The coronavirus pandemic is causing hardships for businesses across the state and nation. While many businesses are struggling to remain afloat during the economic uncertainty, the turmoil can be particularly devastating for young businesses and start-up companies.

Launch Pad FT, Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s business incubator, has responded to this need and is offering timely and vital services to the new and emerging companies it serves. Additionally, Launch Pad FT continues to work with those entrepreneurs looking to embark on the journey of starting a business or growing early stage businesses during this pandemic.

Jennifer McGrail, Launch Pad FT director, and her team of advisors have continued to work with the seven start-up businesses currently housed at Francis Tuttle’s Cross Timbers Campus, as well as other businesses currently utilizing Launch Pad FT’s advisory services. Because Launch Pad FT staff have a working knowledge of the operations of these young businesses, McGrail and her team can tailor resources to the entrepreneurs’ specific needs.

According to McGrail, constant and consistent communication is important for young businesses.

“We are continuing our coaching sessions with our incubator clients,” said McGrail. “Now, our sessions are virtual instead of face-to-face. While we are still encouraging our clients to set goals and seize opportunities, we’re also focusing on the immediate situation and discussing things like the importance of remaining flexible, how to access federal assistance programs like Small Business Administration loans and managing cash flow. Our background with these entrepreneurs and our knowledge of their businesses allow us to proactively help them make necessary adjustments.”

McGrail, who currently serves as president of the Oklahoma Business Incubator Association, said incubators across the state are working together to help one another by sharing best practices and facilitating needs to help everyone come through the COVID-19 crisis.

Launch Pad FT is Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s business incubator. Launch Pad FT offers services and expertise to enhance the skills of entrepreneurs and improve the viability of small businesses. For more information, visit launchpadft.francistuttle.edu or call 405-717-7777.

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