Stillwater News Press

October 10, 2013

Workshop slated for local business owners

By NewsPress Staff
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Local business owners in Stillwater, Payne County and surrounding communities have a chance to learn how to attract customers and make big sales during the holidays.

“Getting Ready for Small Business Saturday” is a half-day workshop devoted to small businesses and will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Stillwater Public Library.

“Small Business Saturday,” which falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, encourages shoppers to make purchases from the small businesses in their own hometown.

“The day falls right between ‘Black Friday,’ which largely benefits chains and big box stores, and ‘Cyber Monday,’ which is devoted to online sales,” said Suzette Barta, workshop coordinator and business advisor with Payne County OSU Extension Service. “As a society, we are beginning to understand that supporting local brick and mortar businesses is essential to our local economy. This workshop is designed to help our small businesses capitalize on this movement.”

According to The 3/50 Project, which supports local shopping, for every $100 spent at a local small business, 68 percent comes back to the community through wages and other spending. However, only $43 remains in the community when spent at a chain store and no money stays in the community when spent online.

“Getting Ready for Small Business Saturday” will show business owners how to encourage shoppers to spend their dollars locally and in smaller establishments.

The program includes three hourlong sessions on skills that will help small business owners and their staff attract customers and provide a satisfying and exciting shopping experience.  

The first session, presented by Roberta Douglas of OSU Career Services, will explain how to hire and use temporary staff for the holiday season. The next class will provide a step-by-step action plan for last-minute marketing and will be presented by Sherry Fletcher, director of public relations for the city of Stillwater.  

The final session includes a panel of small business owners and experts who will explain how owners can create and take advantage of community holiday promotions to make their holiday season a success.

“Every business, retail or service, needs to take advantage of the holiday season to lock in sales,” said Brad Rickelman, assistant director for business development at Meridian Technology Center. “In a few hours, you will learn practical techniques you can use to earn a bigger portion of the community’s holiday shopping dollars.”

The workshop will end with lunch and a keynote presentation by Suan Grant, owner of Suan’s Foods.  

Suan’s Foods, based in Oklahoma City, has become a success selling an array of jellies and condiments using social media and promotions to gain loyal followers.

Grant will share some of her successful promotional secrets.

“Successful small businesses like Suan’s have found ways to do things better,” said Chuck Willoughby, business and marketing relations manager at OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center. “This half-day workshop will prove beneficial to all small business representatives that can attend.”

The fee for the workshop is $10 and includes breakfast and lunch.  Participants can register online at

Partners for the event include Payne County OSU Extension, the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center, Meridian Technology’s Center for Business Development, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and Stillwater Public Library. Information on small business resources and services from each of the partners will also be available.

For more information, contact Suzette Barta at or visit the registration page.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St.