Local businesses flavor the neighborhood, provide jobs and often can be an outlet for creative expression.
Businesses connect with their neighborhood with block parties, art events and social media such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Entrepreneurs and small businesses can even bring life back into a neighborhood.
“You think about the reopening of the Plaza Theatre and how that revitalized the neighborhood,” Scott Meacham said. “Jobs and economic activity are what really revitalize a neighborhood.”
What they're saying
“No matter what you do, it's about
Meacham is president and CEO of i2E, which helps start new businesses in Oklahoma. i2E provides advisory services and startup capital for new companies.
Meacham said he's noticed business growth in Oklahoma City since 2002, following a slight recession after 9/11. Oklahoma City has been on a growth trajectory since then.
“The city had some pretty visionary investments in infrastructure and neighborhoods, where the city had made strategic investments along with developers,” he said. “That laid a foundation for growth that, once the economy got better, it started feeding on itself.”
Throughout The Oklahoman interns' summer neighborhoods project, many small businesses and entrepreneurs have been featured. They include whimsical gift shops, pie makers, bike shops, record stores and coffee shops.
If there's one common thread, it would be a love for the neighborhood.
“No matter what you do, it's about connecting with people. … And we do it with coffee,” said Laura Massenat, co-owner of Elemental Coffee Roasters, 815 N Hudson Ave.