All posts by OKSBDC Webmaster

Risk Management Resources


Risk Management (General)

Understanding Risk Management

How to Manage Risk in Your Small Business

What Should I Know About Risk Management


Risk Identification

Risks That Small Businesses Face

What OSHA Regulations Apply to Small Business?

Problem Investigation in High-Hazard Industry (academic article)


Risk Control (Including Disaster Recovery)

Disaster Safety

Ready Business

Fish Toss or Safety Training: You Decide: Risk-Management for the 21st Century

Are Auto Accidents Driving Your Losses?

Employee Risk Management: Reduce Your Workers’ Compensation Costs

Required 2009 OSHA Injury & Illness Recordkeeping Requirements

OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

OSHA Small Business Assistance: OSHA Benefits for Small Business

OSHA Small Business Assistance


Insurance for Small Businesses (General Information)

Small Business Insurance Essentials

Small Business Insurance Basics

Small Business Property Insurance

Insuring Your Business: Small Business Owner’s Guide to Insurance (A Book that Can Be Purchased for a Small Fee and Membership)

Business Insurance 101: What Types of Coverage Do You Need?

What Business Insurance Do I Need?

Elective and Required Types of Small Business Insurance

Do I Need Business Interruption Insurance?

How to Determine How Business Interruption Insurance Protects for Flood

Managing Contractual Insurance Requirements a Necessity

Property and Casualty (BOP) FAQ’s

Commercial Lines Insurance

Time to Review Your Business Insurance

Property Insurance Basics

Understanding General Liability Insurance

Quick Guide to Insurance

Choosing Your Specialty Insurance

Insurance Selection Toolkits


The Small Business Owner’s Policy

Business Owner’s Insurance Policy (BOP) – What is it?

What Does a Business Owner’s Policy Cover?


Managing Your Insurance Coverage and Making Claims

Ways to Lower Your Small Business Insurance Premiums

Will Insurance Costs Decrease Or Increase As My Company Grows?

Making A Business Insurance Claim

Understanding Commercial Property (from the Louisiana Citizens, the State’s Insurer-of-Last- Resort)

Business Insurance Checklist (Also Can Get Quotes at this Website)


Selecting/Evaluating Your Insurance Agent

How Good Is Your Insurance Agent?

What Is An Insurance Broker And How Many Do You Need?

Does One Insurance Agency Sell All Types Of Insurance?


Special Topics

AARA and A Green America: Understanding the Small Business Opportunity

Zurich North America Commercial Announces New Risk Retention Groups

Zurich Creates Two New Insurance Policies to Support Green House Gas Mitigation Technology


Useful Insurer Websites and Articles

Amerisafe Focuses On High-Hazard Comp

10 – Point Components Of A Safety Management Plan

Education and Training Webinars Focused On Risk Control from Travelers Insurance

Interactive Guide to Types of Insurance You Need From The Hartford


Helpful Associations’ and Governmental Homepages

Scan these home pages to find meetings, conferences, training sessions, articles, texts, webinars that might be of interest. Some are free and others have a charge.

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center

-There are numerous links here to help you develop a business continuity plan including a set of easy to follow videos developed in cooperation with the ULM Risk Management and Studies Center.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency

-FEMA is the agency charged with The National Preparedness Directorate (NPD). At this site you will find the online Course Catalog which provides “searchable, integrated information on courses provided or managed by FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), Emergency Management Institute (EMI), and National Training and Education Division (NTED)”. While it is disaster focused, it is not strictly “flood focused”.

Public Entity Risk Institute

-Geared primarily to public entities, this organization does also seek to provide risk management assistance to businesses.

-Go to their “Resource Library” and select “Small Business” as the Audience and you will find numerous articles, books and risk management checklists that might be of interest for a reasonable price. The PDF format is also available online.

The Insurance Information Institute

-This website has an abundance of information about insurance products, the insurance industry and issues such as toxic mold and hurricane preparedness related to insurance. Many of the sections related to small businesses are referenced above but the website is regularly updated so you might find something new each time you check it out.

The Risk and Insurance Management Society

-This Society is mostly geared to helping corporate enterprises. Some larger “small businesses” might find the many risk management resources and educational tools very useful.

