Chamber Choice offers quality health care solutions for small businesses
As a business owner, you know that health care benefits are considered one of the most important tools in attracting and retaining a talented workforce. However, some small businesses often cannot afford traditional health care options.
Chamber Choice plans, a lower-priced alternative for groups of two to 50 employees, are offered through the Tulsa Metro Chamber and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. Small business members can benefit from the affordable health plan options. Members have a choice of seven PPO plans and two HMO plans and a total of five deductible plans. Other features include:
• No medical underwriting
• BlueOptions® PPO plans
• BlueOptimizeSM PPO plans
• BlueLincs® HMO plans
• Prescription drug coverage
• Coverage in all 50 states
• Office visit copayments
• Additional coverage available
Chamber Choice health plans are available to Tulsa Metro Chamber members. To learn more, click here, visit www.tulsachamber.com or contact a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma representative at (918) 551-3385.
Chamber urges Tulsa residents to make informed decisions at the polls Nov. 8
Tulsans are at a critical crossroad for the city and the region as a whole. The Chamber urges citizens to review the resources provided here and make an informed decision at the polls Nov. 8.
"This election is quite possibly the most significant in the city of Tulsa in recent years and one that will impact the direction of the city for many more," said Mike Neal, president and CEO, Tulsa Metro Chamber.
The following council seats will be decided in the general election: Districts 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Two council districts seats have already been chosen. Jack Henderson won the seat in District 1 and Karen Gilbert won in District 5. Both claimed primary victories and had no opponent from the opposing party in the general election.
Additionally, important changes to the city's charter have been proposed, some of which the Chamber has reviewed and formed a position. Click here for more information on the Chamber’s position to proposed charter changes.
The voter ID law approved by Oklahomans last year requires all voters to provide identification from the federal or state government, or from a tribal government. The identification must include the voter's name, picture and an expiration date after the date of the election. Voters may also use their voter identification card or a temporary voter identification document issued by the Election Board.
For more information about how and where to register to vote, visit the Tulsa County Election Board office located at 555 North Denver Ave. or call the Tulsa County Election Board office at 918.596.5787.
Fairfield Inn & Suites in the Brady Village breaks ground
The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott has broken ground on an $11 million, four-story hotel and retail center in the heart of the Brady Arts District.
The hotel will feature 104 rooms and 11,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space at street level to encourage pedestrian traffic. The site is currently a surface parking lot off of Main Street between Archer and Brady. The Brady Hotel Center LLC is the developers of the project. The hotel is set to open next year.
“This is an exciting announcement, and it fills a need prompted by growing demand for downtown recreation and entertainment as well as the healthy business sector that calls downtown home,” said Delise Tomlinson, executive director, downtown development, Tulsa Metro Chamber. “This hotel is among the many diverse businesses that are poised to play a role in the downtown area’s bright future.”
Chamber announces more than 370 new jobs and hiring from four regional companies
The Tulsa Metro Chamber has announced that a group of Tulsa-area companies plan to grow their respective workforces, resulting in a significant number of jobs created.
The companies that announced plans to expand their workforces are Fisher Products, Avery Barron Industries, AT&T and Process Manufacturing. Combined, the companies are adding as many as 370 new jobs.
“Together, with the more than 370 new jobs announced today, we’ve had more than 4,500 new jobs announced year-to-date from all companies in the region,” said Mike Neal, Chamber’s president and CEO. “We have a lot to be proud of right now as a city and as a region, and the Chamber certainly would like to acknowledge that is takes a lot of hard work throughout the community to garner the sort of economic praise that the Tulsa area has received lately.”
Employer Workforce Outlook brings education,
business professionals together to focus on workforce development
The Tulsa Metro Chamber hosted the “Employer Workforce Outlook - Talent-Workforce Pipeline Strategies” event Oct. 19 at the Holiday Inn – Tulsa City Center. It was the third annual Employer Workforce Outlook event.
Discussions focused on career pathways, post-secondary programs and successful intern models for creating talent pipeline strategies for our region. The event included an overview of the Chamber’s Workforce Advisory Panel outcomes and strategies to grow, retain and attract a dynamic and skilled workforce. A panel discussion highlighted opportunities to leverage and collaborate as a region to ensure the success of our community and economy.
Will Johnson – Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition & Great Plains technology Center, Director, Corporate Training
Mark Campbell – CAEL, Vice President for LeanringCounts.org
Cathy Cyran – Nordam, Sr. Manager of Learning and Development
Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal stated: “Developing, cultivating and retaining a skilled workforce, through post-secondary programs and relevant intern opportunities are key factors to the success of our business, industry and region. Working together to develop strategies that will continue to advance the Tulsa region ensures the soundness of our economy.”
U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian show returns to Tulsa
The flagship horse competition for the Arabian Horse Association returned to Tulsa Oct. 21. The most prestigious North American championship in the Arabian show horse industry offers Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses while both amateur and professional riders or handlers compete in halter, native, costume, reining, working cow, cutting, trail, show hack, sidesaddle, park horse, driving and English, western and hunter classes.
The U.S. Nationals also boasts world-class shopping, elaborate barn decorations and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to view some of America’s most famous Arabian horses up close and in person. The Shopping Expo is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and includes equine apparel in addition to the many unique pieces of jewelry, art and more. In addition to competition rounds and shopping, there will be a night of free food, live entertainment and giveaways Wednesday, Oct. 26.
