Did you know Flower Mound has more than 200 retail stores and approximately 175 restaurants and cafes? Many of these businesses opened their doors in Flower Mound thanks to the work of our Flower Mound Economic Development staff.
Every day, the Economic Development staff is behind the scenes, working closely with other agencies, organizations, and departments in support of businesses. They accomplish their goals through:
- Targeted recruitment of new businesses
- Supporting entrepreneurial start-ups and a growing retention and expansion program
- Strategic marketing of the community’s amenities and residential quality of life
These efforts, in turn, expand the Town’s commercial tax base, increases sales tax revenue, create professional employment opportunities, and increase the quality of life for residents.
Recruiting New Businesses
If you’ve filled out one of the Town’s Restaurant and Retail surveys that are conducted every three years or so, your responses were sent to the Economic Development (ED) department. They use those results to directly reach out to those companies that residents frequently request. In fact, they’ve been able to successfully recruit nine of the most-requested restaurants and retailers over the past several years.
So why don’t we have a Cheesecake Factory or a Trader Joe’s? Well, unfortunately it’s not as simple as calling them up and letting them know they’ve made the top of our list. Most companies operate under strict site selection criteria. For example, a company might follow certain guidelines that take into account proximity to existing locations, highway access, number of rooftops, draw, visibility, and overall corporate strategy. For example, Trader Joe’s has told the Town they are not opening any new locations in Texas right now.
Even when a business does want to open in Flower Mound, they must find a site that works for them. ED staff often helps site selectors who have a client looking for land or existing space with specific criteria and zoning in mind.
The Town also works with existing retail building or shopping center owners to attract desired or requested businesses but ultimately, if a type of business is allowed, it’s the landlord’s decision. The Town does try to guide the type of tenants that move in. The landlords and owners follow market demand, which is why there are multiple businesses providing the same product or service in Flower Mound.
ED staff is also able to recruit businesses, through leads from the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce and the Governor’s Office who notify the Town when there’s a property or location in Flower Mound that meets the site selector’s requirements. This is typically when confidentiality agreements are entered into, and the Town is provided company background and simply a code/project name until a company is ready to publicly announce their identity. In addition, they participate in conferences, site selection forums, and retailer expositions including the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Texas Deal-Making Expo, the ICSC RECon national retail conference, and the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors and Real Estate Professionals (NTCAR) Commercial Real Estate Expo.
At times, Denton County Officials help the Town recruit desired businesses by writing letters, making a call on our behalf, or sometimes providing tax incentives. We greatly appreciate our strong relationship with our Denton County Commissioners Bobbie Mitchell and Dianne Edmonson, along with Denton County Judge Andy Eads.
Supporting Existing Businesses
Along with creating and encouraging opportunities for new businesses in the community, ED staff is also focused ensuring the continued success and longevity of our current businesses. It is not enough for the Town to be a desirable location if a new business quickly fails. The Economic Development Office works to support our new and existing businesses through a solid business retention program so they are given the best chance for success.
However, market demands, private owner decisions, national and state economic climate, and a host of situational conditions largely affect the success of any business endeavor and lie outside the capability of the Town of Flower Mound to control. For example, the Town inquired about the recent closure of one of our restaurants, which revealed that the Flower Mound location was simply part of a portfolio of restaurants that were overall underperforming and the owner ultimately decided to close out the portfolio and focus on other endeavors.
Part of the retention program includes site visits with all our major employers and meetings with their local executives to make sure their needs are being met within the community. During the meeting everything from needing help with a street light outage to finding a work force can be discussed. ED staff is there to connect them to the right resources. They know the majority of new business in any community comes from the growth of their existing businesses, which makes retention visits so important.
For example, Thirty-One Gifts needed to find specialized training for their new employees to learn their embroidery machines. ED staff was able to connect them with local colleges and workforce board to create customized training for their employees.
A huge component of supporting Flower Mound’s business community is the Town’s partnership with the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce. Economic Development Director Andrea Roy serves on the Chamber’s Board as the Town liaison, and participates in Chamber activities each month. One of these activities Andrea does is conduct regular Economic Development forums with the Chamber. These forums are hosted by various businesses such as Stryker, CustomInk, and many others where representatives discuss what they do and provide a tour their facility. These forums inform the public and other businesses of all the unique businesses we have in Flower Mound here, and promote business-to-business relationships.
Partnerships are vital to the success of our ED staff. They help the Town understand and learn about existing business concerns in the community and also gain leads for future recruiting. Outside of the Flower Mound and Dallas Regional Chambers of Commerce, Denton and Tarrant Counties, and Governor’s Office, the Town also partners with:
- North Texas Commission
- Neighboring cities
- Texas Economic Development Council/Team Texas
- S. Department of Commerce
- Workforce Solutions
- NCTC/Midwestern State University
- Local school districts
- Flower Mound corporate citizens
- Partnership organizations
And while you may hear about incentives being provided to a company or a developer, incentives are ancillary to the Town economic development efforts. The Town works diligently to pursue business development on the merits of being in Flower Mound, but sometimes site obstacles, infrastructure, extensive relocation costs, or a variety of other circumstances, can cause the need to provide an incentive to a company. When necessary, incentives are always considered on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on a number of factors, including the kind of assistance requested, the amount of investment the business will provide the community as a percentage of the amount requested, the number of jobs the business supports, etc. It is the intent of the Town to utilize incentives only when necessary, and only when providing a positive return.
I am thankful our ED staff works hard to ensure Flower Mound’s long-term success and a better place to live by facilitating and making connections. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to them at [email protected].