Business (177)

Radio ad recognizes Rep. Kevin Hern’s efforts to stop massive tax hike on Oklahoma small businesses

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (May 13, 2024) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, announced a new paid advertising campaign launching today featuring a radio ad thanking Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01) for supporting efforts to make the 20% Small Business Deduction permanent by passing the Main Street Tax Certainty Act.

“Small business owners want to see Congress take action and make the 20% Small Business Deduction permanent, and Rep. Kevin Hern has been a strong leader on this issue,” said NFIB Vice President of Federal Government Relations Jeff Brabant. “Main Street is at risk of a massive tax hike if the Small Business Deduction expires in 2025. Passing the Main Street Tax Certainty Act should be a top priority for Congress, and we are encouraged that this important bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both Chambers. We urge Congress to pass it and we thank Rep. Kevin Hern for his leadership for Oklahoma’s small businesses.”

Listen to the radio ad thanking Rep. Kevin Hern here:

The 20% Small Business Deduction (Section 199A) allows small businesses organized as pass-throughs (S corporations, LLCs, sole proprietorships, or partnerships) the ability to deduct up to 20% of qualified business income and is scheduled to expire in 2025.

NFIB President Brad Close recently penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal where he discussed the importance of the 20% Small Business Deduction for Main Street businesses nationwide. 


For 80 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information, please visit

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation creating an online jobs center through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) has been sent to the governor's desk.

House Bill 3595, authored by Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang, would allow the agency to require claimants to take a skills test, create an account and add a resume to the online platform.

"House Bill 3595 presents an opportunity to streamline job matching, empower job seekers and close the hiring gap in Oklahoma," Hill said. "Through this measure, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission can better connect individuals with employment opportunities while ensuring accountability in the unemployment benefits system. This legislation marks a proactive step towards a more efficient and effective job market for all Oklahomans."

Under the bill, OESC could also require claimants to apply to a minimum number of jobs. Failure to apply or participate would result in the termination of benefits for a full period of unemployment. Additionally, OESC must verify the eligibility of claims filed and may cross-check various state and national databases to verify eligibility.

The measure was authored in the Senate by Sen. Jerry Alvord, R-Wilson.

"With this measure we are modernizing our approach to anti-fraud measures that will benefit Oklahoma employees without burdening claimants," Alvord said. "In fact, the anti-fraud measures in this bill have been recommended by both republican and democrat administrators. HB 3595 strengthens job search opportunities for individuals applying for and receiving unemployment benefits and contains robust protections to stop waste, fraud, and abuse."

If signed into law, HB3595 would take effect Nov. 1.

Angelene Ripley Wright, owner of the Ida Red General Stores in Tulsa, received the award this week for the Oklahoma Small Business Person of the Year in person at a ceremony hosted by the Small Business Administration Administrator Isabel Guzman.  Ida Red General Store is a retail shop offering unique gifts, nostalgic treats, and Oklahoma goods.

“Angelene Ripley Wright exemplifies the grit demonstrated by retail stores in Oklahoma who persevered through the pandemic and have emerged triumphantly,” Fernanda Pedraza-Schmitt, Oklahoma District Director, said. “SBA is proud to have played a small role in this success through our COVID-19 programs.”

“Each year, National Small Business Week provides an opportunity to highlight the dedication and creativity of small business owners and entrepreneurs, said Regional Administrator Mindy Brissey. “Small businesses play a vital role in creating thriving communities and boosting economic growth, and I am honored to recognize their entrepreneurial success.” 

Angelene Ripley Wright helped create the concept for Ida Red’s first store in 2008 before buying the business in 2016.  Ida Red’s now has three locations and 16 employees in the Tulsa area. 

Wright purchased the business with an SBA loan and was helped through the COVID-19 pandemic with two PPP loans and a COVID-19 EIDL loan.  She has doubled the employee count since buying the business.

Prior to being the recipient of the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for Oklahoma, Angelene was awarded the Tulsa Chamber’s Small Business Person of the Year in October 2023.

