Business leaders, an estimated 200 of them, gathered at the Capitol today to show support for legislation they believe is needed to improve Oklahoma’s business climate, especially for small businesses.
The annual event, hosted this year for the first time by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, is an opportunity for small businesses, state agencies and chambers of commerce from across the state to celebrate small business in Oklahoma. The event also provides those groups an opportunity to discuss needed improvements, build relationships and learn more about valuable resources that are available to small businesses in Oklahoma.
The group of business owners heard from Governor Fallin, Lt. Governor Lamb; Senate Pro Tempore Brian Bingman; Labor Commissioner Mark Costello; Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Commerce Secretary Dave Lopez, addressing various topics currently affecting small business in Oklahoma.
“Our state’s economy is driven by the large number of small businesses across Oklahoma. There are many issues that affect every business no matter the size, including health care, worker’s compensation and lawsuit reform. But there are also many issues specific to small business, and it is important legislators know what our small businesses are up against,” said Fred Morgan, president & CEO of The State Chamber, whose membership consists of more than 80 percent small business. “This event gives the small businesses across our state an opportunity to speak with a united voice and to let us know how we can help them create jobs and wealth in Oklahoma.”
Small business owner and State Chamber board member Chuck Mills discussed with the group the importance of workforce development and creating a first-class education and training system to ensure our youth are prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.
“Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce, so it is critical that we remind legislators of the importance of a top-notch K-20 education system that produces work-ready Oklahomans,” said Mills, owner of Mills Machine Company in Shawnee. “Our small businesses are poised to grow and create jobs, but you have to have a workforce in place to take those new jobs or all our efforts are wasted.”