DUNCAN, Okla. (TNN) - Several state officials spent the day in Duncan getting a first-hand look at how businesses used CARES Act funds given to them.
Thousands of businesses across the state have received crucial funding over the last several months. That includes Duncan’s Blackfoot Services who completely changed their business model at the start of the pandemic.
“It’s probably kept us going for the last couple of months. There was a time where anything you start off with, you’re doing research and development and without any income coming in, that’s hard it doesn’t really offset when you don’t have cash flow so that’s helped us stay alive,” said Owner Brent Clark.
As the pandemic set in, Blackfoot shifted focus from being an oil and gas company to one that worked in sanitation.
“Our thought was to refurbish some equipment that we currently have, try to help out with the situation the best we could, and generate a little income in a downturn on the oil and gas side,” Clark said.
They did that by creating a system that can quickly disinfect things like rooms and school buses. Tuesday, several state officials stopped by to see them, and several other businesses, in action.
“Even though they’ve been involved in oil and gas in the past, they know that sanitation is going to be a big issue for years, maybe decades to come. Now they’re in that space, some of your other manufacturers here in town that used to be in oil and gas or something related to fossil fuels have gotten into aerospace, Department of Defense contracts. Those diversified revenue streams are going to help our economy for years and years to come,” said Department of Commerce Executive Director Brent Kisling.
Officials from the Department of Commerce, the Department of Manufacturing Alliance and the Center for Advancement of Science and Technology stopped at five businesses in total, making note of what they’ve done to reduce unemployment.
“We pulled the numbers back in February, we were 20th in the nation in our unemployment rate and today we’re tenth. That tells me that we’ve made some good decisions as far as our economy goes, we’ve leapfrogged a lot of other states with keeping our citizens employed,” Kisling said.
“I hope they’re impressed. I hope they see were a company that’s not just trying to make a dollar but trying to help. That’s in our mission statement,” Clark said.