The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America

-Geared primarily to their insurance agent/broker members, but there is useful information at the “Consumer Information” tab, primarily on how to select a good agent. -Also can find an agent from here.

The Business Continuity Institute: (London)

FAQ Disaster Assistance in Oklahoma

Fact Sheet Questions and Answers About State and Federal Disaster Assistance Available For Oklahoma

Q: Who is eligible to register for state and federal disaster assistance?
A: You may be eligible if you live in a federally designated county and incurred damage from severe storms, flooding and tornadoes May 18 through June 2. The six counties now designated for Individual Assistance are Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie.

Q: If I had damage from the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes May 18 through June 2 but live in a county that has not been designated for Individual Assistance, should I register anyway?
A: Yes. Homeowners and renters outside the six designated counties may report their damage. The damage reports will help OEM and FEMA ensure all impacted areas are identified and documented.

Q: What is Individual Assistance?
A: Individual Assistance may include:

  • Grants to help pay for temporary housing and home repairs.
  • Grants to help pay for personal property replacement or disaster-related necessary expenses—such as uninsured medical and dental costs, damaged vehicle replacement, lost work tools, and moving and storage fees related to the disaster.
  • Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Q: Isn’t an SBA disaster loan only for businesses?
A: No. SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes (including landlords) and private nonprofit organizations for disaster damage not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.

Q: I don’t think I can afford an SBA low-interest disaster loan. Should I fill out the SBA application anyway?
A: Yes. If you received an SBA application, it’s a good idea to fill it out and return it to SBA. If you don’t qualify for a loan, SBA may refer you for a FEMA grant to help replace disaster-damaged essential personal property such as damaged or destroyed major appliances.

Q: How do I register for disaster assistance?
A: There are three ways you can register for disaster assistance. Call 800-621-3362; TTY 800-462-7585; online, visit or go to via web-enabled phone. Users of 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Q: Can I register for assistance if I have insurance?
A: Yes. Even if you have insurance, you should apply. You may be eligible for disaster assistance for the uninsured and underinsured losses and damage.

Q: If I am a renter, can I get FEMA disaster assistance?
A: Yes. If you are a renter and your house was made unlivable by a disaster, you may be eligible for disaster grants for rental assistance and other serious disaster-related needs.

Q: If I am a renter, how do I use the temporary housing funds I receive?
A: FEMA leaves the rental choices to survivors. For example, you may use your rental assistance to rent an apartment, a house or a recreational vehicle (RV). RVs can include travel trailers or other prefabricated dwellings.

Q: When I register, do I qualify and receive payments from FEMA?
A: After you register, your completed application is reviewed, and an inspector may call to schedule an inspection at your damaged dwelling.

If you are eligible for assistance, FEMA’s Households and Individuals Program will send you a U.S. Treasury/state check or a direct deposit to your bank account if you signed up for it. Other types of assistance may be provided later, based on specific eligibility and need.

Q: If I receive FEMA assistance, could it reduce my Social Security or other benefits?
A: No. State and FEMA disaster assistance will not affect your Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, supplemental nutrition assistance or similar benefits you receive.

Q. Do I have to repay any Individual Assistance funds I receive for my recovery?
A. No. The funds are grants that do not have to be repaid.

Q: Do undocumented immigrants qualify for federal assistance?
A: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or a qualified alien to be eligible for FEMA assistance. However, assistance may be available to a household if someone registers on behalf of a minor child in the home who is a U.S. citizen or a qualified alien under 18.

Q: If I received a letter from FEMA with an ineligible determination, does that mean that I will not get any assistance?
A: Receiving such a letter does not necessarily mean that you are not eligible for disaster assistance, even when the letter states “ineligible” or “incomplete.” It can be an indication that further information is needed, or that your insurance claim needs to be settled first before disaster assistance can be granted.

Q: I need information on the status of my application, and I have a few questions about FEMA’s disaster programs. What should I do?
A:  Please call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) or go online at You can call as often as you like to get your questions answered. You can also ask about the location of disaster recovery centers, where you can meet face to face with disaster specialists.

For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click or visit the OEM site at The website has a link to a Rumor Control Page, which clarifies disaster-related rumors.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against emergencies and disasters. The department delivers service to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties through a network of more than 350 local emergency managers.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at and the FEMA Blog at

SBA is the federal government’s primary source of funding for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).

