Main Street Program helps small businesses

Sen. Bill Coleman

Last week was a busy one, with more than 100 House bills moving through our Senate committees, including five of mine. Two more made it out of their first Senate committee and will next be heard in appropriations. In order for House bills to move forward in the process this session, they must be heard by this coming Thursday, April 13.

In between committee meetings, we’ve attended several special events at the Capitol. One of my favorites is Main Street Day, which was Tuesday, April 4. This highlights the hard work of numerous communities who have utilized the Main Street Program to revitalize their downtowns and businesses. This program is vital to Oklahoma, as it helps small businesses flourish and makes communities more attractive to other potential businesses. The state Department of Commerce created the program in 1986 to help re-invigorate main streets throughout Oklahoma. Refurbished downtowns improve commerce by providing spaces for new businesses, attracting shoppers to the area, and providing citizens and families with more community activities. Small businesses provide a majority of jobs in Oklahoma, so it’s important that we do all we can to support them, and programs like this are vital to that effort.

The finalists for the annual Main Street Program awards competition were announced last month, and I want to again congratulate the many businesses recognized here in Senate District 10. Businesses competed in 23 award categories representing the four points of the Main Street Approach –

Organization, Promotion, Economic Vitality, and Design.

Under Organization, KR Automation was nominated for the Premier Partner category while Time Frame App in Newkirk was tapped as one of the Best Main Street Community Education Campaigns. Ponca City’s Ice on the Plaza is competing for Outstanding Community Engagement Effort and Ponca City’s Lori Henderson has been selected as one of our state’s Main Street Heroes. Ponca City businesses, Casino on Grand and Ice on the Plaza, are both in the running for Best Creative Fundraising Effort.

Under Promotion, Ice on the Plaza has also been nominated in the Premier Special Event over 1,000 Attendees category with Ladies Night in Ponca City going for Best Main Street Retail Event. Ponca City’s branding campaign has also been praised as one of the state’s Outstanding Image Promotions.

For Economic Vitality, two Ponca City businesses are in the running for Best Adaptive Reuse Project under $25,000, including Spray’s Gifts and My Media Matters, which was also nominated for the Outstanding Entrepreneurial Endeavor category. The Farm House Kids Co. in Ponca City has been deemed one of the Best New Businesses in Oklahoma.

Finally, for Design, Pottery Place by The Doodle Academy in Ponca City has been tapped for one of the Best Interior Design Projects under $25,000.

Congratulations to all of these incredible businesses and the many others who competed. The winners will be announced, and the finalists recognized, at the Main Street Awards Banquet on May 2 and we wish everyone the best of luck. If you’re in the area, I highly encourage you to shop local and check out these outstanding businesses and the many others our downtowns have to offer.

You can contact me by calling (405) 521-5581 or emailing Bill.Coleman@oksenate.gov.