There is no cost to attend Oct. 21 – 27 with performances every day. Tickets are available at Expo Square for the finals Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29.
Tulsa Metro Chamber Small Business Council holds annual retreat
The Tulsa Metro Chamber’s Small Business Council gathered at Stone Bluff Cellars winery in Haskell Oct. 21 for its annual retreat. The Chamber’s Small Business Council serves as the voice of small business and includes seasoned professionals who serve as mentors to early-stage businesses and develop programs of value to the business community.
The retreat featured reports on many programs related to the council as well as addresses from representatives of other groups within the Chamber. In addition, the council observed the ceremonial “passing of the gavel” between current Small Business Council Chair Jim Light and Small Business Council Chair-Elect Billy Kulkin.
“I am very pleased with the progress we’re making and where we’re going,” Light said.
“I am very excited to be your incoming chair and about the challenge,” said Kulkin, noting that the council is part of a business sector that has considerable impact on our region’s economic vitality and is poised to continue its growth. “We have never been in a better position to succeed.”
Chris Benge testifies before legislative committee on tax reform
Chris Benge, senior vice-president of Government Affairs for the Chamber, provided remarks last week before the legislative Task Force on Comprehensive Tax Reform. Benge led the discussion on the Chamber’s position regarding the impact of a reduction in the state income tax on the state's ability to deliver basic services.
“Oklahoma’s competitiveness in a 21st century economy hinges upon several factors, and our state’s larger tax structure – and the role of the income tax specifically – is one of many issues businesses consider when attempting to relocate,” Benge said.
“Maintaining revenue neutrality with a reduction in the income tax could be problematic,” he continued. “Any attempt to maintain revenue neutrality should not shift the tax burden to Oklahoma businesses in the form of a new tax.”
Benge noted that the Tulsa Chamber supports simplification of Oklahoma’s tax code and that the tax structure should be focused on attracting new businesses. He also detailed the Chamber’s OneVoice federal agenda item encouraging a process of enforcing tax collections for online sales. Benge said that a tax system which can attract and retain capital is a system that will promote job growth.
To read more of Benge’s testimony, click here.
Chamber staff reach fundraising goal with 100 percent participation in United Way Campaign
The Chamber participates in the United Way Campaign and Day of Caring annually, and supports the organization throughout the year through various internal programs.
In four days of events last week, staff participated in fun games showcasing their karaoke, rock/paper/scissors, baking and wii bowling skills to raise funds for United Way.
With 100 percent participation, Chamber staff surpassed their fundraising goal of $21,300.
Masucci named to Oklahoma Travel Industry Association board
Vanesa Masucci, manager of tourism and cultural sales, Visit Tulsa, has been named to the Oklahoma Tourism Industry Association board of directors.
The proposed slate of board members was presented and approved at OTIA’s annual meeting, held in conjunction with the Governor’s Conference on Tourism that starts today.
The board is comprised of tourism professionals from across the state and is a prestigious honor for appointed individuals. Masucci will serve a three year term.
“Masucci is a great asset to the Visit Tulsa team,” said Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of Visit Tulsa. “Her recent appointment to the OTIA board of directors creates another avenue for her own professional development while also helping to promote Tulsa’s local tourism industry and bring a strong voice to statewide industry conversation.”
What We’re Working OnExecutive Office
• Attending the Oklahoma Academy Town Hall Conference on Economic Development
• Hosting the Mayor’s Business Retention Breakfast
• Attending Oklahoma Business Roundtable Membership, Business Meeting and Reception
Communications, Events and Marketing
• Hosting Forum featuring Speaker Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman
• Attending Governor’s Conference on Tourism
• Planning Circuit Series 5.0 Roundtable Connection
• Participating in a master planning meeting for a downtown venue
• Participating in a conference call with the Wichita Loan Consortium to investigate their approach to promoting investment downtown
• Attending the International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Webcast – Analysis of the Community
• Recovery & Enhancement Act of 2011 (returning retail to the urban core)
• Attending Oklahoma Academy Town Hall conference
• Attending Tulsa Area Partnership Meeting
• Attending the Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Summit in Stillwater
Education and Workforce
• Planning education forum – KIPP Tulsa – Where are they today?
• Talent Dividend Marketing
• CACR Coaches Recruitment
• Oklahoma Academy Town Hall on Economic Development in Lone Wolf, OK
• Tulsa Press Club’s Tulsa City Council Debate
• Forum with Speaker Kris Steele and Senate Pro Tempore Brian Bingman
• Attending Area Development, “Women in Economic Development” Conference
• Meeting with manufacturer regarding expansion needs
• Volunteer training for BRE team leaders
Tulsa Sports Commission
•Preparing to attend US Sports Congress in December
•Preparing for BMX Event Thanksgiving weekend
• Hosting Next/Now Art Show.
• Hosting Art Around Town Museum crawl.
• Planning Boomtown Awards
• Welcoming Arabian Horse Association to Expo Square
• Attending the Oklahoma Governor’s Conference on Tourism
Chamber welcomes new businesses
Each month the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Hospitality Club welcomes new businesses and new Chamber members to the community by assisting with ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking announcements.
Adobe Testing Services, Inc.
Gunboat Park Surplus & Militaria
Legend at Mingo Road
Marla Lopeman, Senior VP
7902 S. Mingo