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2018 Issue 3

D e ve l o p , I n n ov a t e , P r o s p e r

International Financing Helps Small Businesses Go Global

Interview with SBA Lead Lender Relations Specialist, Sandra Ransome p. 3

THE STATE OF FRONTIERS Commerce Announces New Blog

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce is committed to quality jobs and community investment across Oklahoma. Our mission of economic development takes us to every part of our great state as we assist and partner with businesses, local governments and nonprofits. Follow the Commerce team’s journey as they document their visits on their new blog:


Sample of stories you’ll find at

Northeast TX TX

Stillwater Chamber and Commerce talk future industrial park project and growing workforce The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (Commerce) met with the Stillwater Chamber about an upcoming industrial park project and to learn more about their workforce. Stillwater, the midpoint between Tulsa and OKC, is a hub for R&D and home to three academic and educational institutions including Oklahoma State University. It’s a community where half the population holds a degree and Meridian Technology Center assists companies like ASCO Aerospace USA, Ditch Witch, and Frontier Electronic Systems with specialized training.

Central Southwest South Central

Commerce associates tour Enviro Systems in Seminole A group of Commerce associates toured Enviro Systems on November 2nd. Joining them was our colleague Jeremy Stoner of the Oklahoma Finance Authorities. The Seminole-based company designs and manufactures environmental controls for aircraft manufacturers. Some of their products include cabin pressure systems, heaters and fans.

Workshop in Weatherford helps rural communities use free data sources for economic development On Dec. 11, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce Research Team hosted a workshop at the Western Technology Center in Weatherford to help communities better respond to RFPs (requests for proposal) and RFIs (requests for information). Community leaders from Alva, Clinton, Weatherford and Yukon were in attendance.


Check it out at

Google Expansion at Oklahoma Data Center Google plans to invest an additional $600 million at its Pryor, Okla., data center

Governor Mary Fallin said the decision by Google to invest an additional $600 million at its data center near Pryor in Mayes County is an indication of Oklahoma’s strong pro-business environment. The announcement by Google will bring the technology company’s total investment in Oklahoma to more than $2.5 billion. The Google campus at the Mid-America Industrial Park near Pryor employs more than 400, and is Google’s second-largest data center in the world. As part of the additional investment, Google will add another four-story data center to increase efficiency of its land usage and data center operations. The Mayes County data center opened in 2011, and its continued growth on Google’s campus has supported thousands of local construction jobs. “Google’s $2.5 billion investment in Mayes County represents a major economic win,” said Fallin. “It further emphasizes that our pro-business environment helps Oklahoma attract and retain some of the best companies in the world.”

We’ve been able to accelerate our growth here in part due to the incredible support from our Mayes County partners and the state of Oklahoma. We look forward to continuing our success in Oklahoma.

Andrew Silvestri, Head of External Affairs for Google in Oklahoma Oklahoma offers a low cost of business. It has the lowest tax burden in the country, and its energy rates are about 24 percent lower than the national average. “Google continues to be a valuable partner in our state by reinvesting in the community,” Fallin said. “It has donated more than $2 million in STEM grants and tech programs, which is another reason I’m pleased Google has chosen to grow in Oklahoma.”

“Oklahoma has proven to be an important home for Google since opening our data center operations here in 2011,” said Andrew Silvestri, head of external affairs for Google in Oklahoma. “We’ve been able to accelerate our growth here in part due to the incredible support from our Mayes County partners and the state of Oklahoma. We look forward to continuing our success in Oklahoma.”

In 2016, Google announced an expansion to its campus at the Mid-America Industrial Park, which included a new four-story data center. Since then, Google has grown by many hundreds of thousands of square feet.


International Financing Helps Small Businesses Go Global Interview with SBA Lead Lender Relations Specialist, Sandra Ransome The assistance available to small business in this arena is endless. The SBA funds numerous organizations such as the Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and the Women’s Business Center – all of which provide free and low-cost consulting and/or training.

