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Local Companies Receive Funding Through State Incentive Program

MIAMI -- Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce spent time Miami this week to visit with a pair of businesses who recently received funding through a special incentive program.

Don Hume Leathergoods and N.E.O. Fabrication were recently named recipients of funding through the Oklahoma Innovation Expansion Program. Jon Chiappe and Lesli Crofford with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce were in town Monday to tour both operations and answer any questions regarding OIEP funding.

“During the 2023 OEIP application period, which closed April 2023, the state received 222 submissions for project applications,” Chiappe said. “Of those applications, 178 companies received awards ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 with the total awards funding reaching $13.5 million across the state.”

That funding, according to Chiappe, will facilitate $91.1 million in capital expenditures among the 178 companies. Those companies employ more than 10,900 people with average wages of $56,268 and total payroll of $615.8 million.

“These companies plan to create 1,058 jobs with a total payroll impact of $63.7 million,” Chiappe said.

According to George Coen with Don Hume Leathergoods, the company will use the funding to purchase an automated sewing/leather splitting machine.

“This company has been in business for 60 years and business has been good,” Coen said. “This new machinery will allow us to increase efficiency and production, allowing us to create more products and continue to grow.

“We have a great staff of true crafts people and we appreciate all they do to make us successful,” Coen said.

James Alleman with N.E.O. Fabrication said the company will purchase and install a robotic welding system to enable unmanned welding operations. The system will have a common rail that would house the robotic welder and allow the welder to work on four workstations.

“This will allow us to increase production capacity,” said Alleman, who owns the company along with his brother John Alleman. “We have customers throughout the central portion of the country from Chicago to Houston. This will help us meet the needs of our current customers and allow us to expand.”

The program makes funding available to qualifying companies across the state and supports high-impact new capital investment across a broad range of industries to help diversify the state’s economy, lead to new product development or increase capacity at Oklahoma’s existing companies.

In addition to encouraging new capital investment, these awards support existing jobs and the creation of new jobs.

The incentive program makes monthly cash payment awards in the form of payroll tax rebates to help companies grow and offset the cost of capital expenditures incurred through business expansion investments in Oklahoma.

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