Deadline for small business award nominations Friday
Tulsa Metro Chamber invites you to nominate a deserving entrepreneur or small business for its 2010 Crystal Star Small Business Awards in April. Awards are given annually to small business practitioners who exemplify professional skill and leadership. Nominations are accepted in the following categories:
• Small Business Person
• Entrepreneurial Success
• Small Business Exporter
• Young Entrepreneur
• Family Owned Business
• Financial Services Champion
• Home-Based Business Champion
• Minority Small Business Champion
• Veteran Small Business Champion
• Women in Business Champion
Nominees must be Tulsa Metro Chamber members and in business a minimum of three years. All nominations will be considered and reviewed by the Small Business Awards Committee. Winners will be recognized at the Chamber’s annual awards luncheon Wednesday, April 28.
Nominations close Friday, Feb. 5.
Tulsa Tough Kids program needs community votes to win $50,000Pepsi Refresh Project is awarding 10 $50,000 grants to ideas receiving the most votes
The Tulsa Sports Commission is asking the Tulsa region and bike enthusiasts across the nation for their support as they compete for one of 10 $50,000 grants being award by Pepsi through the Pepsi Refresh Project.
The organization submitted a proposal to Pepsi outlining the purpose, goals and plan for the Tulsa Tough Kids Bike Program now in its fourth year of awarding bikes donated by The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis to kids successfully completing the Tough Kids Challenge. Pepsi accepted the proposal as one of 1,000 ideas competing for a total of $1.3 million in grants. Ideas are posted online and voted on by the public. Ideas receiving the highest number of votes by the end of the month will be awarded grants at various funding levels. To vote for the Tulsa Tough Kids Program, visit www.refresheverything.com/TulsaTough before Sun., Feb. 28.
The Tough Kids Challenge is a program of the Tulsa Tough Ride & Race scheduled for June 4-6 and was developed to help promote health and fitness to children in grades third through fifth by requiring kids who participate to attend safe bicycle handling courses, a skills and drills class and participating in the 8-mile Townie Ride on Sun., June 6, to earn a free bike.
Tulsa and Oklahoma face challenging health statistics with high rates of obesity and various societal and health side effects. The main goal of Tulsa Tough is to change behavior patterns by engaging the community starting with elementary school-aged children through the Tulsa Tough Kids Bike Program, which combines community outreach, awareness, education and fitness.
“In short, if we can show kids how to safely ride their bikes we may be able to get them to ride to school, to a friend’s house or the store,” said Malcolm McCollam, Tulsa Tough event director. “We can potentially change their future and our own through improved health outcomes and self confidence.”
This year marks a major milestone for the project when the 1,000th kid’s bike will be awarded.
“We are beginning to see the impact of the program and believe we are setting a model that other communities around the world can use,” said McCollam.
Tulsa Tough was created in 2006 by the Tulsa Sports Commission and the Tulsa Wheelmen. The three-day cycling festival designed to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles while showcasing the beautiful city of Tulsa. Tulsa Tough offers events and spectating opportunities for everyone with professional-level races, recreational and tour rides; kids and youth activities; live music and vendors in one action packed weekend. For more information, please visit www.tulsatough.com.
Tulsa-based Flintco honored
The Flintco Cos. was named the top company on DiversityBusiness.com’s 10th annual list of 100 Native American-owned businesses. Flintco ranked No. 4 among the Web site’s list of all minority-owned businesses in the U.S.
DiversityBusiness’ list represents the top small companies nationwide in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, food service and professional services. Winning companies will be honored at an April awards ceremony in Washington, DC.
Flintco, one of the nation’s largest commercial contractors with locations in eight cities, employs 330 people in Oklahoma and 1,009 nationwide. The company’s current projects in the Tulsa region include the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa expansion, the Oklahoma State University Student Union renovation and the University of Oklahoma Schusterman Library.
Legislative session begins today
Today marks the beginning of the 2010 legislative session and the Tulsa Metro Chamber, along with the OneVoice partners, are poised to take the region’s top priorities to the state and nation’s Capitols.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber will provide weekly updates throughout the session to keep members informed of progress on the OneVoice agenda’s top priorities. The Chamber has also launched a legislative action Web site providing tools, resources and information about legislative activity. To stay informed and get involved, visit OneVoiceTulsa.com.
|Top state priorities as identified by the 34 regional OneVoice partners include:
The Chamber’s lead federal priorities, which will be advocated next week when more than 60 business leaders and elected officials travel to Washington, D.C., as part of the Chamber’s annual D.C. Fly-In are:
- Funding for construction of the Gilcrease Expressway and Bridge.
- Continued funding for the OSU Medical Center and $7 million annually to OU’s Wayman Tisdale Health Center.
- Support a study on municipal finances and the use of new sources of revenue to fund local government.
- Support measures to competitively position Oklahoma schools and colleges to receive Race to the Top Funds.
- Support reform to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation system.
- Support timely reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs.
- Support Sen. Jim Inhofe’s request for funding for implementation of the Arkansas River corridor master plan.
- Oppose the Employee Free Choice Act.
- Secure $16 million in emergency federal funding to address deficiencies with the Arkansas River levee.
- Support appropriations to deepen the McClellan-Kerr waterway to 12’ and widen the last 50 miles of the Port of Catoosa.
Getting more out of social networks
If you haven’t created that Facebook page for your business, this may be the year to do it. While a recent Citibank survey indicated that social networks do little to expand small businesses, a new survey from Ad-ology shows that lead generation is the biggest benefit of social networking for U.S. small businesses, cited by one-half of respondents. Social networks also were considered a good way to keep up with the industry and monitor online chatter about the business. Facebook was rated the most beneficial social networking site, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter.
The key to making these sites work for you is to give your customers what they’re looking for. Unfortunately, a MarketingProfs survey of B2B and B2C marketers found that the marketing tactics most often used on social sites are not necessarily the best ones.
For example, the most common marketing tactic used on Facebook was attempting to drive traffic to corporate materials through status updates, followed by friending customers. But the most effective tactic for consumer-oriented companies was creating a Facebook application, which was done by less than one-quarter of total respondents. Both B2B and B2C companies also reported surveys of their fans as effective; fan surveys were the third most-common tactic attempted. However, buying ads — even targeted ones — was the least effective type of social media marketing overall.
Are you following Tulsa Metro Chamber on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @TulsaChamber and go to www.facebook.com/TulsaChamber.