~ Sandra Ransome SBA Lead Lender Relations Specialist Sandra Ransome is a Lead Lender Relations Specialist and District International Trade Officer for SBA and has worked with the organization for 22 years to ensure small businesses are familiar with SBA’s lending programs and how to use them. International financing is a topic small business owners often have questions about. Sandra spoke with Commerce about how to access these loans and who should use them. “We have utilized the SBA-guaranteed Export Working Capital Program since 1997. We export about 50% to 60% of our test equipment directly to filter companies worldwide at an average sales price exceeding $300,000. For a small company, it is very critical to have a source of capital for the cash-intensive purchasing phase of the project,” said Gary B. Ferrell, Ph.D., P.E., President, Bonavista Technologies, Inc. “This has allowed us to compete head-to-head in international markets with our European and Asian competitors. There are many variables (vision, talent, technology, reputation, and stability) that go into making a successful company. None of these matter if you do not have a source of capital.” What types of businesses should consider exporting goods to international markets? Any small business with a product or service that wishes to increase their revenue and profit potential should consider a global marketing strategy. International trade allows companies to move beyond the U.S. (domestic) market of more than 300 million people to a world market of 7 billion possible consumers. This, of course, not only increases their customer base exponentially, but aids in reducing their dependence on the single, domestic market, allowing them to diversify and compete in various markets throughout the world. How do you know when your small business is ready to export to a global market? If a business is interested in exporting, but is unsure of their readiness to do so, they have access to multiple agencies or organizations that can provide guidance. The SBA provides

multiple resources on our website,, that can assist a business in the beginning stages of making such decisions. The Agency provides an Export Business Planner template to serve as a guide on this topic which includes: Introduction to Exporting, Training and Counseling, Developing Your Marketing Plan, Financing Your Export Venture, and other topics. This template can be accessed at We also offer a “Take Your Business Global” course in the SBA learning center. Additionally, businesses can take the export reediness assessment at The assistance available to small business in this arena is endless. The SBA funds numerous organizations such as the Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and the Women’s Business Center – all of which provide free and low-cost consulting and/or training. Of course, we also work closely with other very important entities such as the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce, etc, who among others in the network are a great avenue of information for the new or expanding exporter. What type of financing is available for products and services? In addition to any available conventional financing through a lending institution, the SBA has three specialized programs for export and international trade financing – ExportExpress, Export Working Capital Program (EWCP), and the International Trade Loan Program. As 98% of all U.S. exporters are small businesses, SBA knows how important it is to offer financing options for this purpose and to help companies grow their bottom dollar. The International Trade Loan allows for longterm financing up to $5 million for those companies needing to expand facilities, purchase machinery and equipment, etc. in order to help them engage or prepare to engage in the global market. ExportExpress allows for existing companies (in operation for at least 12 months) to prepare for a new or expanding global market. These loans have a maximum of $500,000 and can finance smaller standby letters of credit,

International Financing Seminar foreign trade shows, etc. The EWCP product has a $5 million maximum and provides short-term working capital loans to direct/indirect exporters for specific transaction or asset-based invoices. This financing tool can also support letters of credit. When a small business comes to you for a loan of this type what it the process? The SBA programs are guaranty programs. We do not lend directly to small businesses. Our products are utilized by lenders who need to strengthen a borrower’s loan request by obtaining a guaranty from the SBA and minimizing the bank’s risk. So, the first step in this process would be for the borrower to make application at their bank of account or any other lender of their choosing. The bank will then process the request using their conventional products and/or underwriting processes or make application through the SBA for a guaranty if needed. If they choose to work through the SBA, the bank will fit the borrower in to the SBA lending product that best fits their need. Once approved by both the bank and the SBA, the borrower will remain the bank’s customer making payments to them as they would normally. After the loan has closed, the SBA will, for the most part, remain out of the bank/customer relationship unless the business fails and the Agency is asked to honor the guaranty. Do you help companies with strategy when launching or expanding internationally? As indicated previously, the SBA funds several organizations that provide free and low-cost consulting/training to potential exporters. We also work closely with multiple state and federal agencies in an effort to provide the small business with any needed assistance. Are these types of loans available at all banks? While in Oklahoma, we participate with nearly all conventional lending institutions and some credit unions, only certain lenders have the SBA’s approval to utilize our specialized products such as ExportExpress and EWCP. All lenders are able to process an International Trade Loan. Potential borrowers can certainly contact any of the Lender Relations Specialists at the SBA, Oklahoma District Office, for guidance in determining which lenders might be a good fit for their capital need. For more information or to register, contact: Jesse Garcia, Commerce Global Project Manager, 405-815-5136,

