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To Mark Small Business Week, City of Tulsa Shows Dedication to Helping Them Grow

Small Business Administration

It's National Small Business Week, but running store owner and Tulsa Small Business Connection Chair Lori Dreiling said they have a big impact.

"Small businesses make up 85 percent of businesses in the Tulsa region, and we create two out of three jobs," Dreiling said.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum issued a Small Business Week proclamation Monday at city hall and said the city is dedicated to helping them grow here, citing some famous examples.

"Williams was a regional road and bridge contractor until John Williams took it over in the 50s and built it up into one of the great energy companies in the world, or QuikTrip, which started out adjust one store down in Brookside," Bynum said.

Nick Doctor with Bynum's office said upfront bond financing for several Vision projects will not only help the city reap the economic benefits, but it will also give a boost to small businesses.

"In particular for these projects [is] how we request and ensure that the contractors for these projects are reaching out to small businesses to include them in the project construction, design and engineering," Doctor said.

Doctor also pointed to a Vision-funded retail study and the Peoria bus rapid transit line as specific projects that will directly or indirectly benefit small businesses.

Officials also cited the recent zoning code overhaul as part of their work to help small businesses grow. Planning Director Dawn Warrick said reduced parking requirements and provisions for mixed uses in a single structure make it easier to open up shop in an existing building.

"Oftentimes, those are the buildings that provide lower lease rates and a better entry to market for people who are starting new businesses," Warrick said.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.