City Bolsters Small Business with "Bridge" Event

Small business owners got the opportunity to train and network at Tuesday's "BRIDGE" Event. The city's Human Rights Department sponsors the event, and it is in its seventh year."It helps match up with the city of Tulsa and all of our needs, matches up with small business," said Mayor Dewey Bartlett."BRIDGE" means Building Resources in Developing and Growing Enterprises.The event provides training and matchmaking sessions between small businesses and bigger businesses that have more economic opportunities-- including city contracts. There are between 130 and 140 BRIDGE-certified small businesses in Tulsa. They must meet the size standard criteria set forth in the Small Business Act and Department of Transportation criteria for all small businesses classified as construction. The event held multiple 15-minute matchmaking sessions pairing small business owners with larger companies for networking."We do have a lot of small businesses that just need an extra job or two," said Vanessa Young with the city's Human Rights Department.Channel 8 visited C&C Services and Supplies in Broken Arrow. Part-owner Connie Bogard took part in the event, hoping to expand her business across the metro."The BRIDGE program, it's been a blessing," Bogard said.Mayor Bartlett said about 75 percent of businesses in Tulsa are small business.You may visit the city's BRIDGE page online for more information about the certification process.