Getting Disaster Help From SBA


What You Need To Know

  • If you are a homeowner or renter, FEMA may refer you to SBA. SBA disaster loans are the primary source of money to pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.
  • SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations.
  • Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence.
  • Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
  • Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.
  • SBA offers low-interest working capital loans (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster.


What You Need To Do

  • Begin by registering with FEMA, if you haven’t already done so, call (800) 621-3362.
  • Homeowners and renters should submit their SBA disaster loan application, even if they are not sure if they will need or want a loan. If SBA cannot approve your application, in most cases they refer you to FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program for possible additional assistance.


Three Ways To Apply To SBA

After you register with FEMA

  • Apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at:
  • Apply in person at any Disaster Recovery Center and receive personal, one-on-one help from an SBA representative. For additional information or to find a location near you visit our Web site at: or call SBA at (800) 659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.
  • Apply by mail: complete a paper application and mail it to SBA at: 14925 Kingsport Rd., Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243.

Could You Survive a Disaster?

Given the following scenario, please answer the questions below.

Your building has been totally destroyed, you didn’t get anything out and you can’t go back in. For the purpose of these questions, the reason doesn’t matter.


  1. How long would it take to replace your building (or move to a new location), replace your critical equipment and reopen?
  2. With your building destroyed, your income stopped and given your answer to question 1, how long could you survive with the funds you have now?
  3. Do you know what insurance(s) you have, is it/are they enough to restart your business and how long would it take you to get those funds?
  4. Do you have pictures of your current facility, a complete inventory of equipment and copies of your insurance policies stored off site to facilitate your claim for damages?
  5. Do you have the names and contact information for the parties needed to rebuild your facility, replace your equipment and restart your business?
  6. Do you have a way to inform your customers and others who need to know what happened, and what do you tell them?
  7. What legal documents, vital records and special forms do you need to operate your business, and how soon could you replace them if destroyed?
  8. Do you have backups of your PC data stored off site, how long would it take you to get new hardware and do you know how to restore your data on new hardware?
  9. Do you have a written plan for how to recover from this or other disasters?
  10. Where do I go for help?

For the answer to Question 10, visit or call (580) 745-2877.

Business Continuity Planning

If your business is disrupted, it will cost you money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses mean reduced profits.
While Insurance is critical, it will not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. To help you survive a disaster and reopen as quickly as possible you need a business continuity plan. A properly written and practiced plan is essential.

Development of a business continuity plan includes four steps:

  • Conduct a Risk Analysis to determine your most likely disasters and how best to mitigate them, i.e. know what could happen to you and figure out how to lessen the impact.
  • Conduct a business impact analysis to identify and document time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them, i.e. figure out what you do and what is critical to do it.
  • Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption.
  • Conduct training for the business continuity team and testing and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan.

Finally, information technology (IT) includes many components such as networks, servers, desktop and laptop computers and wireless devices. The ability to run both office productivity and enterprise software is critical. Therefore, recovery strategies for information technology should be developed so technology can be restored in time to meet the needs of the business. Manual workarounds should be part of the IT plan so business can continue while computer systems are being restored.

Have a plan that meets your company’s needs and risks, practice the plan, keep plan updated, and prepare your IT by having data backuped off site.



Anthony Cambas Facilitates Opportunities for Oklahoma Small Business

Word is getting out about global opportunities for the small business owner. Word is…the markets are lucrative, and the process is less difficult than one might think. Anthony Cambas, Director of the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade and Development-SBDC, is one of the reasons that exporting goods and services is being simplified.

Cambas, a former U.S. Customs official, has almost 30 years of experience in international trade. His impressive credentials include export development and customs reform in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Anthony holds a Masters Degree in International Customs Law from the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies at the University of Canberra, Australia, and in 2014, was named the State Star for the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Network. Cambas’ resume also boasts a Fellowship of the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) . . . and, he’s multilingual.

The good news for Oklahoma small businesses is that Cambas’ expertise is close to home. Anthony has been the Director of the International Trade Center-SBDC at Oklahoma State University since 2012 and loves helping clients navigate through the process. “What I enjoy most about my job is helping my clients in the broad sense of the term. This may be through finding a new overseas buyer, ensuring that the shipping goes smoothly, and that they are paid timely.”

