Ponca City Development Authority WEEKLY UPDATE     
February 13, 2015

A WEEK OF LOVE...we told you last week about the heartbreak of having a site visit planned and then getting stood-ed-ed up. This week was much better. Expansions were the name of the game with three new ones hitting the boards. There is unquestionably pain from the oil price retreat but remember that over 2/3 of the Ponca City economy is not in oil. The oil thing, (economists lingo...sorry) has helped ease the workforce shortage somewhat although we spent a lot of time this week with companies needing workers. As you have heard us thrash about in the past, workforce is not just a numbers game. It's an alignment question. Not everyone can be the "Director of Wonderful Things," not everyone has the qualifications, and not everyone wants to do it. Matching the right people with the right job is the three point shot in today's economy. There was a lot of follow-up to the expansion questions above, not to mention follow-up to a lot that was going on in January. This was everything from recruitment activity with a couple of new projects, to help PCDA was trying to provide (and for the record, we are here to help) to doing coordination with one new start-up that is both very promising, very real and has very real needs in which PCDA can play a role.  



Tues, Feb 24: Business Loans 101 at Pioneer Tech.  11:30-1:30  w/lunch Call Diane to register, 718-4222

Tues, Feb 24: Business After Hours at Osage Casino
- All Ponca City Chamber Members Welcome

Fri, Feb 27: Ponca Politics in Commission Chambers Noon to 1:00  

Wed, Mar 4th: Managing Effective Meetings Workshop at PTech:  1:45 to 1:45 pm

Thur. Mar 5th: "Come and See" the Contractors Plan Room at Pioneer Tech; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. More information next week or call 580.762.8336 now  

A calendar with the date 15 circled asking Are You Ready to illustrate being prepared or a state of readiness for an important event, appointment or deadline such as tax day TAXING ISSUES...so a blog called "24/7 Wall Street" took a look at an Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy study of the ten worst states when it comes to state and local taxes. Their focus was the percentage of income that the average American (60% of Americans) paid for state and local taxes where they lived. You might be surprised. Here are the state's ranked from tenth worst to the absolute worst for the average American in terms of state and local taxes: 10) Indiana; 9) Kansas; 8) Arizona; 7) Tennessee; 6) Pennsylvania; 5) Illinois; 4) South Dakota; 3) Texas (you read right); 2) Florida; 1) Washington. "But, but, but-but-but" you say, "Texas has no state income tax, how can that be?" You're right. In fact, none of the top four worst states for taxes on this list charges a state income tax. First, however, let us take some comfort that Oklahoma is not on the list. Then we have to ask ourselves the big question, "If they are not paying income taxes, how can South Dakota, Texas, Florida and Washington be the worst for the average American?" Property taxes, sales taxes on just about everything, fees for just about everything, the list goes on. The burden is even worse if you are an American in the lower 20% of earners. The point, of course, is that all states have responsibilities and they are going to get the money they need to provide the services their citizens demand one way or another. Credit Texas for the marketing angle, however (we used to call it "spin"). The number of people shocked by this report is long.  

TOP TEN SMALL CITIES FOR WIFI...While we are on the subject of studies and reports, a recent study released way back on February 5, 2015, named the "Top Ten Small Cities Ahead of the Curve." This report listed the top ten cities that are making WiFi available to residents for free, nada, bop-kiss, zilch, zero. There is one city on the list that is unique and ahead of all of the others listed on this already exclusive list. Before we tell you about our winner, let's give credit to the runners up (for the record, the report just listed the cities, they did not pick a winner. PCDA just thinks they should because of the glaring difference). The other cities are Arcata, CA; Amherst, MA; Burlington, VT; Fenton, MI; Marion, IL; Newton, NC; Peachtree, GA; Powell, OH and Rockport, MD. Cool for all cities. Here's the kicker. The study lauded all of them for having WiFi available in certain areas of town. Only one on the list of the top ten cities had it everywhere. We'll give you a hint: the initials are PCM, which, of course, stands for "Ponca City 'Murica." The beauty of this list is that it is someone else saying this, and not just the typical propaganda you read in this newsletter.

JANUARY ACTIVITY...It's time, once again, to get those spreadsheets out! This happy time of the month comes courtesy of the PCDA Board of Trustees (may they be everyone's Valentines) who heard the reports from January yesterday at the regular monthly meeting of said board. In January, PCDA knocked on 19 new doors. There were also a total of 129 meets, good talks, etc. held with existing Ponca City companies. Lest we forget, eight consultants were pounced upon, mostly about the Sykes building. We joined our partners 28 times in the fellowship of job creation. Finally, even though guv'ment is a plural noun, we counted 33 visits with various, much beloved representatives of local, state and federal guv'ment last month. The total project count as of yesterday was 15 open projects, three leads being pursued making for a total of 595 potential jobs. 



As some of you may have seen in the Chamber E-mail Blast in the last few weeks, there is a new Chamber organization - Ponca's Young Employees (PYE). This group's goal is to provide networking and professional development opportunities for Chamber employees between the ages of 21-40. Last night, PYE had their kickoff event with great success!  There were at least 60 people in attendance representing 25 companies. RCB Bank sponsored finger foods and Spanky's Pub was exceedingly accommodating, and we appreciate both. This group is a great asset for our young workforce efforts and we hope it will help in attracting and retaining our young talent.  If you know of any young employees who would like to join or be emailed about future events, please email Sarah at slinn@goponca.com and she will get you on the list!   And as always, encourage those young (and old and middle-aged and everyone in between) employees to consider our community for their next home, and have them check out www.poncaworks.com for job opportunities.


                            Ponca City has jobs.  Now we just need you.   
In Ponca City this week......

PCDA Staff this week.....

  It doesn't look like it right now, but 10 new houses   are in the works at Highland and Hazel Street.  Stay   tuned as the houses start to really look like, well, homes.
PCDA Staff attended SBA Lenders/Lending Event in Oklahoma City this past week.  Stay tuned for more info on an upcoming Ponca City lenders event for Small Business Month on April 30th, 2015.