REI Oklahoma has released its year-end report on activities and economic impact from its development services delivered in 2015. During this time, the economic output catalyzed by the organization amounted to more than $518 million, an 87% increase over the previous year’s activities. The creation, retention and projection of more than 1,000 jobs were facilitated throughout the state of Oklahoma.
“2015 was an exceptional year for us,” said Scott Dewald, REI Oklahoma President and CEO. “A growing interest in our Gift100 housing program and several exciting New Markets projects came together with our other long-valued services to create some big numbers for Oklahoma in 2015. Our team of volunteer board members and staff, along with so many valued partners, continue to come through for building up businesses and strengthening communities.”
Highlights of the economic impact are as follows:
- A trendsetter in putting the federally-funded New Markets Tax Credit program to work for the state, REI Oklahoma spearheaded revitalization projects totaling more than $356 million in economic impact, affecting more than 490 jobs. Among projects completed in 2015 were the revitalization of Tulsa’s Universal Ford Building, as well as Oklahoma City’s 21c Boutique Hotel and Valir Health developments. Great business plans were set in motion through the origination of 26 loans, filling gaps in the state’s retail and production markets and giving Oklahomans more opportunities to spend their money locally.
- By partnering with the state’s leading mortgage lenders, REI Down Payment Assistance gave momentum to 688 homebuyers in 2015 in the form of down payment and closing cost assistance. The average purchase price of these homes was $120,700.
- Technical assistance helped 1,940 entrepreneurs run more efficiently, making cash registers ring, advertising dollars stretch farther and dreams come true. REI Women’s Business Center is funded in part by the U. S. Small Business Administration.
- Native American and minority-owned businesses were propelled forward through innovative thinking and idea sharing, enhancing the state’s economic framework. 199 jobs were affected, putting people to work.
- Great business plans were set in motion through the origination of 26 loans, filling gaps in the state’s retail and production markets and giving Oklahomans more opportunities to spend their money locally.
- From within our 11 Durant-based commercial spaces, 99 visionaries, problem solvers and developers were able to work in a supportive environment for idea generation and businesses growth.