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Tulsa business owner details recent difficulties, community responds

Posted at 10:26 PM, Aug 30, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — “I just moved here so I am trying to find something that’s different,” says Justin Homer. “Something that I can’t find anywhere else.”

Local businesses help cities and communities thrive. And shopping local, like what Justin Homer is doing, is crucial to keeping those businesses afloat.

But owning a local business isn’t always the easiest. Just ask the owner of Ida Red, Angelene Ripley-Wright.

“I think owning a small business, I’m always wearing different hats,” she says. “Whether it's accounting, fixing the toiler, or figuring out what the next cool thing is.”

And with those hats can stack up on top of each other quickly.

Ripley-Wright says this past year has been a tough one for the business.

So, she made a Facebook post detailing some of the issues she has faced this year… as a local business owner and her post has gained a lot of traction among Tulsans.

Last November, an SUV drove into the Ida Red at 91st and Yale. She also says she has dealt with money and merchandise theft.

“We haven’t had any big incidents lately; it’s just been little bits. but I think anybody would understand that does affect a business over time.”

But she isn’t the only local business owner who’s taken to Facebook to detail problems local businesses have faced.

Ashley Ryan, the owner of Stash Apparel & Gifts says she has had to deal with multiple instances of theft and vandalism.

“There were battery chargers, we had an air conditioning unit in here that we used to set up so the girls could stay out of the heat, and it's gone,” says Ryan. “I mean, extension cords. Pretty much anything they could steal, they have.”

But the owners say through the trials, Tulsans and people in the surrounding communities have been supportive during the frustrating time.

“So many great stores in Tulsa to go check out and support and that’s what makes our community unique,” says Ripley-Wright.

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