Iberiabank's Lisa Armstrong, The Beck Group's Fred Perpall, and Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst's Trey Cox. Courtesy of Companies

Business

On Topic: Dallas Business Leaders Forecast the Year

Fred Perpall, Lisa Armstrong, and Trey Cox discuss 2020 concerns and opportunities.

lisa armstrong illustrationLisa Armstrong

Market President, Iberiabank

“Everything Im hearing from clients about the local economy is positive. We’re not sensing a slowdown. Our customers who have a national presence—especially those on the coasts—are maybe feeling it some. Nationally, there may be a bit of a slowdown happening, but luckily for us locally, we’re not seeing it yet. The downside is that everything is getting more expensive. It’s impossible to hire people, you can’t get the right talent, and then they’re more expensive for what you are getting. To quote one of my clients: ‘I’m paying $15 or $18 an hour to find people asleep.’ It’s just where we are. Unemployment remains really tight, and that makes it more difficult to find good people.”

fred perpall illustrationFred Perpall

CEO, The Beck Group

“Our biggest opportunity is prioritizing inclusive growth, where everyone has a chance to succeed in Dallas. We need a commitment from across the business community to address this. The phrase ‘measured continuation’ comes to mind when talking about the strength of the North Texas economy. Despite 2020 being an election year, which historically brings with it a level of uncertainty regarding the national economy, we continue to hear positive projections about our region’s future. With a historically low unemployment rate, low interest rates, and new areas of investment shifting to places like the southern sector of Dallas, North Texas’ future remains viable.”

trey cox illustrationTrey Cox

Partner, Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst

“People are projecting good things for the oil and gas industry—and let’s face it, even though we have diversified our local economy, a large portion of it still operates around that sector. The biggest thing for Dallas-Fort Worth, I believe, continues to be our relocation pipeline. We’re still attracting people—and that means more jobs. The state’s low taxes and pro-business regulations remain very attractive to companies looking to relocate here. I look at our own firm as a prime example of growth. We’re at 42 lawyers and growing. In the past year, we’ve added seven new attorneys. We’re building out new office space and doubling our size next year.”

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