Ida Red supports numerous local charities including 100 percent of proceeds on special merchandise for the Tulsa Area COVID-19 Response Fund and the Red Dirt Relief fund.  The store donated a portion of their store sales during the Juneteenth weekend to the Tulsa Race Massacre Foundation and the Juneteenth Foundation.

National Small Business Week and for other event information, visit   

The NSBW Award Ceremony took place on Sunday April 28, 2024 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Washington, D.C., where Administrator Guzman recognized the national award winners and individual state winners, and also announced the top honor of National Small Business Person of the Year from among the individual state winners. The week-long National Small Business Week celebration featured a virtual summit co-hosted by SCORE, mentors to America’s small businesses

The Week

Lackluster domestic demand for gasoline paired with decreasing oil prices led to the national average for a gallon of gas climbing just four cents to $3.67 since last week. With tensions running high over the past three weeks in the Middle East, the cost of oil reached the upper $80s per barrel. However, it has since fallen several dollars into the low $80s as the oil market watches to see if any further military actions occur.  

In Oklahoma, the gas average is $3.21 today, down 3 cents in the last week and 15 cents less expensive than one year ago. Today’s national average of $3.67 is up 4 cents in the last week and one cent cheaper than a year ago.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose slightly from 8.61 to 8.66 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.1 million bbl to 227.4 million bbl. Higher demand and a rise in oil prices could push pump prices higher.


Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)



Week Ago

Year Ago









Oklahoma City












Crude Oil

$83.14 per barrel (4/19/24)

$85.66 per barrel (4/12/24)

$77.87 per barrel (4/21/23)

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 2.9% to settle at $83.14. Oil prices dipped as the EIA reported crude oil inventories increased by 2.7 million barrels from the previous week. At 460.0 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are just 1% below the five-year average for this time of year.

The Weekend

“The situation overseas with war in both the Middle East and Ukraine has the oil market on edge,” said Rylie Fletcher, spokesperson for AAA Oklahoma. “But this is also the time of year we may see a bit of a lull in gasoline demand between the end of spring breaks and ahead of Memorial Day. So the national average for gas may waffle a bit with small increases, some flat days, and even some price dips.”     

AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, April 26, 2024


About AAA:
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 64 million members nationwide and more than 400,000 members in Oklahoma.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  AAA is a non-stock, membership corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can map a route, find local gas prices and electric vehicle charging stations, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app ( for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information on joining or renewing a Membership, visit

NFIB’s Optimism Index stays below 50-year average in February

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 12, 2024) – The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased in February to 89.4, marking the 26th consecutive month below the 50-year average of 98. Twenty-three percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important business problem in operating their business, up three points from last month and replacing labor quality as the top problem.

“While inflation pressures have eased since peaking in 2021, small business owners are still managing the elevated costs of higher prices and interest rates,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The labor market has also eased slightly as small business owners are having an easier time attracting and retaining employees.”

Although state-specific data is unavailable, NFIB State Director Jerrod Shouse said:

“While inflation continues to take a toll on small business owners and their employees, it’s also reducing the purchasing power of hardworking families. It’s incumbent that lawmakers pass meaningful tax relief so that Main Street can raise wages, expand benefits, and create more good paying jobs for Oklahomans.”

Key findings include:

  • Reports of labor quality as the single most important problem for business owners decreased five points to 16%, the lowest reading since April 2020.
  • The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher increased six points from January to a net negative 10% (seasonally adjusted), an improvement from last month.
  • Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions continue to slow, with a seasonally adjusted net 12% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, the lowest level since May 2020.
  • Thirty-seven percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down two points from January and the lowest reading since January 2021.
  • The net percent of owners raising average selling prices declined one point from January to a net 21% (seasonally adjusted), the lowest reading since January 2021.

As reported in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 56% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in February. Twenty-five percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 26% reported none.

