A boutique owner concerned about tourism dollars and a business manager fighting sales tax rules were among those attending the 14th Small Business Day at the Oklahoma Capitol on Monday.
The event in the second floor rotunda gave business owners an opportunity to listen to Gov. Mary Fallin, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and other civic leaders, plus network with their legislators and voice concerns.
Caroline Martin, who owns 9 East Boutique in Eufaula, is hoping Fallin remembers her promise to support tourism, which her business near Lake Eufaula depends on.
“Those are free bucks,” she said of tourism dollars.
She was there representing the Eufaula Area Chamber of Commerce.
Randy Chevrier, business manager at Paintmaster Collision Center in Tulsa, said he's concerned about the way the Oklahoma Tax Commission is applying sales tax to automotive parts his company buys to repair vehicles.
“They say because we itemize, we're now a retailer of parts. I'm not Pep Boys. I'm repairing cars,” he said. The business has one location and 10 employees.
Chevrier said he met previously with Lamb on the issue and also has talked to Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow. “I appreciate that he spends the time talking with us,” Chevrier said.
Chad Warmington, chief operating officer for event host, The State Chamber of Oklahoma, encouraged attendees to talk with legislators about issues that affect small business, including income tax reform, tax credits, a state question exempting intangible personal property from taxes and workers' compensation costs.
“Nobody is as good a lobbyist as you are,” he said.
Fallin said her administration is focusing on workers' compensation reform. “We've tried to bring forth a very pro-business, pro-jobs environment so you can flourish,” she said.