DeSoto, TX - On October 20, 2018, the Grow DeSoto Market Place, the first business incubator in the Best Southwest region of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, celebrated its grand opening.

The event featured an official ribbon cutting ceremony, live entertainment, giveaways, and remarks from City of DeSoto Mayor Curtistene S. McCowan, members of the DeSoto City Council, the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation (DeSoto EDC), and Monte Anderson, owner of the DeSoto Market Place.

The grand opening drew a massive crowd from all across the Dallas-Fort Worthmetropolitan area resulting in long entry lines and challenges finding parking in the facility's spacious lot. Attendees had the opportunity to visit each business, network with the owners, browse carefully curated merchandise, purchase one of-a-kind items, and dine on delectable foods that met every type of dietary requirement. Many attendees described the atmosphere of the event as being uplifting with a sense of positivity and cohesiveness among the community. "I was heartened not just by the overwhelming amount of people who showed up for the grand opening of our business incubator at the Grow DeSoto Market Place, but by the enthusiasm of everyone who took part in this wonderful event," said City of DeSoto Mayor Curtistene S. McCowan. "The diversity and variety of foods, unique merchandise and beneficial services that are now available at that location are beyond what we would have initially hoped for and serve as a shining example to future DeSoto entrepreneurs that they can make it and shouldn't be afraid to dream big!"

Another official who was a strong and early advocate for opening the business incubator at this site is Mayor Pro-Tem Rachel Proctor from DeSoto's Place Four. "DeSoto is definitely a city that champions small businesses and this incubator serves as the perfect way for us as a community to support the entrepreneurial talent that we have right here in DeSoto." Proctor noted that the Grand Opening's huge turnout was proof of the community's excitement and a sign that it has created many new possibilities for entrepreneurial business development in DeSoto and far beyond. "I believe that the Grow DeSoto Market Place can and will serve as a model for other cities who want to find a way to support the budding entrepreneurs in their community. This opportunity has tremendously lowered the barriers to entry for these dreamers. It was amazing to go around to the different shops and restaurants and watch them work and serve customers as they began to realize a dream that they may have otherwise not been able to achieve solely on their own."

The Grow DeSoto Market Place is housed in the building once occupied by ACE Hardware. After the departure of ACE, a well-known dollar store chain attempted to secure the space. A collaborative partnership formed between the DeSoto EDC, City of DeSoto, DeSoto Chamber of Commerce, and Monte Anderson to instead repurpose the space in a manner that would benefit small business owners, as well as the community of DeSoto. The Grow DeSoto Market Place came to fruition from this first of its kind public-private partnership. The vision of this unique partnership is to provide a lower barrier to entry on the path to entrepreneurship for small business owners. Businesses that lease space within the Grow DeSoto Market Place receive reduced rental rates with all utilities included, a high traffic area that is easily accessible from I-35 and I-20, flexible lease terms, ongoing business training, mentorship, and the resource assistance of the DeSoto EDC, DeSoto Chamber of Commerce, City of DeSoto, Options Real Estate, and The Industry HUB. The space also includes private office suites that are available for lease.

Currently, over 90 percent of the space within the Grow DeSoto Market Place has been leased by a variety of micro businesses ranging from restaurants and clothing retailers to a photography studio and a full-service fitness/rehabilitation center. Businesses interested in leasing opportunities are encouraged to visit growdesoto.org and complete an application.

ABOUT DESOTO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION The DeSoto Economic Development Corporation (DeSoto EDC) is a non-profit organization funded by sales tax revenue to foster local prosperity while maintaining an excellent quality of life and minimizing local ad valorem taxation. The DeSoto EDC aims to assist businesses with a seamless relocation assistance process to DeSoto by providing site selection searches, competitive incentives, a skilled workforce and a prime location in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Whether your company needs a new commercial office building on Interstate 35, a manufacturing facility on a hill overlooking downtown Dallas, a fulfillment warehouse, or a service-oriented facility, DeSoto is the place to build your business, raise your kids, enjoy life and retire in style. For more information, visit our website at dedc.org.

Source: Dallas Biz Journal

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