Comerica Bank today revealed plans for Comerica BusinessHQ, a collaborative space that will provide integral services and value to small businesses in the Southern sector of Dallas.
Comerica is transforming idle real estate on the first floor of its R.L. Thornton location into a unique community resource that provides high-need, high-opportunity small businesses with the necessary tools to develop, grow and endure. Through a mix of coworking spaces, incubation fellowships and technical assistance, Comerica BusinessHQ will address the three essential needs of aspiring small businesses: capital, cultivation and connectivity.
“Comerica has long been invested in the South Dallas community, and we are taking our commitment a step further with the creation of Comerica BusinessHQ,” said Irvin Ashford, Jr., Comerica Bank’s Chief Community Officer. “It is imperative that we help provide solutions to the challenges facing entrepreneurs in this footprint.”
BusinessHQ will function as a part of the Dallas Small Business Ecosystem and serve as an epicenter of vetted, credible community partners to present effective and impactful small business incubation and technical assistance. The project lead, Regional External Affairs Manager Brandon Q. Jones, has secured a growing roster of partners that includes Community Incubation Partner the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center (VWEC), as well as BCL of Texas, the City of Dallas, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, DreamSpring, Impact Ventures, National Youth Chamber of Commerce powered by Project Still I Rise, Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce of Texas DFW, SCORE Dallas, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
“To ensure this initiative is truly community-driven, we plan to empower our broad network of strategic community partners to facilitate programming and assist in identifying small businesses for BusinessHQ opportunities,” said Jones. “The key findings from our community based focus groups and meetings with local leaders, stakeholders and small business owners, indicated we should focus on the following areas – technology and connectivity, access and security and membership and exclusivity – to make the most impact as we continue to contribute to the Southern sector’s economic revitalization efforts.”
∙ Technology and connectivity – The space will have free, flexible, temporary workspaces and turnkey access to high-speed, uninterrupted Wi-Fi; information security and privacy; printing; scanning; large scale projection video conferencing rooms; as well as well as space furnished with equipment for small-scale content creation needs. Technical assistance services also will be offered, which will be open to all small businesses and led by a strategic community partner.
∙ Access and security – BusinessHQ will be in a secure location and open Monday through Friday with extended hours and some weekend hours to reflect the reality of entrepreneurs.
∙ Membership and exclusivity – There will be a conscientious registration and vetting process for small businesses to gain access and membership to BusinessHQ.
BusinessHQ membership opportunities
∙ Incubators – BusinessHQ Community Partner VWEC will select small businesses for membership and administer the program. Incubators will receive dedicated/private office space, one-on-one cultivation support and consultations with small business capital providers, and exclusive access to the content creation studio.
∙ Coworkers – Strategic community partners will refer small businesses that are enrolled in or have completed formal technical assistance training. These entities will have access to private and/or shared office space or open workspace twice a week (subject to availability), one-on-one consultations with small business capital providers and exclusive access to the content creation space.
∙ Community Coworkers – Any small business operating in a high need, high opportunity area, with revenues less than $1 million, will have the opportunity to take advantage of the space. A BusinessHQ staff member will meet with a small business that is requesting access to help identify key need areas. Once a membership is confirmed, the community coworker can use shared, open workspaces (subject to availability) and BusinessHQ’s library of resources for six months.
All small businesses utilizing BusinessHQ can grow as members and gain access to more benefits once the initial duration of their membership has ended.
More on BusinessHQ
A Comerica BusinessHQ Success Manager will oversee general operations of the community center, which will include client scheduling, event planning and membership operations.
The approximately 8,000-square-foot area, located at 5201 E. R.L. Thornton, is currently undergoing renovations. When it reopens in March 2023, it will have clear, engaging signage illuminated with blue lights at night.