Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Small Business Center at Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce's Secret Is to Help Small Businesses

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Small Business Center at Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce's Secret Is to Help Small Businesses

Article excerpt

Although Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Center has been around for several years now, it is still a well-kept secret to those outside the chamber culture.

The Small Business Center got its start about six years ago under the previous chamber president and was based on the business information centers, also known as BICs, that were funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, said Dennis Currington, director of the Small and Minority Business Development at the chamber.

However, the chamber moved away from the BIC idea because of the government reporting requirements, he said. Instead, the chamber saw it as something that could be funded by sponsorships.

It was a way for chamber members to give back to the community and help other businesses, he said. Various members have helped by sponsoring equipment or the conference room. For example, the conference room at the Small Business Center is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma.

But more than a way for chamber members to get involved, it is a resource for anyone with an idea. People can call in with an idea and the center acts as a traffic cop of sorts, pointing them in the direction they need to go, he said.

At the center, people can get one-on-one counseling to help them look at the different aspects of running a small business, he said, including the financing and developing a business plan. Currington was quick to point out that the center does not help develop or write the actual business plan, but it provides a guide.

Through the center, an individual can investigate the market with various databases that are updated regularly, he said. …

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