Weekly Update May 22, 2020

Forward Together: Ponca City Development Authority
ARE WE THERE YET???... Somewhere between the “Everything is back to normal” crowd and the “No one gets to leave their house until we have a vaccine” crowd is a workable middle. As we have seen throughout Ponca City and the rest of the U.S., restricting people to their homes is only going to last so long. It is really not a question of political will (or political party), it’s about which sciences to pay attention to. There is medical science and there is behavioral science to name just two. The focus of PCDA has been on a third science, the “dismal science” as economics has been called since the 19 th century. What we know so far is that there will be a general tweaking of supply chains but it is unlikely that it will be as major as some pundits, who do not realize how deep the roots have grown, have predicted. There will be a strong emphasis on automation, more touchless everything, a need to have PPE on hand and “resiliency” plans in place. Workforce training issues and the need for agile, quick workforce training and adaptation will become even more important (and Oklahoma and Ponca City have a unique tool in the Career Tech system for that). Speaking of workers, there will be fewer employees per factory areas as social distancing will not go away completely for the foreseeable future….even when a vaccine for Big Rona is found.

It is also worth noting that the pandemic has strengthened the need for stronger partnerships between government and industry. Virtually everyone, even the most free market conservative, looked immediately towards Washington DC for assistance when the pandemic hit. Then there is the vital message of community and how this is emerging as a game changer for economic development in the (hopefully) soon to be aftermath of the pandemic. The economy of Ponca City, and economic development as a way of life, will become even more of a team sport moving forward. A site, a building, even X number of people with a given skill will not close a deal. Deals will be closed by having this, yes, but also an involved community: visible, helpful, coordinated and ready. One can argue all day long about whether or not Ponca City is a leader already in this respect, whether we are in the middle of the pack or if we are playing catch up. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we can get there from here.
BUSINESS INFORMATION ON COVID-19 … Living on the home page of the PCDA website under the banner of “Forward Together” COVID-19 Business Recovery Resources” is a library of information for businesses. There are the two videos produced by PCDA on hometown businesses and essential workers (may they all be granted herd immunity). There is the “Open Up Oklahoma” Plan . The application and instructions for PPP loan forgiveness lives there too and, please note: a business must apply for loan forgiveness, it will not be given automatically.

OSHA guidelines for a safe workplace in the COVID-19 world are there along with a rapid and local COVID-19 test option for employers who want to get or keep valuable employees on the job. You will also find CARES Act information and more. Just visit and click on the “Forward Together” button on the left side of the home page.
SUPPLY CHAINS..... on our mind. Meeting with and reaching out to our local manufacturers, staff knows there are issues manifesting around supply chains that are far reaching and detrimental. Think toilet paper and lysol but substitute steel, plastic and bulk cleaning supplies. Local manufacturers are weeks if not months away from knowing what the “next new” looks like for their industries.

Many are in the crouched position waiting for the starting pistol to fire. When asked about their future, they simply don’t know. For many its one day at a time with positive determination, staying strong and keeping their business healthy. As we explore the "next new", we thank all the businesses and manufacturers continuing to put out their product, work with their suppliers and their customers to make the "next new" the "new normal".

RE-OPENING.... .looks a lot different than the last couple of months working or waiting at home. Find more thoughts on the "new next" at the Ponca Works blog... . as we move Forward Together.
It's not too late! Fill out your 2020 Census form now.
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Monday, May 25 Memorial Day City Central Closed
Remembering those who died in active military service.
Thank you for your service.

May 26 thru June 26 // Grab & Go Meals for students //High School & White Eagle
See Flier Below for Information.

Friday, May 29 // Business Startup Webinar//Oklahoma SBDC
9 to 11 AM
See Flier Below for Information.

May Business after Hours Cancelled
Thank you to First National Bank of Oklahoma the May Sponsor.
They will host again in May 2021.

Thursday, June 4 // Small Business Pitch-Off // City Central
Due date for small business plans is Tuesday, May 26th. Email to to be entered in the Pitch-off.
Find all the information in flyer below.

Tues, June 23 // Business After Hours// Ody's & Custom Mechanical Equipment
Support your local small businesses by using curbside pickup, delivery options
and purchasing gift cards from local merchants.

Wed, June 24 // HR Handbooks// Ponca Chamber Lunch & Learn
11:30 to 1:30 pm at Pioneer Tech, Seminar Center East.
$10 includes catered lunch. Register @580.765.4400
Workshop for creating a HR Handbook tailored for your business.

Identifying & Finding Your Customer
Thursday, June 18 11:30 to 1:00 PM

Every business needs customers. Learn how to identify what your "best" customer looks like and where to find them. Using free resources, available to anyone in the community. Bring your best customer criteria with you to this virtual session.

Email or call 580-761-3028 to sign up for this program.

Thursday, June 18 11:30 to 1:00
More Information