Find out how the Export-Import Bank of the United States [ExIm Bank] and the U.S. Small Business Administration finance the export of goods and services to international markets and help companies compete globally. In today’s global economy, selling your goods around the world can bring large rewards. This workshop will give an overview of these agencies, their financing products and services, and tips to launch or expand your company’s international trade strategy. In addition, you will learn how your local bank can help you structure international payment transactions. The U.S. Department of Commerce/Oklahoma Export Assistance Center and the International Small Business Development Center will also provide a brief overview of export services relative to international business needs.

Free to attend. Registration required. Wednesday, April 25 OKC – Francis Tuttle Tech Center 12777 N. Rockwell Avenue Oklahoma City, OK 73142 Location: Room D1870, Corporate Training Bldg. Time: Registration: 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. Program: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Networking Luncheon: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Thursday, April 26 TULSA – OSU-Tulsa Campus 700 N. Greenwood Avenue Tulsa, OK 74106 Location: Room 140, North Hall Time: Registration: 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. Program: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Networking Luncheon: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

For more information or to register, contact:

Jesse Garcia, Global Project Manager, 405-815-5136 or visit


DISH Expands Tulsa Operations

New sales and retention center to create 250 jobs TV provider DISH is expanding its Tulsa operation with the addition of a new sales and retention center. Some employees have already been hired as the company moves to add 250 new jobs. Before the expansion the Tulsa office already employed 600 in service and support roles in an adjacent office. The company held a ribbon cutting on February 6th to celebrate with their employees and invited Commerce staff who worked to bring the expansion to Oklahoma. Company leaders remarked on the available workforce in the Tulsa region and quick ramp-up of operations. “It didn’t take long for us to realize that choosing Tulsa as the location for our new Sales and Retention center was the right move,” said Jeremy Scholl, director of direct sales for DISH. While not yet fully staffed, the company says the Tulsa team has already taken more than half a million retention calls and added nearly 2,000 new customers. “…I can honestly say we have never seen a site launched as seamlessly and successfully as here in Tulsa,” said

Kieran Callaghan, DISH vice president of direct sales. “This success in part includes access to such a deep pool of new candidates with equal parts talent, integrity and work ethic.” Justin McLaughlin of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce and Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology, Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, also spoke. Both welcomed the company and talked about the importance of high-paying jobs to the community and how industry diversity strengthens the state and builds wealth for Oklahomans.

Oklahoma Works Annual Report Now Available Oklahoma Works has recently released their annual FY 2017 Annual Report detailing their activities and accomplishments over the past year. Highlights include: • Establishing Earn and Learn Oklahoma, a statewide goal to increase internships and apprenticeships to 20,000 by 2020. • Launching Oklahoma’s first registered youth apprenticeship program for high school seniors working as help desk technicians at Dell. • Introducing the Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) pilot program study this school year to equip students with the awareness, knowledge and skills to create their own meaningful exploration of college and career opportunities. • Releasing a statewide transportation asset map and

layered route maps of existing public transit routes to understand the gaps and current resources available to Oklahomans traveling to work, school and training. • Expanding programs for workforce readiness and re-entry for justice involved Oklahomans. • Introducing two new strategies under Oklahoma Works that focus on statewide innovation: Innovate Oklahoma and Access for Success. Read the full report

Company Brings 50 New Quality Jobs to Claremore BelGAS Flame manufacturer announced the beginning of operations This would not be possible without our partnership with ODOC. By working together, we are able to encourage job growth in Oklahoma and ensure our state’s future success.

