What do a glass window manufacturer, an aerospace upholsterer and a sparkling wine canner have in common? It’s the kind of question you’d expect from a mom attempting a dad joke.
But it’s a serious question and it has a serious answer.
They are all small businesses getting a head start in rural Rogers County from a program designed to promote local entrepreneurial talent.
Since 2004, Rogers County Development and Northeast Technology Center have partnered to help people with creative ideas start thriving small businesses in Rogers County.
The incubator program, certified through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, invites anyone in Rogers County with an idea for a new business to sit down with a Business Development Consultant at Northeast Technology Center and get help creating a business plan and organizing necessary documents at no cost.
After one year of paid small business classes, applicants go through two boards for approval.
News businesses that are chosen get a handful of benefits including four months of free workspace space with graduated rent for three years, technical and business advice from local experts and five to 10 years of income tax exemption.
“It’s a great program,” Rogers County Development Director Debi Ward said. “We’ve had some very successful startups.”
With three sites in Oologah, Chelsea and Inola, Rogers County Development has a total of nine potential spaces for start-ups, with six currently in use.
Right now, available for prospective entrepreneurs are two 3,000 square foot units and one 6,000 square foot unit with three phase electric, an office with heat and air, a bathroom, drive through overhead doors and paved parking.
“We are charged with the economic development of rural Rogers County,” Ward said. “This program creates and retains jobs in Rogers County, expands our tax dollars, and possibly creates rooftops.”
“We’re hopeful that these businesses are successful enough to grow, expand, move out of the program and continue to be successful for years to come. We want them to create employment and keep it local,” Ward said. “It’s a rewarding feeling to help somebody see their dream become a reality.”
Anyone with a great idea for a manufacturing business is welcome to contact Ward at 918-343-8959.