April 2020 (Vol. 34, No. 4)

Page 76


Get TAPPING INTO COMMUNITY RESOURCES LIKE THE TULSA SMALL BUSINESS CONNECTION IS ESSENTIAL TO LEARNING HOW TO GROW YOUR SMALL BUSINESS. — By Michele Chiappetta Sometimes, a business needs a little support. Small businesses, in particular, face several challenges simply because of their size. Their owners and employees often wear many hats, and it takes time and effort to find answers to questions they have. Tapping into great community resources is essential to learning how to grow your small business. Thankfully, Tulsa has many organizations that smallbusiness owners can turn to when they need help. One of them is the Tulsa Small Business

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Connection, a program of the Tulsa Regional Chamber which supports small-business owners by providing the information and resources they need to succeed and grow. The Connection focuses on helping businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The Connection was founded at the Small Business Council in 1994 to help support small businesses. “As we have grown, we have continued to develop innovative programs to meet the needs of small-business owners,” says Colleen Almeida Smith, executive director. “Our

volunteers and advisory board members know what it means to own a small business, and they work to identify speakers and program opportunities that will help grow local businesses.” This is fitting, as Tulsa has received a lot of praise and attention recently for its small business-friendly environment. “It is a testament to the innovative and collaborative nature of the local business community,” says Smith.

and business people. “We offer a variety of programs and events for small-business owners and their employees — everything from quarterly lunch and learns, called Business Behind the Scenes, to our Women Business Leader events,” says Smith. “We have touched thousands of businesses throughout the years. Currently, the Connection represents more than 1,800 small business members of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, but our reach includes many nonmembers too.”

The Connection provides a lot of options for Tulsa’s entrepreneurs

The effects of such collaboration to grow small businesses is