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Tulsa Regional Chamber Says Expect Economic Boost Following Tornado

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

With so many destroyed businesses near 41st and Yale, it might be hard to think about how many people aren't working right now, but the Tulsa Regional Chamber says the overall economy may not take such a big hit.

Woodcraft of Tulsa has been in the area for 16 years. Owner Allan Chaney is anxious to get inside.

"Waiting around, hoping that we'll be able to get in there at some point,” he said. "If you're a woodworker, it's a candy store for you."

And with only one other location in Oklahoma City, he's not planning to give up on Tulsa.

"We definitely wanna get a store open for this market, no question,” he added.

But while he figures out where to start over, he did have to make a tough decision.

"We just talked to the part-time folks; my only option is to let them go,” he said.

Across the parking lot, construction crews are working.

"We never look forward to anything like this,” said Home Claim Solutions project manager Patrick Deao.

The Tulsa Regional Chamber says, ironically, a positive boost to the economy will come from construction, pointing to skyrocketing business activity in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Deao says crews will be busy for months.

"Construction companies everywhere,” said Deao. “The main goal is just to make sure everybody can get their businesses back and running and people get their jobs back."

And that's exactly what Chaney plans to do with his part-time employees.

"As soon as I get open, we have all their names and numbers. We'll be calling them, trying to recruit them back,” he said.

The owner expects he'll get inside Wednesday and see if anything in his store can be saved.

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