According to Cambas, education is key. “I especially enjoy helping clients understand how international trade compliance is a strategic business issue that leads to more profits and long term business opportunities, as well as helping avoid fines, penalties, and even worse.” That’s why you’ll see Cambas throughout the state, lecturing on international trade and customs matters, as he did during the Small Business International Trade Symposium, held at OSU-OKC in Oklahoma City in December.

For more information and questions about international trade resources and opportunities, contact Anthony Cambas at 405.744.7128 or For other business services, contact the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Network office at 580.745.2877 or visit

OKSBDC Success Story: AAA Insurance

If you’re a business owner, you know that repeat customers are always a good sign. So it goes with the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center. We love it when our previous clients use our services again!

Such is the case with Donna Powell, owner of AAA Insurance in Durant, Oklahoma. Powell first contacted the OKSBDC in 1998 to get assistance with the creation of a business plan for her first company, Texoma Business Staffing. Eighteen years later, with a well established company to her credit, Powell began formulating plans for AAA Insurance, her second entrepreneurial opportunity. “With the tools and resources I received from the OKSBDC through my previous business, I knew that I could do most of the information on my own,” explains Donna.

With her second business plan well underway, Powell sought specific demographic information from Ahmad El-katib, OKSBDC advisor for market research and geographic information systems (GIS). “I was able to do a competitive analysis and provide a list of all the insurance agencies in the area,” says Ahmad.

Donna also acquired consumer spending data about home, auto, and life insurance. “Without the tools provided by the Small Business Development Center of Oklahoma, I don’t feel that I would have had the confidence to start a(n) (insurance) business in the area,” remarks Powell.

Perhaps the ancient proverb sums up the services of the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center best…”Give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

If you would like more information or have questions about OKSBDC services, call 580.745.2877 to schedule an appointment. Video

Speaking Your Language For Small Business

Communication is essential in every aspect of life. Business services are no exception. That’s why the leadership of the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center has focused on creating a diversified staff that will better meet the needs of its clientele. “We provide support services for entrepreneurs and small business owners,” says Bill Carter, OKSBDC State Director, “and we must change with the growing needs of our clients to be effective.”

Within the OKSBDC state network, over eight different languages are currently represented. Among them are Spanish, French, Portuguese, and native languages from Africa and Ethiopia. According to Tiffany Newton, an OKSBDC advisor and native of Bogota, Columbia, her diversity has proven to be a valuable tool.”

Of course, speaking the native language of Spanish clients is very helpful, for communication purposes, but there’s also a cultural advantage, that has the potential to benefit every business owner. “For example,” Newton continues, “if I have a client who wants to explore international trade in South America, I have first-hand knowledge of social trends, cultural etiquettes, and marketing opportunities that can’t always be found through internet research.”

Anthony Cambas, Director of the OSU International Trade Center- SBDC, has a similar view when describing the multi-cultural environment in the Stillwater office. “We offer tremendous international trade opportunities to our clients by using our connections, insights, and experiences and link them to a world where 95% of possible consumers are located outside the USA. As a team, we think independently and draw deeply from our individual experiences and perspectives but combine our efforts to better serve our clients. Our clients have international trade questions and we have international trade solutions!”

For more information and questions about OKSBDC services or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Network office at 580.745.2877 or visit

OKSBDC Sponsors International Trade Symposium for Small Businesses

Global opportunity was the topic of conversation at this month’s International Trade Symposium held on the OSU-Oklahoma City Campus and sponsored by Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (OKSBDC). Peter A. Quinter, Chair of the Customs and International Trade Law Group, was the keynote speaker for the event. Over 38 small businesses throughout the area gained valuable knowledge about the resources and opportunities available for companies who want to expand their markets globally. Mr. Quinter discussed regulations for importing and exporting, intellectual property rights, and the proper way to deal with government agencies that regulate international trade.


