• Ric Armstrong

Dallas Regional Chamber Launches Tool to Drive Business Investment


The Dallas Regional Chamber is “doubling down” to drive investment in Southern Dallas County—an area that spans 486 square miles and 12 cities. The DRC unveiled its Southern Dallas County Economic Development Guide, a website highlighting the communities, real estate, employers, and talent pool there, with the aim of spurring investment and economic development in the region.


“Southern Dallas County’s greatest opportunity for long-term economic growth is tied to good jobs,” DRC President and CEO Dale Petroskey said in a statement.


The DRC, which is currently working with multiple companies to bring new retail, office, and industrial jobs to the area, says the guide is a resource that’s part of the DRC’s larger efforts to drive growth south in the county.


A recruiting tool for the region


“This guide helps tell the right narrative for Southern Dallas County,” Latosha Herron Bruff, DRC’s Senior VP of community engagement at the DRC, in a statement “We’re working to bring jobs closer to where people live in Southern Dallas County, and sharing this tool with companies will be invaluable to our work and to anyone looking to expand there.”


In addition to acting as a regional recruiting tool, the economic development guide serves as an interactive map of development projects and as an aggregator of business and community impact news.


According to Petroskey, there are currently 15 projects in the pipeline for Southern Dallas County. The chamber is also hosting “vision tours” for members to promote the region’s potential for business expansions and relocations, while also drawing attention to issues like food insecurity, banking inequality, and workforce diversity.


“We have Gatorade and Frito-Lay plants in Southern Dallas and more than 1,000 employees who work or live in the area, so, to us, Southern Dallas County has always been home,” said Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America and co-chair of the DRC’s Community Investment in Underserved Areas Sub-Council, in a statement.


“As we continue to expand the economic opportunity for residents of Southern Dallas County by bringing more quality jobs to the area, this guide will be a great resource to help us and other companies move or expand in the county,” he added.


40% of the county’s population


According to the guide, Southern Dallas County’s more than 1 million residents make up about 40% of the county’s population. It says the median age of residents is 32.5 years old and the region has a median household income of around $51,000. It also states construction, health care and social assistance, and retail trade are the largest industries by employment in the southern part of the county.


Cities that comprise the region span from Dallas to Desoto and Grand Prairie to Mesquite. The largest employers in the region include Methodist Hospitals, Amazon, UNT Dallas, and PepsiCo Frito-Lay. Among the draws for businesses to the region, the guide lists its physical connectivity, digital infrastructure, number of opportunity zones, and the availability of tax incentives offered through various entities.


Building on past work


With the new guide, the DRC says its building on previous economic development work in Southern Dallas County. Other successes in the region it points to include launching the RedBird Entrepreneur Center alongside The DEC Network in 2018, helping to form the Southern Dallas Inland Port Transportation Management Association in 2019, and raising more than $2.5 million for diverse small business owners through its Revive Dallas Small Business Relief Fund.


“The DRC will continue to respond to the needs of Southern Dallas County’s current and future residents, leveraging our resources to help drive business expansions and relocations there,” Petrosky said.