Fifty-four percent of owners reported capital outlays in the last six months, down five points from January. Of those making expenditures, 35% reported spending on new equipment, 23% acquired vehicles, and 15% improved or expanded facilities. Twelve percent spent money on new fixtures and furniture and 6% acquired new buildings or land for expansion. Twenty-one percent (seasonally adjusted) plan capital outlays in the next few months.

A net negative 13% of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes improved six points to a net negative 10% (seasonally adjusted).

The net percent of owners reporting inventory gains decreased one point to a net negative 1% (seasonally adjusted). Thirteen percent reported increases in stocks and 19% reported reductions. A net negative 4% (seasonally adjusted) of owners viewed current inventory stocks as “too low” in February.

By industry, shortages are reported the most frequent in the transportation (17%), services (12%), construction (11%), and manufacturing (11%) sectors. Shortages were reported least frequently in the wholesale (0%) and agriculture (5%) sectors. A net negative 7% (seasonally adjusted) of owners plan inventory investment in the coming months.

The net percent of owners raising average selling prices declined one point from January to a net 21% (seasonally adjusted), the lowest reading since January 2021. Twenty-three percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, replacing labor quality as the top problem.

Unadjusted, 16% reported lower average selling prices and 37% reported higher average prices. Price hikes were the most frequent in the finance (59% higher, 2% lower), retail (43% higher, 13% lower), construction (42% higher, 8% lower), services (36% higher, 8% lower), and professional services (36% higher, 0% lower) sectors. Seasonally adjusted, a net 30% plan price hikes.

Seasonally adjusted, a net 35% reported raising compensation, down four points from January and the lowest reading since May 2021. A seasonally adjusted 19% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down seven points from January and the lowest since March 2021.

Eleven percent cited labor costs as their top business problem, up one point from January and only two points below the highest reading of 13% reached in December 2021. Sixteen percent said that labor quality was their top business problem, the lowest reading since April 2020.

The frequency of reports of positive profit trends was a net negative 31% (seasonally adjusted), a very poor reading. Among those owners reporting lower profits, 29% blamed weaker sales, 15% blamed the rise in the cost of materials, 13% cited usual seasonal change, and 11% cited price change. For owners reporting higher profits, 42% credited sales volumes, 29% cited usual seasonal change, and 14% cited higher selling prices.

Three percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied. Twenty-four percent reported all credit needs met and 61% said they were not interested in a loan. A net 7% reported their last loan was harder to get than in previous attempts.

The NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since the fourth quarter of 1973 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are randomly drawn from NFIB’s membership. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. This survey was conducted in February 2024.

The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Tanya Gappmayer, of Riverside Payments, as a new member.

If your business is looking for a way to make credit card transactions – then look no further than Riverside Payments.

Riverside has been saving business owners thousands of dollars on their merchant processing every year for over 20 years!


Reach out to Tanya at 479-414-6537 if you have any questions!

Friday, 15 December 2023 22:24

Poteau receives T-Mobile Hometown Grant


Some Big News for Poteau came on December 15, 2023, as they became one of 25 towns across the United State to receive a “Hometown Grant” from T-Mobile.

The grant will be used to fund the new Downtown Dewey District, beginning with the Pocket Park.

The Park will be used as a multipurpose event outdoor area.

The grants are part of T-Mobile’s commitment to rural America.

The wireless company plans to provide 25 million dollars for community development projects in rural areas through 2026.

To date T-Mobile’s Hometown Grant Programs has given over $11 million to 250 communities across 43 states.


poteau won

Tuesday, 12 December 2023 19:37

Kemper Painting joins Poteau Chamber


The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce and a warm welcome to one their newest Chamber Members, Kemper Painting.

They offer Staining, Painting, and Pressure Washing for both Residential and Commercial properties.

You can reach them at 918-721-2221 or find them on Facebook as Kemper Painting LLC

The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Heidi M Couch PLLC as a new member of the Chamber

Located at 36957 US Hwy 271, Poteau, OK, United States, Oklahoma,(her office is where Angela Claiborn CPA was previously was located.)
Contact her for your book keeping and tax needs at 1 918-647-2320
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