Share about Small Business Continuity Program

Published: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 By: Cathy O'Connor Source: The Journal Record

We all know and love a small business, or someone who works for one, that is negatively impacted by COVID-19. Maybe it’s our favorite restaurant, pub, retailer or hairdresser. For those wondering how to help, you can connect the business owners you know with a new, COVID-19 disaster relief fund, the Small Business Continuity Program (okcsmallbizhelp.com).

Applications are open through April 17. The goal of this new program is to quickly put funding into the hands of small business owners to help retain jobs during this unstable time. The program was developed by a partnership of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City and the city of Oklahoma City.

The program provides three types of help for businesses located in Oklahoma City. The Incentive Program offers cash incentives, on a reimbursement basis, up to $10,000 for retained employee payroll. Qualifying businesses can have up to 15 full-time-equivalent employees.

The Loan Program allows businesses with up to 50 full-time equivalent employees to apply for one of two types of loans. The 10-year, 0% interest loan up to $50,000 could lead to loan forgiveness over time with long-term employee retention and other requirements. The 10-year, 2% interest loan is for loans from $50,000 to $100,000 for employee retention, rent, mortgage and utilities. Businesses can apply for one but not both types of loans.

The Technical Assistance Program offers pre-qualified local subject-matter experts to help businesses with website and online sales, accounting, human resources, IT and with applying, processing and complying with federal Small Business Administration loans and other federal, state and local assistance programs.

The Small Business Continuity Program is funded with $5.5 million allocated from the city’s Strategic Investment Program, a program funded by Oklahoma City voters in 2017 to support community and economic development. The target date for disbursement of funds via ACH deposit is May 1. To the fullest extent possible, 25% of funding will be directed to businesses operating in low-income census tracts.

The website okcSmallBizHelp.com has the application, more details about the program, criteria and a list of documents required. Help us spread the word. Encourage a business owner you know to apply. Help us make a difference for small businesses in Oklahoma City.

Cathy O’Connor is president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.

Read the story on JournalRecord.com.

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