According to Quinter, “Small businesses export and import more than big companies do. Using the SBDCs in the State of Oklahoma is very effective for companies to export and import successfully in compliance with all laws and regulations.” In addition to Quinter’s expertise, those in attendance had question and answer opportunities from a panel which included Chuck Mills, President of Mills Machine Company, Inc., Jesse Garcia, Global Project Specialist from the Department of Commerce, and Anthony Cambas, Director of the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade and Development, OKSBDC. According to Cambas, the symposium was a valuable opportunity to spread the word about global markets. “The International Trade Symposium was a great event that brought together an interesting mix of export assistance service providers, partner organizations, entrepreneurs, and small and medium sized companies from various parts of the state, says Cambas. “Oklahoma’s small and medium sized businesses have limitless opportunities internationally as there is a rising middle class in many parts of the world and approximately 96% of possible consumers are found outside the United States. The International Trade Center- Small Business Development Center at Oklahoma State University is here to help Oklahoma’s small businesses tap into those opportunities.”

For more information and questions about international trade resources and opportunities, contact Anthony Cambas at 405.744.7128 or For other business services, contact the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Network office at 580.745.2877 or visit


OKSBDC Success Story: Blue River Valley Winery


Tucked away on a hillside in the small town of Armstrong Oklahoma sits a quaint little shop where the wine flows and the conversation is easy. Blue River Valley Winery, which overlooks its picturesque namesake, is a dream come true for Diane and Hilary Dean. The small boutique winery “was a year in the making,” says Diane, who credits OKSBDC Marketing Consultant, Ahmad El-katib, with much of the progress. “With the data that we were provided by the OKSBDC, we were able to get financing through the USDA of Oklahoma,” which was used to build their current facilities. Co-owner and husband, Hilary, agrees that the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center was a valuable resource. “They helped us build a business plan and do research to find the demographics to see if we actually had a marketable venue in the Durant, (Oklahoma) area.

“I love helping Oklahoma businesses,” remarks El-Katib. “The GIS tools that I use are very helpful to entrepreneurs like Diane and Hilary. They answer a lot of questions about demographics, location and competitors, and that ultimately eliminates some risks.” In addition to market research, the Deans used other no- cost services available through the OKSBDC. “They were unbelievably helpful,” Diane states. “All of our needs have been met.”

A ribbon cutting was held in early December 2015 for Blue River Valley Winery, which specializes in fruit wines. Inside this small boutique, patrons will find a wine list that includes Rio Rosa, Tickle Me Peach, Blue River Bliss, and more. For a complete list of wines and services, click here.


For more information and questions about OKSBDC services or to schedule an appointment, contact Ahmad El-katib at 580.745.2954 or

See Video.

OKSBDC Advisory Board Meets in Oklahoma City for Fall Meeting

The Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Advisory Board member met recently at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City for a network update and business case study on impact to a second stage business.

Welcome by Board Chair and Southeastern Oklahoma State University President Sean Burrage, the group was provided a program update by Dr. Bill Carter, State Director. A highlight of the meeting included a business brief from CEO/President Brad Lahman of Boxel Manuafacturing in Caney, Oklahoma. Mr. Lahman, along with an OKSBDC panel, discussed the history of business services provided for the Oklahoma company that manufactures livestock exposition products and feeding systems. According to Lahman, the OKSBDC “gave me access to business knowledge.”


Barbara Bonner, OKSBDC Center Director for Durant, Oklahoma, was instrumental in the business services. “The Oklahoma Small Business Development Center is (now) able to consult with Brad about his newest product line, as well as his existing manufacturing operation. With our assistance, he has goals for expansion and has developed management tools and skills to strategically plan growth.”

The Advisory Board Meeting was followed by a reception sponsored by the OKSBDC, Enid Regional Development Alliance, and Stock Exchange Bank in Woodward, OK.

