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  • Cathy O’Connor

Business owners tap resources for growth

Next week, 17 local small business owners will “graduate” from a program designed to help their businesses grow. Started in 2020, the Real Deal Collective is a six-month executive growth program that fosters collaboration and innovation to help business owners plan, access capital and find an influential network of resources to address barriers that cause businesses to get stuck.

The executives represent 17 central Oklahoma businesses: Andie Harms of Dedicated Logistics Solutions; Brittani Hunter of Spiked Coffee; Chelsey Cobbs of Salt and Water; Courtney Strickland of Belle Books Boutique & More; Dana Scott and Erica Smith of The Social Club; Joseph Conerly of Old School Bagel Café; Lauren Warkentine of William & Lauren; MacKenzie Britt of Archer Real Estate; Marcus Ude of Universal Development Enterprise; Margaret Peterson of The Oil Tree; Molly Hall of The Hall’s Kitchen; Rose Taylor of P3 Accounting LLC/Redbud Advisors; Stacy Johnson of LUXIERE; Stephen Nelson of Stephen and Staci; Thuan Nguyen of THN Insurance Solutions; Valentina Gutierrez of VGM Enterprises; and Zach Pate of Champion Designs & Systems.

Participants attended monthly classes and discussions, developed an individualized growth plan, received training, and gained authentic and focused advice from experienced business owners. Sessions covered finances, marketing, sales, operations and leadership, and each participant finished with a succinct, actionable three-year strategic growth plan.

The Real Deal is presented by Mettise Group with support from Inside-Track Resources, a 501(c)3. Sponsors of the Real Deal include The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City; Anglin Public Relations; Arvest Bank; First Security Bank; Greater Oklahoma City Chamber; Oklahoma City Innovation District; Resolution Legal Group; Robison Gary Johnson & Associates PLLC; and S Design Inc.

The Alliance is a sponsor of The Real Deal because of our commitment to help small business owners in Oklahoma City. Successful small businesses create jobs, employ the majority of Oklahomans and create successful communities and economies. Over the past two years, we’ve gained more insight into the unique support they need. The Real Deal is a resource that makes a significant impact, especially for the minority and female participation, demographics the Real Deal makes special effort to recruit.

The Real Deal data speaks for itself: Owners who participate in the training have seen increased revenue, increased job creation, and have secured new capital.


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