SBA loans approved for Oklahoma counties after metro small business owners feel impact of COVID-19


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Stop by any Oklahoma City restaurant and you’ll be met with a largely empty dining room.

Rococo is joining small businesses across the state, desperate for aid.

“Not having our dining room open is really affecting our business,” said Sterling Bartlowe with Rococo. “We are open for takeout right now. We’re just trying to do our best.”

Sterling was excited to learn of small business, low interest federal loans available to approved states in need.

Governor Kevin Stitt requested Oklahoma be added to the list on Tuesday. But when contractor Russell McAllister tried to apply, he couldn’t.

“I’ve logged onto the website for the last three or four days,” said Russell, owner of The Old-Fashion Handyman. “Trying to get approved for a loan, or trying to even fill out the application. Don’t seem like nobody from Oklahoma’s even able to file an application on the federal website.”

But the situation has since changed. Stitt announced Friday night that all 77 Oklahoma counties have been approved for small business loans.

Earlier Friday, most of Oklahoma did not appear on the SBA’s Disaster Loan Assistance website, but with the recent approval, that should soon change.

“We’re just trying to take care of people who work for us,” noted Sterling. “Trying to get through this like everyone else is.”

For Russell, the income is very much needed.

“This is my only income, this right here, this is what we do,” said Russell. “I know the government will probably get to us, but it just seems like it’s a little slow for Oklahomans.”

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