Pearland City Council green lights creation of virtual hub to aid small businesses, entrepreneurs

Pearland, Pearland City Council, Matt Buchanan, Luke Orlando, Adrian Hernandez, Pearland Economic Development Corporation. (Courtesy Pexels)
Pearland business owners and entrepreneurs will soon be able to connect with different businesses and resources through the Pearland Entrepreneurship Hub, a virtual hub. (Courtesy Pexels)

Pearland business owners and entrepreneurs will soon be able to connect with different businesses and resources through the Pearland Entrepreneurship Hub, a virtual hub. (Courtesy Pexels)

Pearland business owners and entrepreneurs will soon be able to connect with different businesses and resources through a virtual hub.

Pearland City Council adopted a resolution on Nov. 8 for the Pearland Economic Development Corporation to enter a three-year $927,000 contract with Cannon Workplace, LLC. Cannon Workplace will help create and operate the Pearland Entrepreneurship Hub, a new venture that aims to help small businesses in the city.

“I think it was the singular highest goal that we identified in our council [and] mayor retreat, which is supporting small businesses and creating an ecosystem for them to thrive in Pearland,” Council Member Luke Orlando said. “I think we’ve had a lot of good progress on that front, and I think this is going to be a capstone in that effort, so really looking forward to that.”

The Pearland Entrepreneurship Hub is a part of the PEDC's Pearland Prosperity strategic plan, which aims to grow and diversify the city’s economy and make Pearland a community of choice in the Greater Houston area, according to the PEDC.

The PEH has five main goals, the first of which is to enhance Pearland’s innovation and entrepreneurship culture by creating events, programs and activities for entrepreneurs, small business owners and post-secondary educational institutions, according to agenda documents.


The second goal of the PEH is to partner with entrepreneurial assistance programs, such as the city of Pearland, the PEDC, the Pearland Chamber of Commerce, the San Jacinto Community College Small Business Development Center and local organizations, according to agenda documents.

The last three goals include increasing the number of Pearland-grown businesses; creating and maintaining a financially sustainable business model for the PEH; and branding Pearland as a place where where innovation and entrepreneurship occurs, which includes attracting emerging technology and innovation-driven companies to the city, agenda documents read.

Measuring success

Despite the resolution passing unanimously, Council Members Alex Kamkar and Adrian Hernandez raised concerns about the lack of concrete goals to be able to measure the success of the PEH.

Hernandez said he saw many well-defined engagement metrics, such as the PEH's goal to add a minimum of 30 new members to the Cannon Connect platform. However, he said there were no goals regarding business-specific outcomes, such as increasing the number of businesses in primary sectors that start and grow in Pearland.

“I would really like to have some more concrete metrics for those outcomes, specifically those [that] seem to be the ones that provide the impact statements for us," he said.

PEDC President Matt Buchanan said the PEH’s metrics will have to be revisited frequently because the PEDC is aiming for more long-term benefits to Pearland business owners and entrepreneurs.

“We just need to get this up and going, and it’s going to take a year or so to get it going and start getting activities and getting that base of companies that they’re working with,” Buchanan said.

The contract with Cannon Workplace will begin on Dec. 1 and run through Sept. 30, 2024, agenda documents read. The $927,000 three-year deal is broken down to $309,000 per year.

The agreement is broken out into a three-month launch period of the PEH along with the ongoing operation of the hub, according to agenda documents. The PEDC will pay $15,000 to Cannon Workplace to cover the upfront costs of the launch.

Following the launch period, the PEDC will make monthly payments to Cannon Workplace, agenda documents read. The agreement includes a termination clause allowing PEDC to cancel the agreement with a 30-day notification.

Cannon Workplace will also hire a navigator, who will be responsible for carrying out the plan of work and will be dedicated only to the PEH project, according to agenda documents.

“As a former small business owner, if I had this opportunity to have somebody mentor me and hold my hand through that, I would have been very appreciative, so overall, I’m supportive of this,” Hernandez said.
By Andy Yanez

Reporter, Pearland/Friendswood

Andy joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Houston. He started off as the South Houston Metro Reporter where he helped each different edition in the South Houston market before transitioning to the Pearland/Friendswood market in August 2021. Andy covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Andy served as the sports editor of The Cougar, UH's student newspaper, where he covered the university's athletics beat for two years and got to cover the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four in Indianapolis.



MOST RECENT

Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opened in Northwest Austin on Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opens first Central Texas location in Northwest Austin; House of Pies opens in Cypress and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 8.

The number of homes sold in all Pearland and Friendswood ZIP codes decreased in October compared to October 2020 except in 77546. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
See how the Pearland, Friendswood real estate market fared in October 2021

The number of homes sold in all Pearland and Friendswood ZIP codes decreased in October compared to October 2020 except in 77546.

(Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD trustees favor redistricting around high school boundaries

As the results of recent redistricting in Texas spur county- and national-level lawsuits, Clear Creek ISD trustees gave feedback to district leaders about how boundary lines will be redrawn ahead of the May board election.

The Gringo's location in Katy is pictured. A new Conroe location is planned for late 2022. (Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Gringo's restaurant confirmed for Conroe Waterfront Center; Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 7.

rainwater
Pearland City Council amends ballot measure proposing municipal drainage utility and stormwater fee

Pearland City Council agreed to change the language of proposed May 2022 ballot measure that would ask voters to create a municipal drainage utility and stormwater fee to generate revenue for capital projects.

city hall sign
City of Pearland deannexes part of Lakes of Savannah development

A 6.32-acre tract located in the Lakes of Savannah development close to County Road 58 will soon be outside of Pearland city limits.

The second and final reading of the ordinance was passed unanimously at the Dec. 6 Friendswood City Council meeting. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Friendswood's future land use map officially approved as part of comprehensive plan

The idea for the new map, which was last updated in 2008, was brought forth by the planning committee as part of Friendswood’s comprehensive plan.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

The CTs Cluck Cluck combo comes with three chicken strips, waffle fries, a sauce choice and toast. (Courtesy CTs)
CTs opens its business in Friendswood

CTs, a restaurant specializing in fried chicken dishes, opened its doors in Friendswood.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

The El Camino Real H-E-B will close soon, but is open as of Dec. 6. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Lake H-E-B to open just ahead of New Year's Eve

The location is less than three miles from the Clear Lake location at 16811 El Camino Real, Houston; the El Camino Real store will close soon, but is open as of Dec. 6.