, Muskogee, OK

February 6, 2014

Economic prospects shine

— If prediction matches reality, Muskogee is in for a banner year.

Port officials predict that big things are taking shape in industrial development here.

Muskogee City-County Port Authority Director Scott Robinson says several companies are interested in Muskogee.

“The report ... shows you there is a tremendous foundation built for growth,” Robinson said to city councilors last week. “I expect the first quarter in 2014 to show you and the community great things are happening in Muskogee.”

But industrial recruitment is highly competitive and we can have a lot of nibbles without landing a big fish. Retention and expansion of existing industries can boost Muskogee’s economy and is even more vital than efforts to attact new companies.

“It is important for us to continue our efforts to recruit new businesses,” said Marie Synar, acting director for the port authority’s economic development arm. “But we must spend an equal amount — if not more — time focusing on our existing businesses to make sure they have everything necessary to not only remain in business but to become more competitive, to expand and add jobs.”

Bringing in new industry and expanding existing businesses are two sides of one prosperity coin.

It looks pretty shiny this year.