BRIDGE Program Helps Small Businesses

By DEWEY F. BARTLETT JR.
Mayor, City of Tulsa

PROMOTING BUSINESS: Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett stands with Terri Gateward, City of Tulsa business development coordinator, right, and Jackson Landrum, City of Tulsa interim human rights director. Bartlett gave welcome remarks at the 7th annual BRIDGE (Building Resources in Developing and Growing Enterprises) Networking and Training Event on March 11.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers


When Tulsa’s small businesses prosper, the city as a whole prospers. More than 75 percent of all businesses in Tulsa are small businesses. I recently had the opportunity to address small business owners at the opening session of the 7th annual BRIDGE Networking and Training Event held at the Cox Business Center in downtown Tulsa.

Around 175 small business owners participated in this opportunity to develop business relationships and receive training on business topics such as banking, purchasing and construction. The event also featured Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Larry Parman as luncheon keynote speaker.

BRIDGE is an acronym for Building Resources in Developing and Growing Enterprises. The City of Tulsa established the BRIDGE program in 2007 to promote connections between small, developing and growing businesses, and opportunities available through larger companies in the area.

The BRIDGE program demonstrates the City of Tulsa’s commitment to help small businesses succeed through maximizing opportunities. Through the City of Tulsa Human Rights Department, BRIDGE provides a one-stop information center so that member businesses can stay informed about educational programs around the city.

When possible, the City of Tulsa contracts with and purchases directly from BRIDGE members. Also, when capital projects are advertised for bids, the city encourages prospective bidders to solicit BRIDGE businesses as subcontractors.

BRIDGE membership is available to small businesses that meet the size standard criteria set forth in the Small Business Act and Department of Transportation criteria for small businesses classified as construction. For more information, call 918-596-7818 or visit the City of Tulsa website: www.cityoftulsa.org/community-programs/human-rights/bridge—-building-resources-in-developing-and-growing-enterprises.aspx

It is in the city’s best interest to encourage growth of small businesses that keep our people employed and provide quality products and services, contributing to Tulsa’s total economy.

Updated 03-25-2014

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