The meeting was well attended by the board which includes the following members: Ms. Dottie Overal, Small Business Adminstration/Oklahoma City; Pam Walker, Small Business Administration/Oklahoma City; President Sean Burrage, Southeastern Oklahoma State University/Durant; Dr. Larry Minks, Southeastern Oklahoma State University/Ardmore; Dr. David Henneberry, International Studies & Outreach-OSU/Stillwater; Dwight Hughes, High Plains Technology Center/Woodward; Adam Leaming, University Center/Ponca City; Senator Susan Paddack, Ada; Brian Campbell, Solara Holdings/Chickasaw Nation, Southlake, TX; Brent Kisling, Enid Regional Development Alliance/Enid; James Dalton, Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management/Durant; Mike Fuhr, The Nature Conservancy/Tulsa; Eric Miller, Port of Muskogee/Muskogee; Greg Phillips, State Farm Insurance/Durant; Dennis Bradford, Genesis Group/Oklahoma City; Jessica Pfau, Shiloh Morning Inn/Ardmore; Xavier Neira, Manhattan Construction Company/Oklahoma City; Mark Stansberry, The GTD Group/Edmond; Bruce Benbrook, Stock Exchange Bank/Woodward; Kelly Nemecek, McClain Bank/Purcell; Mike Jackson, The State Chamber/Oklahoma City; Thomas Lewis, Congressman Tom Cole’s Field Rep; Shawna McWaters-Khalousi, Division Head of Agriculture Technologies- OSU/OKC; John Furstenwerth, Furstenwerth Consulting; Dr. Robert Taylor, Director of New Product Development Center/OSU; Stan Greil, Vice President for Workforce Development, Rose State College; John Veal, Deputy District Director/SBA; Jim Shideler, Coordinator-Global Contacts Division of International Studies/OSU.

OKSBDC services are provided as part of a federal, state, and local economic development partnership. OKSBDC results for Oklahoma include successful business start-ups, stronger small businesses, increased business capitalization, and increased private sector job growth. OKSBDC’s goal is a stronger and more sustainable Oklahoma economy. Business owners in any of Oklahoma’s 77 counties can access the 16 statewide locations to receive business advising, training, and technical assistance on a broad range of business issues including capitalization, government contracting, and other operational challenges.

For more information and questions about OKSBDC services or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Network office at 580.745.2877 or visit

OKSBDC Hosts All Staff Retreat


The Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (OKSBDC) held its 2015 Fall Staff Retreat at Lake Murray State Lodge in Ardmore, OK. The three day event focused on team building, as well as specialized services such as restaurant consulting, market research and exporting. The staff also observed the development of advisement skills utilizing PeerSpectives, a high value approach for counseling Stage II Entrepreneurs.


Larry Siebert Named OKSBDC State Star

Congratulations to Larry Siebert, OKSBDC Associate Business Development Specialist at UCO – SBDC, for being chosen as OKSBDC’s 2015 State Star! “Larry’s expertise in retail management, pricing strategy, logistics, operations, loss prevention, and merchandising has translated into great value for his SBDC clients” stated Bill Carter, OKSBDC State Director. (Siebert, left, pictured with Bill Carter)
More on Larry Siebert…


Barbara Bonner Named Center Director

OKSBDC State Director Bill Carter is pleased to announce the promotion of Barbara Bonner to Southeastern Center Director.

Barbara, formerly an Associate Business Development Specialist, will be providing oversight to the Southeastern Center’s business advisors and region ensuring quality business advising and significant client value for new entrepreneurs as well as existing small business owners to help them start and grow their enterprises.

Bonner stated, “I look forward to our center expanding its reach and effectiveness and working with businesses in our region as we now serve all of Southern Oklahoma from the Southeastern Center. We have some of the highest quality services and tools available to the business community and our staff is trained to assist small businesses in all aspects of their operations.”

Read more about this article here.


OKSBDC leaders attended a PeerSpectives Conference in August which was held in Michigan.

PeerSpectives is an innovative peer- to-peer learning tool for CEOs, using a proven roundtable format that focuses on sharing experiences instead of giving advice. (Pictured from left to right, Michele Campbell, Bill Carter, Sharon Nichols, Dave Williams, Barbara Bonner, and Anthony Cambas.

Advisors Join OKSBDC Roster


New business advisors joining the OKSBDC network are (from left) Tiffany Newton, Mark Ragel, and Jessica Ervin.

OCAST Forum held at SOSU

Recently, representatives from all over the state gathered at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma to collaborate on providing better opportunities for a stronger Southeastern Oklahoma. Those in attendance focused on economic development opportunities, workforce issues and community involvement. The OKSBDC was proud to help sponsor this event.


President Sean Burrage of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, provided the opening remarks during the recent OCAST Forum. The OKSBDC was proud to help sponsor the event.


Dr. William Carter, State Director of The Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, discussed the positive impact small businesses play in the economic growth of Oklahoma. Dr. Carter noted the no-cost services provided by the organization, including market research, new media services, business planning and more.

