The Commerce team continued its Oklahoma Success Tour with visits to multiple communities over the past few weeks. Often joined by Governor Kevin Stitt, the tours took the team to 10 communities where they met with dozens of business and community leaders to learn more about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had.
Ada & Seminole
In late July, the Commerce team spent two days in Ada and Seminole where they were joined by Gov. Stitt. The visit included numerous company visits as well as discussions with the Ada Jobs Foundation, Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, Cody Holcomb, Ada City Manager, and other area leaders.
The area companies visited included Powerlift, Fenton Ford, Chick-fil-A, Grayson Investments, Python Pressure Pumping and TS&H Shirt Company.
Tulsa Metropolitan Area – Tulsa, Broken Arrow & Owasso
Gov. Stitt joined the Commerce team in the Tulsa metropolitan area where they met with numerous business and community leaders and toured companies that are participants in the state’s COVID-relief programs.
In Broken Arrow and Owasso, Stitt, Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell and Brent Kisling, Commerce Executive Director, held roundtables with business and community leaders to learn about how the communities and companies are responding to challenges and opportunities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wanted to put my eye on these businesses, thank them for investing and hear the stories, because these are real families that are affected,” Stitt said. “Keeping businesses employed and keep them growing is so important to the overall health of the state.”
The group, along with Jennifer Springer, Commerce Director of Business Development, also toured two businesses – Mingo Aerospace, a recipient of the Oklahoma Bounce Back Assistance Program, and Rise Armaments, a recipient of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Reboot Program.
“It meant a lot just to know that (the governor is) so supportive of small business,” said Bill Emery, managing director at Mingo Aerospace. “The program that we were able to participate in did help and kind of pushed us over the edge to buy that equipment, and hopefully develop the new capabilities … where we can maybe pull some work out of Tinker that we weren’t able to do before.”
Stitt, Kisling and Springer also toured two additional aerospace companies in the area – Rapid Application Group, a Manufacturing Reboot Program recipient, and Limco Airepair, a Bounce Back Assistance Program recipient.
Gov. Stitt was joined by Kisling as they visited Enid business owners to hear feedback on state programs created to help businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.
The visit was coordinated by Commerce and Enid Regional Development Alliance, and included tours of A.W. Brueggemann Co. and No Man’s Land Foods, in addition to and a discussion with a select group of business owners, Enid Mayor George Pankonin and other elected officials. Eleven area businesses and nonprofits were represented at the roundtable, all of which were recipients of one of three COVID-response programs administered through Commerce.
On August 18, representatives from Commerce spent the day in Ponca City visiting four businesses, Custom Mechanical Equipment, Log10, LLC, MJ&H Fabrication and Quarter Turn Resources, Inc. They also met with numerous community leaders. Representing Commerce Kisling, Springer and Stan Ralstin, Regional Development Specialist.
“These community visits are giving us great insight into how Oklahoma businesses are responding to new challenges,” said Kisling. “It was great to meet with business and civic leaders in Ponca City and get a better understanding of what their operations look like and how we can connect them with Commerce services.”
This visit was one of many scheduled on behalf of Gov. Kevin Stitt to gauge how small businesses are faring during the COVID-19 pandemic, see what measures businesses have taken to better withstand the crisis and identify future opportunities for programs to help business recover.
All companies visited were recipients of either the Oklahoma Bounce Back Program or the Oklahoma Manufacturing Reboot Program:
- Custom Mechanical Equipment: Oklahoma Bounce Back Program recipient; manufactures multizone rooftop HVAC units in addition to building lithium battery storage units and providing powder coating services
- Log10: Manufacturing Reboot Program recipient; specializes in detection, prevention and elimination of microbial pathogens in foods, feed and environments
- MJ&H Fabrication: Oklahoma Bounce Back Program recipient; manufactures vessels, process piping, skid and modular packages, and structural steel for numerous industries
- Quarter Turn Resources: Oklahoma Bounce Back Program recipient, provides valve solutions to the North American natural gas and oil industry
On August 19, Gov. Stitt and Kisling visited Moore where they toured Horn Equipment Company, a company specializing in manufacturing, remanufacturing and rental of pressure control equipment for drilling, work over, snubbing, production and fracturing operations in the oil and gas industry.
They also visited with numerous small business owners impacted by the COVID crisis.
Stitt visited with small businesses in Moore on Wednesday to discuss federal funding from the coronavirus relief bill.
“I love hearing these stories on how these businesses are thriving, taking these dollars and putting them to good use,” Stitt said. “Investing in their employees so they don’t have to lay people off.”
The Commerce team also visited Miami, Oklahoma in late August. Kisling and Jared Cooper, Regional Development Specialist, visited Oklahoma Business Relief Program recipient Tote Along and Oklahoma Manufacturing Reboot recipient Discovery Plastics LLC.
Tote Along is a family-owned business that manufactures products for the western industry, including boot bags, rope bags, and saddlebags. The company is one of the leading manufacturers of animal handling tools used for FFA animal shows and other applications.
Discovery Plastics works primarily with polyethylene and polypropylene resins through customized plastic molding. The company formed a partnership with MidAmerica Industrial Park to create N95 masks. After finalizing the prototype from MidAmerica, Discovery Plastics began the process of designing a mold that will be used to manufacture masks. Once in full production, the facility plans to produce 2,000 masks per day.