OFFICE OF SENATOR JAY PAUL
Atoka, Bryan, Coal, Johnston & Marshall Counties
For Immediate Release: March 9, 2010
Sen. Jay Paul Gumm
Senate Okays Measure to Support Entrepreneurs
The Oklahoma Senate approved a measure Monday
that supporters say would be a critical component of the state’s
effort to support small businesses.
Senate Bill 1723 would establish an “Entrepreneur Ready Community”
program, helping communities find ways to encourage creative Oklahomans
to take their ideas and turn them into goods and services. Senator
Paul Gumm of Durant wrote the measure.
“The idea is widen the scope of traditional economic development
efforts,” the lawmaker said. “We all hear a lot about
big industrial recruits – and that is an important part of
creating jobs in our communities.
“Even so, we know how critically important small businesses
are to the state’s economy. This will direct critical efforts
– as a matter of policy and direction – toward those
individuals who have an idea but who need guidance creating a small
Gumm, the former executive director of a local chamber of commerce,
said one of the consistent criticisms of economic development efforts
is that it appears to focus efforts on new business recruitment
or expansion from outside Oklahoma into the state.
“The ‘Entrepreneur Ready Community’ bill puts
a focus on what I call ‘home-grown economic development’,”
he said. “Oklahoma has exceptional human resources in the
form of our people. There are creative Oklahomans out there today
who have ideas for great products or services, but who need help
turning those ideas into a businesses and job-creators.”
Under the bill, Oklahoma communities could earn the title of “Entrepreneur
Ready Community.” The lawmaker said the title would be important
both for growing those “home-grown” small businesses
and for attracting new industrial recruits.
“Few major employers are completely self-contained,”
Gumm said. “They require ancillary businesses to provide either
raw product to be turned into value-added goods or other support
goods and services for either their employees or operations.
“By sending the message that a community is a haven for ‘home-grown’
businesses, a community could become even more attractive for major
industrial recruits. That would create an environment in which job
creation truly self-perpetuates. The end-game is simple: a robust
local economy that also adds strength to our state’s economic
The lawmaker said some communities have already contacted his office
about becoming pilot programs under the bill and helping to enact
and implement the proposed law.
“We have a strong sense in Oklahoma that small business is
critical to our long-term economic health,” he said. “As
we look for ways to strengthen Oklahoma’s economy, there is
no doubt that small businesses are is the key to a brighter future.”
SB 1723 now moves to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Randy
Terrill, R-Moore, will be its sponsor.
more information contact:
Sen. Gumm: 405-521-5586