CHALLENGE: How to easily start a business in Pearland

Entrepreneurs face a myriad of challenges when starting a business, from government permits, real estate location, financing, and business counseling.

Goals and Outcomes

Success will be measured by:

  • Number of visits to the site

  • Number of visits to the individual portals

  • New business startups

  • New business funding from financial institutions


An ideal solution will:

  • Lead to the creation of new businesses in the City of Pearland

  • Lead to the expansion of existing businesses in the City of Pearland

  • If the dashboard is developed properly it will minimize initial questions by the users and allow them to develop the base information that is required to start their research process for their business.

  • Be web based so it would be available to anyone with an internet browser. Depending on the end users – in addition to English to Spanish translation version could be beneficial.

City of Pearland, TX

As the fastest growing city in the Houston region, Pearland has everything your company needs to be successful. Affordable housing, outstanding schools, safe neighborhoods and superb quality of life has led to tremendous growth in Pearland. With millions of square feet of retail, office and residential construction completed in the past 10 years, Pearland is on its way to becoming the next major employment center in the Houston region.


Our close proximity to Houston, just a short 20-minute drive to downtown, allows you to experience all the city has to offer including professional sports, world-class cultural amenities and recreation.

www.PearlandEDC.com

Challenge Background

The Pearland Prosperity Plan identifies Economic growth and diversification as one of two Community Goals and states: Provide opportunities for residents to prosper and enhance Pearland’s fiscal sustainability through a holistic approach to economic development.  Focus areas of the Plan are: 1. Business Development - The community must build upon the location and expansion success of recent years and pursue the growth of primary jobs within its borders through a holistic approach to economic development. 2. By ensuring that Pearland has an optimal business climate and support services to aid business formation and growth, Pearland can position itself as an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and new and growing firms in the Greater Houston region.


PEDC has a dedicated section on its website which has a section on Small Business Resources which has local, regional and state resources - https://www.pearlandedc.com/doing-business/small-business-resources/. Additionally, there is a section on business financing.  PEDC also has partnered with the City’s Community Development Department to fund the Open Counter system which allows for the individual to ascertain zoning, fee structures and other information on developing in Pearland - https://developing.pearlandtx.gov/business.  The Pearland Chamber of Commerce also has a Resources page on their website https://www.pearlandchamber.com/.


Each entity's website has data that can either be copied or linked to.  The City’s Open Counter program is a software program which will have to be integrated. The creation of a dashboard that can link to the various programs will allow users to have a single point of contact resource to find information on the different entities and how those could be when looking to start a new business or expand an existing one.


The City and PEDC both have to comply with the Open Records requirements that are set by the state of Texas.  Depending on the information collected it could be open to an individual requesting the documentation or information. Other organizations such as the SBA and SBDC may have other legal requirements that they operate under.


Key stakeholders and/or departments to be involved:

  • City of Pearland Community Development Department

  • City of Pearland

  • Pearland Economic Development Corporation

  • SBA

  • Small Business Development Center

  • State of Texas – various agencies – Comptroller of Public Accounts, Secretary of State, Office of the Governor for Economic Development

If you are interested in responding to this challenge statement to discuss how your solution could be the right fit for a pilot, please reach out to Sarah Nicoll at sarah [at] civstart [dot] org. CivStart is a nonprofit partner assisting the government in their selection and pilot process.