Five stories that have North Texas talking: Mom and pop shops love the Lone Star state, virtual high fives in the flu age, how to hail a cab or rent a car with your smartphone at DFW and more.
Of all 50 states, Texas ranks #2 in overall friendliness to small businesses, according to research by Thumbtack.com. Which Texans are most friendly to mom-and-pops? The ones up north, according to the survey, which you can browse via a dynamic map that includes pop-up quotes by anonymous Dallas designers, Denton carpenters and Collin County photographers.
The survey found that men were more comfortable than women as small business owners in Texas. They were 16 percent more likely than female entrepreneurs to rate their experience favorably. [HT to KUT in Austin]
- That said, us friendly Texans are having to draw back a bit in view of an early and brutal flu season. DFW churches and other organizations are forgoing handshakes to prevent more spread, according to The Dallas Morning News. This reminded us of an NPR guide to alternatives to the high five or handshakes a couple of years back, during the swine-flu scare. NPR health correspondent Allison Aubrey and All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen model examples.
- Young, eager workers who see cubiclemates as family members are definite assets to a company or organization. Until they get sick and they're too stubborn to stay home. This flu season, whole departments have been sidelined at times. It's a catch 22 for businesses, because if employees do seek care, health care costs go up. Employers pay about $10.4 billion each year in health care expenses and lost productivity related to flu. [NPR]
- Can there be too much double crème brie with truffles in the aisles of Dallas' future? Trader Joe's has officially announced its third Dallas store. It'll be on Cole Avenue south of Knox, and will open after the first two, on Greenville Ave. and another on Walnut Hill and Central Expressway, according to The Dallas Morning News. This comes as both Whole Foods and Central Market add stores to the area. Whole Foods founder and co-CEO John Mackey explores the idea of "conscious capitalism" -- and dispels some myths about the health-focused chain trend -- on NPR's Morning Edition.
- Luxury car rental startup Silvercar is now open at DFW Airport, according to the Austin Business Journal. The Austin-based company's online transactions join a chorus of hype on new smartphone-ready taxi and rental operations, which take humans out of the experience completely -- humans like Dallas cabbies, who were upset over tech company Uber's arrival at the airport. Uber connects local limo drivers to smartphone users. CBSDFW has that story.