• Cathy O’Connor

Millions dispersed to business owners

A program designed to help struggling businesses in Oklahoma City has provided more than $32.5 million to business owners in 2020. Under the four separate programs applicants received assistance in the form of reimbursements, grants, forgivable loans and technical assistance.

The Small Business Continuity Program was conceived and administered by the Alliance, the city of Oklahoma City and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber after COVID-19 caused many businesses in our community to close and incur costs to adapt. The program launched in March with $5 million from the city’s general obligation bond fund. The large number of applicants in the first round of funding indicated to us that many businesses were still in need in our community.

In May, $5 million more in funding was approved by City Council from the City’s CARES Act Relief Funds, and in July $14.5 million was approved and a second round of applications was opened to businesses and nonprofits. We reached out to Black, Hispanic and women-owned businesses in Oklahoma City, reaching new audiences. The second phase of the program received 252 applications in the first 24 hours. In September, City Council approved an additional $8 million for applicants in the second round, for a total of $32.5 million, excluding administrative costs.

Read more at The Journal Record

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