Darla Heller, development specialist with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, spoke to members of the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce, including Bob Wright, above, at the monthly Chamber Membership meeting held at Indian Capital Technology Center. Wright is the industrial coordinator at the technology center. Heller explained to the chamber members that the Department of Commerce has many programs designed to assist communities in attracting business and industry, and thus jobs. She noted that Sallisaw has already taken advantage of many of these programs. She encouraged business owners and community leaders to contact her about those programs, or any business-related problems they may have. Heller covers the 15-county area in northeastern Oklahoma. "I want to be your voice," Heller told the crowd. "My number one priority is rural Oklahoma." She said the Department of Commerce can lead businesses, whether new or old, in "the right direction," and the new department secretary, Larry Parman, is focusing on marketing Oklahoma to out-of-state businesses, hoping to attract them to locate in Oklahoma. Programs available, she said, include assisting with Community Development Block Grants, to helping businesses and industries access global markets. Heller may be contacted at 918-619-2482 or at darla_heller@OKcommerce.gov.
Chamber President Gary Winton reminded chamber members that the annual Kerr Lake Bassnanza fishing tournament will be held September 27 at Kerr Lake and offers $10,000 in prize money. For information on the tournament contact the chamber at 918-775-2558. Dr. Kathy Harrell from Carl Albert State College in Sallisaw, announced the college is sponsoring a Men's March, "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," to combat rape, sexual assault and gender violence. The walk will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. October 29 in downtown Sallisaw. For more information call 9108-776-0002. The Sallisaw Main Street organization will hold their Cruizin' 64 featuring Cool Cars and Hot Chili, on October 11 in downtown Sallisaw. The event includes a car show, burn out, cruise night, a chili cook-off, T-shirts, concessions a carnival and Sallisaw's Got Talent. For more information visit www.sallisawmainstreet.com. Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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