Fort Worth, TX (Dec. 1, 2021) — Today, small business advocacy group Connected Commerce Council (3C) hosted a virtual webinar with Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and local business and tech leaders about the state of the digital economy in Fort Worth. “Growing Fort Worth’s Small Business Community and Fueling the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” was moderated by Kristen Barton of the Fort Worth Report.
Mayor Parker highlighted Fort Worth’s growing reputation for entrepreneurship and fostering a thriving environment for startups. “Fort Worth is at the pinnacle of possibility and is well-positioned to be an engine for innovation and economic prosperity,” said Parker. She also emphasized how digital tools have helped businesses grow and connect with the local community. “With the help of technology, small businesses are able to sustain themselves by providing owners new opportunities to promote their business and connect with local customers.”
Following Mayor Parker’s keynote comments, Barton turned it over to the panelists from the public, private and education sectors to discuss how Fort Worth is fostering an environment for entrepreneurship and innovation to thrive.
“Millions of small businesses use affordable and innovative digital platforms and tools to start, grow and accelerate their success,” said Jon Potter of the Connected Commerce Council. “As state and federal lawmakers contemplate regulating American technology companies, they must account for the risk that overregulation will harm thriving small businesses and local economies in Fort Worth and elsewhere.”
“Digital tools play a particularly important role in determining early on if a founder wants to launch a new venture,” said Hayden Blackburn, Executive Director of non-profit business incubator TechFW. “Our ThinkLab accelerator program allows founders and startups in the “ideas” phase a space to obtain customer feedback, validate market trends, and develop pathways to market to decide if they launch, pivot, or shelve their ideas. By integrating digital tools that enable a faster feedback loop, startups can determine if their innovation can launch and scale.”
Cameron Cushman, Assistant Vice President of Innovation Ecosystem at the University of North Texas Health Science Center said, “Fort Worth is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, and it’s crucial for the future of our city that our community leaders invest in keeping up the pace of entrepreneurial growth. The new Sparkyard Fall 2021 Jobs Report showed that startups less than a year old created nearly 30,000 jobs in Tarrant County in 2019 alone. That is a significant impact on our economy and is only increasing as we come out of the pandemic.”
“Entrepreneurship is at the heart and soul of our city. Amid the unprecedented disruptions of the past year and a half, we’ve been able to stay connected to our customers and continue to grow our brand through digital platforms and tools,” said Sarah Castillo, founder and owner of local restaurant Taco Heads.”
A recent 3C report underscored the dramatic difference technology utilization has made for small businesses during the pandemic. Digitally Driven: 2021 showed that digitally advanced companies have fared 20 times better in acquiring new customers and 50 percent better in overall revenue, compared to more digitally uncertain businesses amid COVID-19.
Full video from today’s event is available HERE.