Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ida Red owner named small business person of the year | Business in brief

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Ida Red owner named small business person of the year

Angelene Ripley Wright, owner of Ida Red General Stores in Tulsa, has been named Oklahoma Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Ida Red is a retail shop in Tulsa offering unique gifts, nostalgic treats and Oklahoma goods.

Ripley Wright was in Washington, D.C., to accept the award presented by SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman.

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

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

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She purchased the business with an SBA loan and was helped through the COVID-19 pandemic with two PPP (paycheck protection program) loans and a COVID-19 EIDL (economic injury disaster loan). She has doubled the employee count since buying the business.

Ida Red has supported numerous local charities in recent years including the Tulsa Area COVID-19 Response Fund, the Red Dirt Relief fund, the Tulsa Race Massacre Foundation and the Juneteenth Foundation, Food On The Move, Family & Children’s Services, and Iron Gate Tulsa. Ripley Wright was also named the Tulsa Chamber’s Small Business Person of the Year in 2023.

ONEOK reports earnings of $639M in Q1

Tulsa-based ONEOK reported net income of $639 million in the first quarter of this year, resulting in $1.09 per diluted share.

Results were driven primarily by higher natural gas liquids and natural gas processing volumes in the Rocky Mountain region, increased transportation services in the natural gas pipelines segment and contributions from the refined products and crude segment, partially offset by higher operating costs primarily due to planned asset maintenance, higher property insurance premiums and the growth of ONEOK’s operations, the company said.

“ONEOK generated solid results during the first quarter, supported by higher year-over-year volumes in the Rocky Mountain region and contributions from the refined products and crude segment,” said Pierce H. Norton II, ONEOK president and chief executive officer.

“The strength of our business, underscored by accelerating volumes and a positive synergy outlook, resulted in an increase to our 2024 financial guidance and provides significant momentum into 2025.

“The resiliency of our assets and employees was highlighted once again as we were able to quickly respond to winter weather during the first quarter,” Norton said. “We remain focused on integrating the Magellan assets and maximizing value for our stakeholders.”

Cherokee Nation invests up to $4M in proposed RSU STEM Center

The Cherokee Nation signed an agreement with Rogers State University committing up to $4 million to support construction of the proposed Center for Science and Technology on the RSU campus in Claremore.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner, RSU President Larry Rice, and Nick Harris, chairman of the RSU Foundation’s Board of Directors, signed the memorandum of understanding on the school’s campus.

The investment by the Cherokees represents the largest single gift in the history of the RSU foundation and begins an effort to secure private funding to support the construction of the facility, a news release said.

The proposed Center for Science and Technology will become the new home for RSU’s programs in science, engineering, mathematics and technology. The center will replace Loshbaugh Hall, which no longer meets the needs of the university’s STEM education programs. The center will feature about 52,000 square feet of lab, classroom and office space.

“Today’s agreement toward construction of a state-of-the-art STEM education facility will create new pathways for students to pursue careers in health and allied health fields and bring new opportunities for all students, including Cherokee citizens,” Hoskin said.

“Cherokee Nation has an unwavering commitment to the education and future of our youth, and the well-being of our communities. This collaboration will ensure students are well-prepared to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals in these critical areas as well as serve Cherokees pursuing degrees in nursing.”

TCI Manufacturing coming to MidAmerica Industrial Park

MidAmerica Industrial Park announced the establishment of its newest employer, TCI Manufacturing, a leading bulk material handling company headquartered in Walnut, Illinois, about 120 miles west of Chicago.

TCI Manufacturing specializes in fabricating equipment tailored for the quarry industry, as well as manufacturing and assembling equipment for the mining and aggregate sectors. A pre-existing, 45,000-square-foot facility owned by MidAmerica, will serve as a hub for production activities.

According to a news release issued by the company, “the new Pryor, Oklahoma facility will operate with the same rigorous quality standards for which TCI Manufacturing is known. The facility initially focuses on core products such as conveyors and portable material handling equipment.”

TCI will initially employ six to eight full-time employees with specialties in welding and fabrication, with the potential for expansion to 12-15 positions as operations grow. The manufacturing site also features a 4.5-acre laydown yard to facilitate storage and logistics.

“The addition of TCI Manufacturing to MidAmerica Industrial Park underscores our commitment to attracting and supporting employers of all sizes,” MidAmerica CEO David Stewart said.

“Our ongoing investments in infrastructure and assets, workforce development and community support make MidAmerica the ideal choice for companies seeking a competitive edge in today’s market.”

MidAmerica Industrial Park — located roughly between Pryor and Chouteau in Mayes County — is within 300 miles of 10 major metropolitan cities and has a next-day service capability to 23% of the U.S. population. It is the eighth-largest industrial park in the world.

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