Tulsa Metro Chamber, regional partners oppose closure of USPS facility
The Tulsa Metro Chamber and regional partners announced a united effort Dec. 12 to retain Tulsa’s U.S. Postal Service mail handling facility-a modern, highly-efficient center that serves one of the nation's strongest metropolitan areas.
Employing nearly 600 people and serving the needs of northeastern Oklahoma’s businesses, communities and citizens, the Tulsa Mail Processing and Distribution Center is an important part of the economic success of our region and beyond.
Closing the Tulsa center could cost the region millions, annually, and would endanger hundreds of jobs beyond the positions that would be eliminated by the proposed consolidation of the operation with the Oklahoma City center. The closure would result in the loss of nearly 400 indirect jobs in addition to those in the Postal Service and would have an economic impact of nearly $64 million a year.
Closure also would mean that all mail posted in Tulsa would be transported to the Oklahoma City Processing and Distribution Center, adding as many as several days to delivery time.
“This is not a viable option for our growing business community in northeastern Oklahoma,” said Dr. Gerard Clancy, president of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and chair of the Tulsa Metro Chamber Board. “We join with our regional partners and businesses to preserve this important asset for our business communities and area citizens. Together, we want to enhance our region’s economy and quality of life, not impede the efficiency of its businesses.”
The Postal Service is accepting comments and input on the proposed closing of Tulsa’s facility through Dec. 16, 2011. As a service to Tulsa Metro Chamber members and regional partners, the Chamber has prepared a letter which is pre-addressed to the appropriate officials.
Download the letter from the Chamber website, www.tulsachamber.com, print and mail by Dec. 16.
Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, added: “We hope you will join us in ensuring the Postal Service understands the vibrancy of our business community and the necessity of retaining a Processing and Distribution Center in one of the nation’s strongest metro economies.”
Tulsa area legislators receive Guardians of Free Enterprise award
Tulsa area legislators and executives joined with other statewide leaders to discuss business issues and champion legislative support at the State Chamber’s annual Public Affairs Forum and Governor’s Economic Roundtable event held in Oklahoma City last week. Governor Fallin and House Speaker Kris Steele encouraged further support on reducing the state’s personal income tax. Attendees also discussed lower taxes, regulatory obstacles and workforce training at the event.
“There are several key themes that have arisen today,” said Governor Fallin. “One is workforce development, and we need to ensure our citizens are educated and capable of meeting the needs of our employers for the 21st century. The other is the impact existing businesses have on our job growth in this state. We need to listen to them, and ensure we're providing them with the resources they need.”
Two Tulsa area leaders received the Guardians of Free Enterprise award. Former Rep. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Skye McNiel were both honored for their steadfast commitment to supporting business issues during the most recent legislative session. Sens. Jolley and Sykes also received the award.
Tulsa area business leaders affiliated with the Economic Roundtable forum include Stuart Solomon, president and chief operating officer for Public Service Company of Oklahoma, T. Hastings Siegfried, chief operating officer of Nordam, and Richard Boone, president of the St. John Health System Foundation.
The Forge hosts informative webinar for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking for growth
Tulsa’s Young Professionals’ business incubator, The Forge, hosted a webinar last Thursday focused on entrepreneurship in the Tulsa region and The Forge’s services and resources that help encourage commerce locally.
Virtual attendees included representatives from the energy, aerospace, banking and securities, technology, state government, consulting, retail and services, real estate and entrepreneurial fields.
The webinar was developed as part of the OCA Business Forum series. The Tulsa Economic Development Corporation joined The Forge for the webinar as part of the new partnership announced in previous weeks. For those details, click here.
To view a video of the webinar, click here.
I-244 funding approved
Financing for a rehabilitation project along Interstate 244 east of downtown was approved last week, moving a top OneVoice priority another step forward.
The state Council of Bond Oversight gave the Oklahoma Department of Transportation permission to sell $71 million in bonds for four projects, including the I-244 project, which is expected to cost about $37 million.
“We are excited to see this project continue to move forward as part of ODOT’s eight-year plan,” said Chris Benge, senior vice president of Government Affairs for the Chamber. “This top OneVoice priority creates the infrastructure necessary to sustain a growing metro region full of commerce and business.
The east and west lanes of Interstate 244 from between Sheridan Road and Memorial Drive east to the interchange of Interstate 44 will be reconstructed.
To read the full story, click here.
Tulsa 66ers coach advances career to NBA
The Tulsa 66ers announced last week the departure of head coach Nate Tibbetts to accept an opportunity with the Cleveland Cavaliers as an assistant coach. The organization has also announced that current 66ers assistant Dale Osbourne will take over as head coach effective immediately.
“Congratulations to both Tibbetts and Osbourne on their career advancements,” said Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission. “The Tulsa 66ers are one of Tulsa’s premiere sports organizations and we couldn’t be more proud of their growth and recognition as a development opportunity for NBA-level talent not just on the court, but in their coaching staff as well.”
Tibbetts departs during his third season with the 66ers, where he complied a career record in Tulsa including a 4-1 mark this season. Osbourne is also in his third season as assistant coach for the 66ers and is poised to continue the winning season through the next few months with a talented team of athletes and support staff.
