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TEDC Tulsa Economic Development Corporation
Black Tulsa entrepreneurs attend Kezia Williams’ Black UpStart boot camp sponsored by Tulsa Economic Development Corporation and the George Kaiser Family Foundation on July 20, 2019. | Photo by Nehemiah D. Frank 

Small businesses and entrepreneurs in Tulsa will feel financial relief, thanks to a quarter-million-dollar JPMorgan Chase investment. The financial giant has dedicated $250,000 to the Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC), which supports small businesses and small business owners. The money will also support several TEDC entrepreneurship programs. 

Though the Covid-19 pandemic has caused economic crisis across the country, Tulsa has been hit especially hard. Small local businesses have lost customers as well as inventory since March 2020. Thanks to the generous gift from JP Morgan Chase, local businesses can return to providing services to Tulsans, as well as career opportunities for local workers, according to a TEDC press release. 

The grant will also support entrepreneurial programs in Tulsa. TEDC’s Small Business University encourages a new crop of young entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals. The corporation’s Franchising Opportunities Reinforced With Assistance Rewards Development, or TEDC FORWARD, focuses on expanding local businesses into franchises. The investment will also support The Sky’s The Limit, a program providing virtual coaching and mentorship opportunities for local Tulsa entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

JPMorgan Chase has provided more than $5 million in support for Oklahoma non-profit organizations since 2014. That includes a $2 million grant for students to engage in career development and educational opportunities, according to the release.

“JPMorgan Chase is proud of Oklahoma’s entrepreneurial spirit. This investment supports local businesses in a time of crisis,” said Ginger Kollmann. He’s the bank’s market leader in Tulsa and head of private banking in Oklahoma.  

Ryan Kirk works as Oklahoma region market executive for Middle Market Banking at JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking. “Working together, we can make sure that small-business owners, including those from our underserved communities, are able to provide for their employees, their customers and their families in this difficult time,” Kirk said. 

TEDC’s CEO, Rose Washington, expressed gratitude for the investment. She noted that Tulsa is a hub for young entrepreneurs and small business owners. “COVID-19 wreaked havoc on small enterprises, forcing many to pivot for survival. Critical resources must be made available to help save those who lack access. We are grateful to have Chase as a partner who shares our vision and believes in the economic prowess of Main Street.”

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...