Broken Arrow Business Owner Getting Creative To Keep Customers Coming

Sunday, October 17th 2021, 11:33 pm
By: Johnny Resendiz

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The pandemic has been devastating for Oklahoma's small businesses. Thousands have had to close permanently since March 2020.

Now, a struggling business owner in Broken Arrow is worried he is next and is getting creative to make ends meet.

Kyle Arrington is the owner and only employee at the Bargain Barn in Broken Arrow.

He sells all sorts of things with everything costing the same as other items in the bins.

He's had to temporarily shut down because business has been tough.

He says times are getting desperate.

"When I started this business, I wanted to stick with it to the end and everything and here lately it's just been looking like it might be the end," Arrington said.

Arrington says he's optimistic things will end up fine in the end. But he admits the stress is weighing on him. Right now, he says his focus is making sure his doors don't stay locked permanently.

"I'm doing everything I can," Arrington said. "Going out doing side hustles; doing stuff on apps or whatever it takes to at least keep the utilities on."

Dun and Bradstreet, a business analytics company, estimates from March 2020 to January 2021, more than 8,000 Oklahoma small businesses permanently closed.

The study also says retail stores have been hit the hardest, with 1,165 total businesses closing in Oklahoma.

But Arrington has support.

Kenna Morrison has been a regular customer at the store, and says Arrington helped her during tough times.

"When I was sick, he was always willing to open the store for me after hours, before hours," Morrison said.

Now, Morrison says it's her turn to return the favor by giving him hope for the future.

"It doesn't matter what the doctors say or the consumers or the customers or whoever," Morrison said. "If you got a level head and you're strong minded, you're going to make it."

Arrington says he hopes Morrison won't be the only person for whom he can create memories.