By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The city of Stillwater is open for business, the city’s economic director for consumer business development said Friday.
Angela McLaughlin was promoted to the economic development position from Business Improvement District No. 1 coordinator in August 2012.
She has marketed the city and its retail and business potential to developers during her 14 months on the job. McLaughlin and the city’s marketing arm developed a brochure that introduced her office and Stillwater’s potential to prospects.
Recently, the International Economic Development Council rewarded their efforts by awarding a gold medal to the brochure.
McLaughlin called the gold medal an honor.
“We’re excited about it,” she said.
The brochure provides general information about Stillwater and its demographics, she said.
“It’s our way to introduce everyone to where we are it on the map ... and our philosophy on economic development,” McLaughlin said. “Hopefully, there’s enough in there that it excites their interest and they want to locate in our community.”
The brochure serves as the first touch. McLaughlin, then, follows up with additional contacts with prospects. Smaller projects can move forward fairly quickly, but larger retail or business developments often require months and months of talks.
“We work with any business that is sales tax driven,” she said. “If they collect sales tax that is someone we are going to work with. If you are from Stillwater you understand that our city runs on sales taxes. It is very important that we got involved in that process. We wanted to have that first line to go out and welcome them into the community, help them understand what we have to provide and what we have to offer them.”
McLaughlin often helps prospects locate property for their business, she said. She works hand-in-hand with the city’s Department of Development Services and the Office of Marketing and Public Relations to recruit retailers and businesses.
“It’s been a great year for us,” McLaughlin said. “We have had a lot of new developments happen and we’ve got a lot of development that is still in the works. With these large development deals, it does take time and sometimes patience is a hard thing when you are so excited about these new businesses. ... We are putting Stillwater on the map a little bit. In fact people are calling us now and wanting to be here in our community. That in itself speaks to our success.”