Lewisville has to do a better job of being proactive about commercial vacancies. We can't act surprised when one of our retail partners closed down, especially when the writing is often on the wall. The Staples location in Lewisville recently closed down. Toys R Us is planning on liquidating all of its stores. Macy's, JC Penney, and Sears are all having financial difficulties.
As Mayor, I won't wait for troubled businesses to go under. I'll be out discussing opportunities with business owners. I also want to explore opportunities to be more creative with retail space. I'll meet with officials at the University of Texas at Dallas to discuss the potential of launching a satellite campus here in Lewisville. If Macy's leaves the mall, I would love to see the University take over that space, and some additional space inside the mall. They could partner with Lewisville ISD so that our students could take classes while in high school, and upon graduation, they could receive a high school diploma and an associate degree.
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I will work to bring a UT Dallas satellite campus to Lewisville.
It can't be argued that Lewisville is better off when more of our citizens are employed, and earning a good income that will allow them to pay their rent, keep up with home repairs and maintenance, and buy products and services from Lewisville businesses. As Mayor, I want to work with Lewisville employers to help make citizens aware of job opportunities here in the City.
One way to encourage residents to buy goods and services in Lewisville is with a local currency. Imagine, for example, if you could reward your employees with a gift certificate that was redeemable at Lewisville retailers. As Mayor, I want to explore doing this, but with an added benefit of supporting the Lewisville Police Department. I'd like to investigate the possibility of developing our own municipal cryptocurrency: the BlueCoin. All of the transaction fees would go towards supporting the Lewisville Police. Retailers could have stickers on their entrance that say, "We are proud to #BackTheBlueCoin". The proceeds could be used for police equipment, and even to hire additional police officers.
Small businesses are the backbone of this country, and are vitally important to our City. As Mayor, one of the ways that I want to promote entrepreneurship is to work with local entrepreneurs to develop a mentorship program. Our school system doesn't do an adequate job of introducing students to entrepreneurship, or showing them that it's a valid career choice. With a mentorship program, students and young adults can learn first hand about what it's like to own and run a small business. Individuals who complete the program would be recognized for the achievement. I'd also like to look for sponsors for startup contests, individuals with business ideas could compete for the chance to receive additional assistance in getting their idea off the ground.