When D. Chris Saxon joined the economic incentives consultants
Strategic Solutions Group, President Douglas A. Wright set a goal of
obtaining 20 clients over five years.
Saxon reached the mark his first year.
"SSG has secured $268 million in cash refunds for companies in
the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program," said Wright, a certified public
accountant who, before starting SSG in 2005, made a career of
seeking out and securing such tax benefits at WilTel Communications
"Even more important, we've put over $40 million back in the
hands of the companies producing the wealth," he said. "That's the
real sign of our success."
With its revenue up 50 percent this year to a projected $500,000,
the five-employee company has set its sites on doubling its 50-
client base over the next five years. To do that, the Tulsa firm has
added a corporate lending division, is extending its customer base
into neighboring states and has started work to open an Oklahoma
City office in 2008.
That would allow Strategic Solutions Group to carve a bigger
share of firms seeking returns from Quality Jobs incentives, the
Oklahoma New Job-New Investment Credit, the Oklahoma Property Tax
Abatement Program or the Training for Industry Program.
Wright estimated SSG now handles about 25 percent of the state's
Quality Jobs applications, but has only about three clients in
central Oklahoma. So Executive Vice President and CPA Jerry L.
Dodson, Saxon and others have started traveling to Oklahoma City on
a regular basis to build relationships and seek new business. Wright
expects to open an office there when the company raises its client
base to around 12, which could happen by midyear.
"One thing about this business is that it's very slow to take
off," said Dodson, who is Wright's father-in-law. "We've got a lot
more potential clients in Oklahoma City right now. We haven't yet
got their contracts signed."
Getting a Quality Jobs application approved can take six months,
with another three months or more needed to file a client's first
report. Only then does SSG get paid, since it works on a contingency
Since it monitors client results and compliance with state
regulations under the programs, Dodson expects this work to result
in working relationship over a decade or more - an important point,
since Saxon said the failure rate in Quality Jobs is quite high.
"It's staggering how many companies haven't received any money or
have failed to file all their requirements," he said. By not keeping
up with regular filings, many companies have failed to collect
millions in rebates - which helps the knowledge and expertise of an
incentives consultant like SSG justifies itself to the client's
bottom line. …