Small Business International Trade Symposium

Tuesday, December 2, 9am-12pm
OSU-Oklahoma City Campus


New Partnership formed with OSU-New Product Development Center (NPDC).

Oklahoma inventors and entrepreneurs now have a valuable resource for developing ideas, thanks to a recent partnership between the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (OKSBDC), recognized for its confidential, high-quality, no-cost entrepreneurial and small business management advising, and the New Product development Center (NPDC) on Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus. The collaboration, known as OKSBDC-Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC), provides information and technical expertise for individuals and small businesses with ideas ground in technology advancements. Dana Fisher, new director for the CTC, brings over 25 years experience to the position. “The Center for Technology Commercialization represents a unique opportunity for inventors as well as emerging and established entrepreneurs to take advantage of engineering services to develop their products in concert with business advisory assistance to take their ideas to market,” Fisher said. For more information, contact the OKSBDC-CTC, located at 111 Engineering North on the OSU campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma or call Dana Fisher, Center Director at 405.744.1634. Additional nformation can be found at

OKSBDC Success Story:


When the concept of a martial arts school began to form in the minds of Eric Harris, Danny Harris, and Grand Master Jin Young Kim, they new it would take more than physical strength to make their dream a reality. They need a plan. And, with their education, skill, and managerial experience, they had one. But was it good enough? That’s when OKSBDC business specialist, Larry Siebert, was contacted to help make a good plan even better.

With valuable resources and skills at his disposal, Larry produced an unbiased review of the industry outlook for Dragon Kim’s Taekwondo and Finess Center. Mr. Siebert reviewed the business plan, asked invaluable questions, and helped close the gaps in the planning process. According to owner Danny Harris, the unbiased, third-party critique of his business plan was crucial. “The thing I found most valuable (from Larry) was just the candor for what our business plan was.”

After a year of economic and financial planning, a location was chosen for the business. Once again, Mr. Siebert and the OKSBDC provided assistance with demographic services. “Duraing this time, my goal as a business specialist was to provide the Harris family with timely industry data sets with which they could benchmark and model their business plan projections,” says Siebert. “Along with that planning process, I strived to keep them appraised of all of the other partnerships, resources, and services that the Oklahoma Small Business Development Centers offered.”


For more information and questions about OKSBDC services or to schedule an appointment, contact Larry Siebert at 405.216.2023 or

Sharon Nichols Named New OKSBDC
Assistant State Director

For over fifteen years, Sharon Nichols has been passionate about helping small business owners succeed. Whether a client is looking to buy, start, or expand a business, Sharon’s success is reflected in the economic impact felt by the client, his employees and families, and the communities.


Sharon received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and an MBA from Northeastern State University. She holds certifications with the National Development Council as an Economic Development Finance Professional, Technology Commercialization Certification, PHR Certification (Professional Human Resources) through the HR Certification Institute and a QuickBooks ProAdvisor Certification.

Nichols has served the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center for four years, two of which were in the capacity of Regional Director for Northeast Oklahoma before recently taking on the role of Assistant State Director, Program Performance. “I am honored to be given this opportunity to serve as the Assistant State Director for Program Performance as the Oklahoma SBDC moves forward, stated Nichols. “We are gearing up and preparing Oklahoma’s SBDC to go to the next level.”


OKSBDC Conducts Workshop in Enid

OKSBD Senior Consultant Dave Williams conducted a Continuity Planning Workshop in Enid recently. The event was sponsored by The Enid Regional Development Alliance, Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Autry Technology Center and the OKSBDC. Williams offers disaster training and preparation for small businesses. For more information, contact Dave Williams at 512.393.4551 or

OKSBDC Sponsors International Trade Symposium For Small Businesses

DURANT, OK – December 14, 2015

Global opportunity was the topic of conversation at this month’s International Trade Symposium held on the OSU-Oklahoma City Campus and sponsored by Oklahoma Small Business Development Center. OKSBDC State Director, Bill Carter, reflected on the importance of the event. “Small businesses in Oklahoma can easily reach markets overseas for their goods and services by using the guidance of experienced business consultants. The International Trade Symposium was a valuable tool to help us get the word out about these markets.”