OKC offers new resources, support for people
Our city has served as a model for effectively using federal ARPA funding in a way that increases our capacity and improves resiliency for small businesses, minority-owned businesses and individuals to help recover from COVID.
The first relief program launched in April 2020, during the earliest part of the pandemic. The Alliance, city of Oklahoma City and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber launched the Oklahoma City Small Business Continuity Program, totaling just over $31 million granted, loaned or provided as technical assistance to 1,061 businesses. Businesses, nonprofits and minority-owned businesses received help to meet basic expenses, maintain rent and operational expenses, cover the cost of sanitizing equipment and fixtures to aid social distancing, and maintain payroll during COVID-19.
The Alliance is rolling out the OKC Rescue Program, with programs for entrepreneurs launched in late 2022 and more programs launching in early 2023 to distribute $20 million of Oklahoma City’s ARPA relief funding to small businesses and individuals. Applications will soon open with our workforce development training partners for individuals to receive skills training, courses, education and on-the-job training for individuals in their current job or those seeking new job opportunities in hospitality, retail, IT support, front-end development, cybersecurity and coding. The OKC Rescue Program goal is to increase the competitiveness of Oklahoma City’s workforce, support wage growth, and provide meaningful economic opportunities for Oklahoma City residents.
The OKC Rescue Program also has several partnerships to advance small businesses. Opportunities are available to business owners and entrepreneurs in Oklahoma City who wish to find capital, increase sales, improve processes, receive advice on proposals, or assistance with financial, HR, marketing and more.
Learn more about the impact of the ARPA funds on our community and what is planned for the future at the OKC Chamber Forum on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Petroleum Club of Oklahoma City. I’ll be presenting along with Aubrey McDermid, the assistant city manager, and Sen. Adam Pugh. For tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
These programs are impactful and designed to reach those in our community who wouldn’t otherwise have the support. I look forward to connecting these many resources to businesses and individuals who are actively seeking to grow their capacity and skill sets. I am proud that we continue to prioritize meeting the needs of small businesses and building Oklahoma City’s skilled workforce.