Officials: 600 businesses apply for help through Oklahoma City program

Downtown Oklahoma City

Downtown Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – City leaders in Oklahoma City say that hundreds of local business owners have requested financial help through the city’s Small Business Continuity Program.

Officials say more than 600 local business owners requested help through the program, which launched last month.

The program will provide emergency relief and support for local small businesses affected by the pandemic. To qualify, businesses must:

  • Be a for-profit business
  • Employ no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees (under 15 for the incentive program)
  • Have a physical location in Oklahoma City (online-only businesses aren’t eligible)
  • Have been in operation for at least a year as of March 16
  • Be able to demonstrate a 50% drop in revenue (or projected revenue) between March 16 and April 15, 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019.

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.

As expected, requests for funding and technical assistance exceeded the $5.5 million available in the program.

City leaders say an internal team has been reviewing applications for compliance with requirements that the committee making funding decisions will rank the qualifying applications based on need.

“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.

So far, officials say 100 of the applications do not meet eligibility requirements.

Checks for reimbursements and loans are expected to be distributed beginning May 8. The final list of recipients will be presented to the city council on by the end of June.

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