DESOTO – DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor opened a press conference Tuesday afternoon alongside US Small Business Administration (SBA) South Central Regional Administrator Ted James, who was in the city to sign a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM).
According to Proctor, this was not James’ first time in the city; he was in DeSoto last year for a Regional Small Business roundtable.
“The city of DeSoto and my office is entering into what is called a strategic alliance memorandum, and we are excited for what this will do for Desoto’s small businesses today and in the future,” Proctor said.
Proctor explained this agreement would provide structure to the city’s efforts regarding small businesses with updated information and guidelines regularly while encouraging new business owners to step up.
James announced this is the first SAM he has signed with any city in Texas.
He said the agreement would structure SBA’s efforts with Desoto to provide the most pertinent, up-to-date information and guidance possible for DeSoto’s small businesses.
Part of the partnership between the city and the SBA is having new information for DeSoto entrepreneurs, which the city will share through various means, including an upcoming new webpage. This webpage will serve as a clearinghouse for SBA information.
A constant dialogue will also be held between DeSoto and the SBA to ensure the city’s finger is on the pulse locally and nationally.
James said at the SBA; they pride themselves on their resources to help provide technical assistance and mentorship to small businesses.
He explained he is a member of Region 6, the largest in the agency, and he said the SBA is “the voice of America for small businesses across the country,” he said recently, there had been a small business boom.
James also added that the Small Business Association was eager to come to the city and stay, adding that SBA can provide DeSoto small businesses with counseling, technical assistance, and capital. He also mentioned the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill in Texas and pointed out this will help get essential programs into the DeSoto community.
“We are going to dive very deep into getting businesses certified,” James said, “from a federal, state, and local standpoint.”
Looking forward to being an added partner in the community, not taking over, he explained that this agreement is a testament to the leadership in Desoto, and he is happy to be working with the city.
There was a question about the choice businesses make going south versus north. James said, ” Your presence shows where your priorities are, and I think my presence here for the third time shows there is an energy, there is a strong eco-system here, and again, there is leadership here.”
He also added he has no reason to come to DeSoto and create something new since it is already organically built.
“Today is a great day for entrepreneurs of our great city, and it provides another reason to declare that there is so much to love in DeSoto,” Proctor concluded.