OKC Small Business Continuity Program plans disbursement
An aid program to quickly put funding into the hands of Oklahoma small business owners so they may better retain employees during economic instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has reached over 600 since its launch on March 31. The high number of requests for funding and technical assistance through the Oklahoma Small Business Continuity Program exceeded the $5.5 million that was initially available in the program.
The need for and framework of the program was developed in a partnership between the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, and the City. Other private businesses stepped in to help with administration.
“Our intent is to provide support for small, Oklahoma City businesses, so our review process has made sure the funds are reserved for them,” said Cathy O’Connor, president and CEO of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.
An internal team of 18 reviewers has been reviewing applications for compliance with requirements. The committee making funding decisions will rank the qualifying applications based on need. Reviewers determined about 100 of the applications did not meet eligibility requirements, in many cases because they were not located within Oklahoma City limits.
A disbursement committee will make the final award determination, with cash payments and loan disbursements expected to beginning on May 8. The final list of recipients will be presented to the City Council by the end of June.
There are three main programs: an incentive program with cash reimbursements for retained employee payroll, forgivable or low-interest loans, and technical assistance with pandemic-related business challenges.
Visit covid19.okc.gov for the latest local COVID-19 news, guidance, and City services updates.