February 25, 2024
Loans

Cherokees receive $500K for small business loans


Cherokees receive $500K grant to create small business loans

The Cherokee Nation was recently awarded a $500,000 Rural Business Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create small business loans that support Cherokee citizen-owned businesses and create community-based jobs.

Deputy Chief Bryan Warner accepted the donation during the Oklahoma Tribal Opportunity Partnership Summit in Chickasha.

“I measure our success as a tribe by looking at our individuals and the opportunities they have. This opportunity allows us to support small, Cherokee-owned businesses and jobs for Cherokee families,” Warner said. “We can pave the way for those who want to be an entrepreneur, who want to show their kids a new way to live and who want to break generational trauma. Anytime we are given the opportunity to help strengthen our communities, we must take it.”

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The summit was held at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, providing the USDA a chance to share grant and program opportunities with tribes across Oklahoma.

“President Biden and I believe that we should make investments in rural communities and there’s no greater opportunity to do that than through tribal partnerships,” said Kenneth Corn, USDA state director of rural development.

“Tribal governments are on the ground, they know their people, they know what is needed in all of their communities and they’re in a unique position to serve where sometimes the federal government cannot. To have the Cherokee Nation as a partner gives us a better opportunity to serve people, which is what our goal is at the end of the day.”

Since 2022, the Cherokee Nation has been awarded $1.6 million from USDA Rural Development for programs such as the Women, Infants and Children program as well as the Farm and Food Workers Relief program.

Tulsa Idea Challenge returning in May

After a successful pilot last year, the Tulsa Idea Challenge is returning in May. Presented by 36 Degrees North, Builders + Backers and Tulsa Remote, the event is designed to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for Tulsans, and a chance to earn a share of $50,000.

After nearly 1,300 applied last year, 349 Tulsans were selected to participate in the challenge.

Nine top-performing teams (and 18 Tulsans) were awarded $50,000 for diverse ideas ranging from a school security drone that improves campus safety to smart welding goggles. Notably, 85% of the participants were first-time entrepreneurs.

“Tulsa Idea Challenge is an incredible opportunity for innovators in our city to take a simple idea and turn it into a real-world solution through creativity, ideation and collaboration,” said Devon Laney, CEO of 36 Degrees North. “Entrepreneurship is at the heart of Tulsa’s history, and this challenge bolsters 36 Degrees North’s mission to equip our city with the tools and connections needed to build impactful, long-lasting businesses.”

Tulsa residents 18 years and older, regardless of their business experience, can apply online at apply.buildersandbackers.com/TIC202 through April 10. The entrepreneurial workshop and competition guides participants how to collaborate and transform an idea into action.

After being paired by event organizers with another Tulsan, teams will learn how to pick a problem, break it down, and create an actionable plan that offers a real-world solution through purposely crafted exercises created by Builders + Backers. Prizes will be awarded to teams in a variety of categories.

Space is limited, and priority will be given to early applicants. Selected participants will be paid $300 for completing the workshop and will have the opportunity to win fast-track spots in the summer or fall cohorts of the Builders + Backers’ Idea Accelerator, which comes with $5,000 to test and launch a new venture.

The challenge will be held May 4-5 at the University of Tulsa. Up to 200 attendees will be accepted into the program.

Canadian pizza chain looking for franchisees in Oklahoma, elsewhere

Freshslice Pizza, a Canadian franchise, has announced its expansion into the U.S.

Known for its commitment to quality ingredients and innovation, Freshslice is seeking franchise opportunities in the U.S.

The company has “revolutionized the franchise industry, like Netflix did to the video rental industry,” it said.

Potential franchisees should:

Fill out “Own a Franchise” form on investinfresh.com

Have at least $60,000 in liquid cash and entrepreneurial drive

Align with its vision, values and culture

Send any direct questions to franchising@freshslice.com

Go through a screening process

Potential Tulsa-area franchisees may also email Eric Chupp at eric@freshslice.com.

Salvation Army opens new thrift store

The Salvation Army announced the grand opening of its newest thrift store at 3111 S. Harvard Ave.

All proceeds generated from the Thrift Store will go directly toward sustaining the Salvation Army’s Men’s Adult Rehabilitation Center, making every purchase a meaningful contribution, the organization said.

The new thrift store will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays.

BOK Financial announces agreement with Mastercard

Mastercard and BOK Financial Corporation announced an expanded agreement making Mastercard the exclusive payments network across BOK Financials’ debit and commercial portfolios, as well as extending its relationship with BOK Financials’ TransFund processing business.

“Both companies will build an innovative, inclusive, and sustainable future in banking, grounded in the shared values of advancing the communities they serve,” according to a news release.

“Mastercard and BOK Financial share a passion and commitment to support and uplift our local communities. BOK Financial is more than a bank — it’s a force for good, financial education and opportunity,” said John Levitsky, president, U.S. financial institutions, Mastercard. “Through our expanded partnership, Mastercard will bring unparalleled expertise, technology, and services to drive new payment experiences, community impact and financial access for BOK Financial and its customers.”

“At BOK Financial, we continue to grow and invest in the future of our communities,” said David Reynolds, director of product management at BOK Financial Corp.

“Our expanded partnership with Mastercard will allow us to deliver a differentiated value proposition for our customers through cutting-edge technology and purpose-driven initiatives. Most importantly, we’re thrilled to be working with a company who holds a steadfast promise of connecting consumers to the things that matter most to them.”

Foster Garvey law firm opens Tulsa office

Foster Garvey announced the opening of its Tulsa office in the Mid-Continent Tower, 401 South Boston Ave.

“This newest office is part of the firm’s national expansion into the markets most critical to its clients’ success,” the firm said in a news release.

Led by R. Daniel Carter, a principal in the tribal governments and enterprises practice group, the Tulsa office further enhances the firm’s services for Native American tribes and tribal entities, it said.

“Foster Garvey takes great pride in our long history of service to Native American and Alaska Native tribes and their tribal communities,” said firm co-chair Diana Shukis. “Our Tulsa office bolsters our ability to continue working closely with tribes to protect sovereignty and treaty rights, preserve histories and culture, and expand economic opportunities.”

“We are thrilled to have Daniel leading our office in Tulsa,” said firm co-chair Rafael Stone. “His dedication to public service and civic leadership, as demonstrated by his tenures in the federal government and as attorney general for tribes, as well as his work on various boards of directors such as the Tulsa Lawyers for Children and the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission, further enhances our commitment to serving our clients and communities.”

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Patrick Prince





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