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Chambers receive funding for community assistance

MIKE McGEE | 9/11/2017, 9:43 a.m.
Toyota’s relocation of its headquarters from California to Plano will theoretically change the economic landscape of the Dallas/Fort Worth area ...
Mayor Pro Tem Dwayne Caraway praises Toyota as it embarks on a multi-year donation initiative to six local Chambers of Commerce. Mike McGee

The Dallas Examiner

Toyota’s relocation of its headquarters from California to Plano will theoretically change the economic landscape of the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the better as more corporate jobs, dealerships and support businesses open up for those seeking work. Along with this move, the automobile company brought the gift of community aid amid criticism of jobs going to northernmost Dallas County rather than to the Southern Sector. The company provided $30,000 total to six local Chambers of Commerce on Aug. 25 in what is being considered a first step.

Paul Atkinson, owner of the newly remodeled and reopened Atkinson Toyota off of Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, introduced the board members of Perry Motor Group, the Toyota distributors in Costa Rica who assisted in funding the dealership.

“These are the ones that we can thank, graciously, for their time, effort and most of all, money,” he stated as the board assembled at the front of the dealership. The $30,000 will be split between the Chambers of Oak Cliff, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Waxahachie and Lancaster. The funds will be invested in community projects within each chamber’s area.

Along with the typical trappings of a grand opening – big scissors for a ribbon cutting, snack foods and enthusiastic local leaders – the greater importance of the event was highlighted by Mayor Pro Tem Dwayne Caraway.

“Let me first say welcome, and welcome to Dallas,” he called out before issuing a proclamation honoring Toyota’s effort to the community.

“Even though we’re located here in Dallas, on the borders we are a region that is going to be very supportive of Toyota, this Toyota, Atkinson Toyota, right here in Dallas – from DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, you name it, we’re here, Duncanville, and Dallas,” Caraway decreed. “It is only proper that I feel that we collectively all welcome and all be supportive and welcome our citizens to this beautiful location.”

Javier Quiros, president of the board of PMG, also stepped to the microphone during the fete.

“Why are we here in Dallas, I imagine, most of you are asking,” he admitted. “Well, I’ll tell you what I am doing: selling cars.”

The president noted that when Toyota relocated, it was in his company’s interest to consider new economic opportunities in the Dallas area, which resulted in the reinvigoration of the dealership situated less than a mile from Friendship West Baptist Church.

Yet, just as there have been questions of economic equity in regard to Toyota’s geographic relocation, Quiros – who played no part in that process – decided that the region south of the Trinity River needed not only a new car dealership, but also economic assistance.

“Toyota is creating about 4,000 new jobs in the area, plus all the industries growing around Toyota, which may be 2,000 (or) 3,000 more jobs around Dallas. So knowing Toyota, and knowing PMG, they are very well focused on social things,” he mentioned.

“In these days, frankly speaking, it’s nice to have this building, to come to a nice community like this one, but what is it worth to come here if you’re not focused on community? Part of our job is, we belong to a community,” he continued, adding, “What is life, if you live on the best island of the world, but if you go out to the ocean it’s full of sharks?”