City of Tulsa Offers Help to Disadvantaged Small Businesses

Mar 11, 2014

Service Corps of Retired Executives Managing Director Jim Soloman (right), Tulsa Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Rose Washington, Chris Wheeler with ONB Bank, Scott DeGeer with Oklahoma Small Business Development Centers and ONB Bank Senior Vice President of commercial lending Michael Feuerborn participate in a panel discussion on banking and technical assistance at Tuesday's BRIDGE event.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

The City of Tulsa hosted its seventh annual Building Resources in Developing and Growing Enterprises (BRIDGE) event today to help small businesses.

Jackson Landrum, the interim director of the city's human rights department, says the goal of the event is to "work with disadvantaged businesses in developing and actually taking off and becoming self-sufficient.

"Any way that the City of Tulsa can help them in providing that service, that's what we're here to do."

The event featured panels on financing and contract basics. Participants also got 15-minute matchmaking sessions with dozens of area companies.

The event helps disadvantaged businesses find resources to get ahead and to bid for city contracts, but other businesses can benefit from becoming BRIDGE-certified. Deborah Carr owns two UPS stores and became certified this year. 

"It's a good networking tool, so it gives me an opportunity to meet other small businesses, and we can get together and share ideas and collaborate with their products and services," Carr said.

Carr has owned a store at Tulsa Hills since 2009. Her second store, at the Shoppes on Peoria, opens Monday.

Besides networking, certified businesses can be notified of education and training opportunities through the city’s human rights department.