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Top Cities for Business: Dallas

Dallas, Texas is a well-known hub of business activity as the fourth most populous metropolitan area of the United States. This distinction has allowed Dallas to develop a wide range of industries to serve a far-reaching economy that is as healthy as it is diverse. While much of the credit for the growth of Dallas’ economy can be attributed to the businesses themselves, state and local governments also play a role in nurturing an environment of healthy business growth. In the end, Dallas is an excellent example of what can be done when business leaders and government leaders can work together toward a common goal.

Major Industries in Dallas

Some of the most successful companies in the Dallas metro area are in the technology, defense and financial industries. These three industries account for thousands of jobs in Dallas and have become a mainstay of the economic climate in the city.

On the technology front, telecommunications and IT services are very important to the economy of Dallas. The importance of IT services to economies can often be overlooked, but this is generally due to the small nature of most IT service providers. However, a number of international companies, such as Rackspace, have a major presence in the city and provide greatly to the business climate.

The defense industry often has aerospace and aviation lumped into it as these three industries are so acutely intertwined. These industries provide more than 150,000 jobs to the people of Dallas in over 1,300 companies. The large airport capacity, educated workforce and lenient laws regarding the classification on commercial space are often cited as a draw to companies in these industries. As a result of this growth, the average person working in these industries makes a little over $80,000 a year.

Anyone curious about how the financial industry gained so much power in Dallas need only look as far as the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. As one of only twelve district banks in the Federal Reserve system, Dallas has become a major player in financial markets throughout the country. This has led to the development of a strong financial sector in Dallas itself, with a growth of 11 percent in financial sector jobs since 2010. While the Federal Reserve itself is not responsible for this industry thriving as it does, it’s noted as a driving force in the identity and economic development of the area.

Government Programs Supporting Business in Dallas

The city of Dallas is committed to providing a wide range of benefits for businesses that either start in or migrate to the city. These benefits come in the form of straightforward tax incentives and also as resources for community-based business development centers. These centers may not provide the direct resources to fund or maintain a business, but they are a wellspring of resources for tapping into various grants and business incentive programs.

One major incentive that is widely used throughout Dallas is called the New Markets Tax Credit. The credit provides for substantial credits to businesses developing in traditionally underserved areas of the community. These can be economically distressed parts of the city, areas with low employment and areas fitting into other defined criteria. The general purpose of the incentive program is to spur economic development in areas that need the jobs.

Dallas also operates two different foreign trade zones. These zones allow for trade without the burden of financially debilitating duties and other fees. This allows smaller businesses to be able to do trade with foreign markets and stay somewhat competitive with larger companies in the city.

Economic development groups and organizations are very important to the city. Large organizations like the Chamber of Commerce have a strong foothold here. However, there are also a number of smaller, state-based development support groups. For example, the Dallas OED is a prime example of a state-based organization that has a wealth of resources available for businesses in the area.

Industry Drives Dallas

There are a number of factors to consider when studying the business climate in Dallas. Business growth is reliant upon a number of important things, not the least of which is a government creating the proper environment for growth. Through a careful balance of free enterprise and government support, Dallas has become a city that rivals any other in the country when it comes to its economic development.




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