• Cathy O’Connor

New program helps minority businesses

Once again, the Oklahoma City Council has listened and extended help to small businesses in our community. Next week, we launch the Minority Owned Business Recovery Program to provide grants up to $25,000 to help small businesses with payroll, rent, retrofitting the business, purchasing sanitizing equipment or other operational needs arising from COVID-19. The program also provides technical assistance to help the business with accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, web development and more.

The goals of the program are to provide short-term relief to businesses to help them maintain payroll and sustain their operations.

To qualify, the business must have a physical headquarters within the city of Oklahoma City, be a for-profit business, have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and demonstrate lost revenue or increased operational expenses caused by COVID-19. At least 51% of the business ownership must be one or more of these minority groups: American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Our minority businesses are our most vulnerable. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a report in August that showed minority-owned businesses were denied loans to help survive the pandemic at a rate of 13%, compared to non-minority businesses that experienced an 8% denial rate.

Read more at The Journal Record

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