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Starting April 6, OKC business owners may go to okcSmallBizHelp.com to apply for COVID-19 disaster relief funds from the City of Oklahoma City’s Small Business Continuity Program.
The website is live now with information about qualifications and supporting documentation. Applications will be accepted April 6-17, with funds available beginning in early May.
Only businesses located in Oklahoma City are eligible. Visit okc.gov/citylimits to see a map.
“It’s important to us to launch the program very quickly, with a variety of resources, to help local small businesses retain employees,” said Cathy O’Connor, president and CEO of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. “We want to make sure small business owners citywide know about the program, particularly those in vulnerable census tracts.”
The Oklahoma City Council approved the unprecedented $5.5 million emergency relief program for local small businesses on Tuesday.
Cash incentives, on a reimbursement basis, up to $10,000 for retained employee payroll. Qualifying businesses must have fewer than 15 full-time equivalent employees.
- No-interest forgivable loans: 10-year, 0% interest loans up to $50,000. Qualifying businesses must have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. Long-term employee retention and other requirements could lead to loan forgiveness over time.
- Low-interest loans: 10-year, 2% interest loans from $50,000 to $100,000. Qualifying businesses must have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
Technical Assistance Program
Pre-qualified local subject-matter experts will provide technical assistance in these areas and more:
- Applying, processing and compliance for federal Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and other federal, state and local assistance programs.
- Website, social media and other online marketing and sales development.
- Accounting and financial advice to identify priorities for payroll, debt and overhead.
- IT support for remote work, file storage and access.
- Human resources advice, tips for remote working and how to apply national legislation and benefits to keep employees on payroll despite reduced revenue.
- Legal best practices to adapt contracts and agreements to a new operating environment.
A committee will review and approve applications.
The City, the Alliance and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber built the framework. It’s based on research of what other communities are doing nationally and globally to save their local small businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
It’s the first emergency aid package directly from the City government to local businesses in modern Oklahoma City history.
The program is funded by $5.5 million from general obligation bonds included in the Economic and Community Development component of the Better Streets, Safer City program.
Go to covid19.okc.gov for the latest local COVID-19 news, guidance and City services updates.
For questions, email email@example.com. For media inquiries only, contact Debbie Anglin at (405) 840-4222.
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