The 66ers return to the court this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16 and 17. Both games begin at 7:00 p.m. Attend for a special guest appearance from Santa Claus on the 16th and Thunder mascot, Rumble the Bison, on the 17th. Click here for ticket deals like the Family Fun Pack with a premier sideline ticket, a foam finger, a hot dog and a soft drink for only $15.
Study touts Oklahoma's economy
A study of Oklahoma's economy to be released by the U.S. Chamber, along with the National Chamber Foundation and the State Chamber of Oklahoma, includes the state as a top performer in several categories related to economic performance, cost of living and other areas.
Oklahoma performed well in a variety of rankings contained in the “Enterprising States” study, prepared by Praxis Strategy Group.
The state was among the top 10 in rankings of cost of living; gross state product growth; productivity growth; per capita income growth; higher education efficiency and college affordability. A state profile produced for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes the state's strength in its economic recovery from the recession, low unemployment rates, stable housing market and growth in jobs.
Gov. Fallin and Department of Commerce survey business leaders
Tulsa Metro Chamber economic development group representatives attended the launch of the Fallin for Business initiative in Oklahoma City Dec. 1. Gov. Mary Fallin, the Department of Commerce and other partner organizations officially launched a unique survey to ask Oklahoma business leaders for their insight on challenges and issues in the state's current business climate.
Annette Bowles, executive director of the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s small business program, said she is encouraging small businesses to participate in the online survey.
“This is an important opportunity for our region’s small business leaders to offer insight that could potentially have a positive impact of our state’s business climate,” Bowles said. “The Chamber is pleased that Governor Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce are soliciting meaningful input from our business community.”
Billy Kulkin, chair-elect, Tulsa Metro Chamber Small Business Council, president and managing partner of Cubic, said: “It's a great thing when our government asks for input and insight as it relates to improving our small business climate. The data that is collected can be valuable if business owners are honest in their responses. It's a tough time right now, and if our leaders want to hear from us, we need to answer the governor's calling and take time to provide our insight.”
State officials are asking businesses to respond to an online survey designed to help improve the business climate. The online survey contains 44 questions and is expected to take up to 30 minutes to complete.
For more information, or to take the online survey, click here.
Nominations open for 2012 Crystal Star Small Business Awards
The nomination process for the Crystal Star Small Business Awards for 2012 has begun, and we need your help to find the rising stars of Tulsa’s small business community.
Each year, Tulsa Metro Chamber's Small Business Awards honor the best and brightest of small business in the Tulsa area. Business members are invited to nominate an esteemed colleague to receive recognition for his or her business efforts. The awards consist of 10 categories.
All nominees must be Chamber members and in business a minimum of three years. All nominations will be considered and reviewed by the Small Business Awards Committee to verify nominees meet award criteria. Along with Tulsa-area recognition, winners are nominated for state-level awards with a chance to proceed to regional or national awards. Nominations will close on Jan. 27, so please submit nominations as soon as possible. The awards will be presented at the Chamber’s annual awards luncheon.
For more, or to nominate now, click here.
For information, contact Annette Bowles at 918.560.0235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
What We're Working OnExecutive
• Hosting Congressional Forum for U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe
• Hosting Joint 2011/2012 Chamber board meeting
• Hosting Leadership Banquet
• Hosting City Councilor’s Luncheon
Communications, Events and Marketing
• Finalizing plans for the Economic Outlook conference
• Planning annual meeting and preparing annual report
• Hosting press conferences
New Business Development
• Hosting site location consultant to Tulsa
• Meeting with regional partner to discuss collaboration on economic development
• Submitting office request for proposal
• Attending Congressional Forum with Senator Inhofe
•Hosting the Small Business Council’s outgoing members luncheon Summit Club
•Attending D&I Lunch & Learn Mosiac
• Hosting Senator Jim Inhofe for our December Congressional Forum.
• Coordinating regional efforts to support Tulsa's United States Postal Service processing and distribution center.
• Continuing to secure endorsements from regional partners for the 2012 OneVoice Legislative Agenda.
Existing Business Development
• Working with local manufacturer to resolve infrastructure and expansion needs
• Attending press conference to announce manufacturing company expansions
• Working with company on expansion efforts & issues with infrastructure
• Meeting with downtown stakeholder and Sports commission staff regarding tourism opportunities downtown and along the Arkansas River.
Tulsa Sports Commission
• Continuing to place BIDS on multiple events.
• Welcoming new Operations and Development Manager Katie Nicholas.
• Conducting 2013 Bassmaster Classic site visit.
• Hosting end of year party for past leadership team.
• Presenting quarterly report to city council.
• Planning family friendly event.
• Promoting Tulsa to 2,000 meeting planners at Holiday Showcase in Chicago.
• Attending Green Country Marketing Association Board Meeting.
• Site visit in support of 2013 BASSmaster Classic.
Education & Workforce
• Mayor’s Mentoring Breakfast in January
• Career Pathways/CAEL meetings in February
• Teacher Effectiveness Commission
Chamber welcomes new businessesEach month the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Hospitality Club welcomes new businesses and new Chamber members to the community by assisting with ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking announcements.
AbiBow Recycling, LLC
Cirrus Hair of Tulsa
Impact Tactical Airsoft
Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists
The Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, Inc.
Metropolitan Baptist Church
Pastor Ray A. Owens, Ph.D
1228 W. Apache