~ Dr. Keith Ballard, CIEDA chairman

A West Virginia-based manufacturer announced the beginning of operations at a facility expected to bring 40-50 jobs to the city over the next three years. Located at 900 N. Owalla Ave., the BelGAS Flame Management division of Marsh Bellofram Co. will offer a range of flame arrestors, tank venting accessories, burners, and specialty fabrication services for the oil and gas industry. “We are honored to have joined many outstanding partners, including the City of Claremore, the Tulsa Regional Chamber and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, in aiding BelGAS FM during the launch of its new manufacturing facility,” John Feary, executive director of the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority, said in a statement. “CIEDA is committed to ensuring BelGAS FM has the tools needed to be successful, and we look forward to continuing to help them establish in Claremore and the northeast Oklahoma community.”

BelGAS FM has closely partnered with the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to help fill the company’s workforce needs. It also has qualified as a participant for the Oklahoma Quality Jobs program. “Since 1948, the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority has remained dedicated to aiding our regional employers and ensuring their prosperity,” CIEDA Chairman Keith Ballard said in a statement. “This would not be possible without our partnership with ODOC. By working together, we are able to encourage job growth in Oklahoma and ensure our state’s future success.” BelGAS FM is hiring a variety of positions, which include assemblers, welders, fabricators and painters as well as positions in shipping and receiving. Resumes can be submitted at the BelGAS FM facility in Claremore.

“We knew Claremore was the clear choice as the home for our facilities,” Rob Beasley, general manager of BelGAS FM, said in a statement. “As a Rogers County native, I am no stranger to Claremore’s thriving manufacturing sector, access to highquality talent and pro-business atmosphere. These factors, in addition to the region’s short commute times and central location, made Claremore our leading candidate.”


Upcoming Events and Important Dates GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP 2018 - ODOT TRASH-OFF Saturday, April 21, 2018 The Oklahoma Department of Transportation's TRASH-OFF is Oklahoma's signature event in the Great American Cleanup. Each spring, the ODOT TRASH-OFF brings together thousands of volunteers who are dedicated to making Oklahoma a cleaner, greener and more beautiful state - making it the single largest ONE-day cleanup event in the state of Oklahoma. To register for the ODOT TRASH-OFF, simply register for the Great American Cleanup in Oklahoma and mark that you plan to host an event on the ODOT TRASH-OFF day. Register to host an event and receive free supplies for the ODOT TRASH-OFF day.

BUSINESS ANALYST REPORTS AVAILABLE AT SPECIAL RATES FOR COMMUNITIES The first 8 Communities to respond will receive a discounted rate if they respond by 3/16/2018


FOR NEW PIONEER SUBMISSIONS AND STORY IDEAS CONTACT: Kimberly Hickerson Editor-in-Chief - New Pioneer Oklahoma Department of Commerce 900 N. Stiles Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73104 (405) 815-5240

Increase your community’s sales tax revenue with ESRI Community Analyst Reports and analysis from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s Research team. Attract the right mix of retail to your community with expert analysis and detailed demographic and consumer spending reports. Reports include: • Expenditure Reports • Market Potential Reports • Area Demographics & Analysis • Business Locators and Maps Contact: Lesli Crofford, Research Analyst Call 405-815-5120 or 800-879-6552 or e-mail

Reports are available at no cost to Oklahoma’s Main Street Communities when requested by Program Directors and approved by Oklahoma Main Street.

MEMORIAL DAY Monday, May 28, 2018 State Offices Closed


Issue 3 2018  
Issue 3 2018  

International Financing Helps Small Businesses Go Global, Interview with SBA Lead Lender , Commerce Announces New Blog, Google Expansion at...