TULSA - An incubator for entrepreneurial enterprises in downtown Tulsa has a powerful new tool in its belt -- it can now offer its tenants exemption from state business income taxes for up to ten years.
The Forge was begun in 2009 with the help of the Tulsa Regional Chamber and Tulsa Young Professionals.
It moved into its current location at 125 West 3rd Street in September of 2o12.
It offers a number of services designed to help start new businesses that have a high growth potential, especially those with an emphasis on technology and information.
As of Thursday, The Forge is accredited by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce as a certified small business incubator.
That makes its tenants exempt from state business income tax for up to five years.
Businesses that do 75% or more of their gross sales with out of state buyers, or buyers that re-sell products out-of-state, qualify for another five-year state business income tax exemption.
According to Jessica Flint, Project Manager, Entrepreneurship, the Forge has contributed more than $1.5 million to the Tulsa-area economy through the wages, goods, and services produced by its tenants.
Several businesses have outgrown the space and moved on, which is the goal of the business incubator.
"Switchgear is a recruiting company in Tulsa," Flint told KRMG. They were one of the original tenants of The Forge.
"They actually have 10 employees now. They just got a new space in downtown Tulsa, they're still here, they're growing."
In fact, their website shows they also have an office open in Houston.
A current tenant, Cole Cunningham of Sapien Brands, is taking advantage of some of the low-cost office space offered by The Forge.
His company helps other businesses develop and execute branding design and strategy.
He told KRMG The Forge has given him a real leg up in getting his business running.
"It's a beautiful facility, and we really enjoy the benefits of that, such as the shared conference room. But more largely, its the resources behind The Forge. There's some really great people, and leadership, and resources that have allowed us to tap professionals when we need advice, whether it be business, or legal, or accounting. So it's really nice to have those people with a genuine interest in helping the tenants here."
To learn more about the resources offered by The Forge, visit their website.