By Ashley Jones, TEDC Reporter
Ever since 1999, Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) has applied for the Bank of Oklahoma Foundation grant, and every year they have received it due to their ability to provide technical assistance (TA) to economically disadvantaged individuals and small businesses.
Near the end of 2022, TEDC received a $15,900 grant from the Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Foundation to support small business growth in Tulsa and surrounding areas.
As the Senior Vice President of BOK Financial, Gilbert Gerst manages community development banking which includes lending and investment activity across the entire corporate footprint which spans across seven states. Gerst also sits on the board of directors for TEDC.
“We like to partner ourselves with organizations that have a track record of getting things done, and if you look at the history of TEDC, they have the expertise and ability to make things happen,” Gerst said. “They have the heart and the infrastructure in place to positively impact those that need it the most in Tulsa, and make sure they have access to capital.”
Gerst says the contributions committee looks for pillars of support in grant recipients including economic development, affordable housing, health and welfare, and small business development.
“TEDC has historically provided capital and technical assistance to underserved small businesses,” said Bill Linsao, TEDC Director of Small Business Lending.
During the pandemic, TEDC was called upon by local and federal governments to support small businesses owners in Tulsa County. TEDC was asked to develop a creative solution to help stabilize and promote inclusive recovery among local small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19.
TEDC delivered. As a Community Development Financial Institution certified by the U.S.
Department of Treasury, TEDC funded or supported the funding of more than $65 million in loans during and after COVID.
“BOK is a long time partner of TEDC providing loan capital, grants, and talented leaders to serve on TEDC’s Board of Directors. We are grateful for the bank’s ongoing gifts of time, talent, and treasure to advance our mission,” said Rose Washington Jones, CEO of TEDC Creative Capital.
The BOK Foundation grant will support TEDC’s small business development programs and direct technical expertise in legal, accounting, and financial advisory services to help disadvantaged businesses. With access to courses, deep dives, coaching and mentorship, the programs will help equip businesses to become stronger, more resilient, and better prepared to weather future economic headwinds.
The provision of TA will be delivered both virtually and in person. In-person programs will be held at TEDC’s “Empowerment Suite” aka the “e.Suite” in north Tulsa, at the Forge Incubator in downtown Tulsa, and onsite at partner locations wherever participants are situated. Virtual programming will be delivered via a convenient platform like ZOOM or Teams and, in some instances, by phone.
About TEDC Creative Capital
TEDC Creative Capital (aka TEDC) is a community development financial institution (CDFI) providing progressive lending to promising start-up and growing businesses. TEDC builds equitable economic prosperity by helping small companies operate more successfully, create jobs, and advance communities! Loans range from $500 to $10 million.
Visit TEDCnet.com or call 918-585-8332 for more information on loan and entrepreneurial education programs! If you’re not a business owner but want to explore ownership, please contact TEDC! If you know someone who may need TEDC assistance, please share this story!
TEDC’s ongoing funding partners include the City of Tulsa (U.S. HUD CDBG), PartnerTulsa, Tulsa County, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the CDFI Fund of the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bank of Oklahoma, Chase, and GKFF.