 businesses in east Fort Worth in two hours.

“The most critical part of growing our economy is maintaining and nurturing what we already have,” said Chris Strayer, the chamber’s senior vice president of business attraction, retention and expansion. “These visits give us intelligence that we otherwise would not have. We plan to use this information to identify trends, address issues and challenges, connect businesses with solutions, and continue to build our network of businesses to help support our business development activities. Conversations with business owners and representatives included topics such as workforce availability, infrastructure, taxation and regulations.”

“The business walk is an effort by amazing and dedicated folks who believe that, by working together, we can achieve great things,” said Alex Jimenez, president of East Fort Worth Inc. “These visits were mainly listening sessions that will lead to ideas that will help not only these eastside small businesses, but any small company in Fort Worth.”

In east Fort Worth, a Texas Railway Express train station just east of Loop 820 and north of Trinity Blvd is in the planning stages, as well as new multi-use developments with lake trails and affordable housing.

The chamber plans to continue the quarterly walks — although the area covered necessitates using vehicles —in other areas of the city in 2019.

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