By SEAN ROWLEY
TAHLEQUAH — firstname.lastname@example.org
Always looking to attract entrepreneurs, the city of Tahlequah has welcomed some new businesses in recent weeks.
David Moore, president of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce, said new ventures are essential to the city’s vitality.
“Speaking from the Chamber’s perspective, it is also important to us because we are recruiting new members on a weekly basis,” Moore said. “Right now, the Chamber has the largest membership of its 115-year history.”
Recently, a pair of maternity shops have opened in Tahlequah.
Bruce and Carrie Lindsey operate Pretty Please, on the northeast corner of First Street and Muskogee Avenue.
“We shut down for three weeks to restock and reorganize,” said Bruce Lindsay. “We invite people to come see us. We market maternity clothing, kids clothing, toys, home decor furniture, baby bathtubs and jewelry for kids.”
Leah Warner is owner of Mommy & Me at 16 Plaza South behind the post office.
“We sell boutique-style items that might be hard to find in Tahlequah,” Warner said. “We have maternity clothes, newborn baby items, baby bags, stuffed animals. We can deliver anywhere in Tahlequah.”
Warner said she was struck by the idea of a maternity shop in Tahlequah while she was pregnant with her own children.
“I would register at stores in Tulsa, but people would still shop here around town,” she said. “I thought it would be a good idea to open a store that offers more options for baby and maternity items.”
Jackie Taylor and her husband, Danny, are owners of 4T Office Supply at 107 E. Delaware St. They opened their business “a couple of weeks ago” but will hold a grand opening from noon-2 p.m. Friday.
“Ever since Redmen Office Supply closed, there has been a need for an office supply store in Tahlequah,” Jackie Taylor said. “They offered a good service and the town misses it.”
The Taylors say response among the public has been positive.
“We offer basic office supplies, teaching and school supplies and free delivery,” Jackie Taylor said. “We can typically get orders to people the next day, or sometimes two days.”
Some of the other businesses to open recently in Tahlequah include Chapel Books at 115 E. Delaware St.; Miss Shoe at 409 Daisy Drive; and Project Silk Screen and Embroidery at 1220 Graham Ave.
Sunrise Donuts at 708 E. Downing St. will have its “soft opening” Thursday and sell donuts. It will hold its grand opening soon.
Onstage Dance Supply has relocated to 1909 S. Muskogee Ave., Suite 400.
Moore said the chamber is excited about Backwoods Food Manufacturing putting a new facility in the city’s industrial park. The site is three acres on the southeast corner of Main Parkway and Airport Road. The facility is expected to be more than 29,000 square feet at a cost of $1.8 million for construction.
Moore believes Tahlequah is an excellent place in which to do business because its economy enjoys greater stability than many cities.
“At one end of main street, we have Northeastern State University, which employs 1,000 people,” he said. “At the other end, we have the Cherokee Nation, which employs 2,500 people. In between we have the Tahlequah City Hospital, which employs 600, and the Tahlequah Public Schools employ 300.
With all the steady employment, our economy doesn’t bounce around the way it may in some other cities.”
Though the city may not grow by leaps or experience economic booms, Moore said it also will not “decline overnight.”
“Tahlequah’s economy is dependable and I like that,” he said. “Some communities may become tied to a single employer or business, but if that business closes, the town closes. I would rather have Tahlequah with its diversified workforce and its strong small businesses.”
Those wishing to locate a business in Tahlequah can call the Chamber for information at (918) 456-3742.