OK Business Relief Program grant applications begin June 29
Editor's note 7-7-20: Due to higher-than-anticipated levels of response, Phase I applications for the OBRP have been closed. Phase 2 planning is underway, according to the Department of Commerce.
Grants up to $25,000 are part of a newly-available plan through an allocation of funds through the Federal CARES Act program to aid businesses in overcoming the economic challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.
The Oklahoma Business Relief Program (OBRP), a $50 million grant to offer vital funding for businesses that have suffered revenue loss, was made possible by allocations approved by Gov. Kevin Stitt.
“It’s important for businesses to know this is a first-come, first-served basis. There are no mandates for the grant expenditures, but funds must be used for business expenses such as grant payroll, inventory, equipment and working capital,” said Jeff Seymour, executive vice president for economic development at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
Oklahoma businesses can request to apply for OBRP through participating financial institutions beginning June 29. From that point, the financial institutions will evaluate applications based on the program rules and determine if the business is eligible.
Approved applications will be submitted by the financial institution to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and funds will be provided to the business through the financial institution.
During the first phase of applications, at least 20% of the program funds will be designated for minority-owned businesses. Fund distributions are slated to begin by July 17.
Grant amounts are equal to two months of average total payroll. The business may choose from an average of 2019 total payroll, or an average of Jan.-Feb 2020 total payroll.