The DEC Network, along with more than 100 business support partners, announced the launch of a new platform called Let’s Grow North Texas Business to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in North Texas find available resources as they are faced with uncertainly in the COVID-19 crisis.
The new website hub centralizes dynamic, relevant content and online tools to serve the community as small businesses and entrepreneurs are trying to make it through these tumultuous times, Chairman Trey Bowles told Dallas Innovates in an email.
It also intends to serve up “thorough, accurate information on a variety of programs.”
Strategic and tactical support
A key feature of the site is the Fast Start Mentor program that was created to connect entrepreneurs and small businesses to mentors who are subject matter experts, experienced entrepreneurs, and service providers, Bowles said.
“The program continues to grow,” Bowles noted. “We have a few hundred applicants and are growing. [But] we are in need of getting the word out and want to add mentors who are willing to help.”
The DEC also launched a VIP program for high profile leaders across the North Texas region who may be willing to be mentors.
By connecting mentors and entrepreneurs, The DEC can help provide companies with the strategic and tactical support they need to help them survive and thrive through the coronavirus crisis, Bowles said.
“This is one of the best ways we can help small businesses and entrepreneurs mitigate the uncertainty of the next 60 days.”
Per The DEC, here are a few highlights from the site:
- Fast Track Mentoring Program: During the Coronavirus crisis, The DEC Network has rapidly deployed a program to bring mentors who have experienced managing a business through crisis to the aid of small business owners who are struggling to maintain their operations. While more than 180 Dallas-based small business owners have signed up for the program, The DEC Network is still looking for both mentors and mentees. Sign up at this link:thedecnetwork.typeform.com/to/cYthtW.
- Funding: Let’s Grow North Texas Businesses features more than a dozen resources for small-business funding that are available now, including the much-talked-about SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and the Paycheck Protection Program. It also offers lesser-known sources of funding, such as the Texas Woman’s University AssistHer Relief Grant, which offers funds to women-owned businesses that are suffering an economic hardship.
- Benefits and Discounts: This page offers resources that are either free or discounted during the COVID-19 crisis. For example, Google is offering a free, premium version of its workplace video chat tool until July, and Comcast Xfinity is granting free access to Xfinity Wifi. MailChimp is offering three months of its standard service for free.
“There’s a lot of information available to support small business and entrepreneurs during this uncertain time in our nation’s history,” Bill Chinn, CEO of The DEC Network said. “This new website serves as a one-stop shop, aggregating these key resources to make it easier for entrepreneurs and small business owners to get what they need quickly and efficiently while also connecting these businesses to mentors and directly with the leading entrepreneur support organizations across the region.”
Have resources to share via Let’s Grow North Texas Business? The DEC wants to know.
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