Oklahoma County small business relief available starting November 23

Oklahoma County businesses of less than 100 will have the opportunity to receive grants from COVID-19 disaster relief funds on the application website Monday.

Especially small, local businesses have been hardest hit by the reduction in business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic since March.

The program applies to businesses and nonprofits that are in Oklahoma County but not in the City of Oklahoma City limits.

Oklahoma City businesses have several grant and loan programs that have been available to them over the last several months and so are not included in this program.

“Especially during this current COVID spike, I think a lot of businesses over the next six weeks are going to be hurting even more,” Commissioner Carrie Blumert told Free Press by phone Friday.

“Even though I wish we could have done this program several months ago, it’s actually coming at a good time for some of these businesses.”

Free Press has been covering the long development of this program and its eventual establishment by Oklahoma County Commissioners.

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What you need to know

The website where businesses will be able to make the application is www.OKCountyGrants.org.

The Oklahoma County Small Business and Nonprofit Grants program will provide up to $100,000 for either lost revenue due to COVID-19 or reimbursement of payroll, rent, utility, and other operational expenses.

The program is first-come, first-served for those who submit COMPLETE applications that open Monday, November 23. The application window will close December 7 or when funding is exhausted.

Here are details so far that for-profit and nonprofit business owners need to know as provided by Blumert’s office.

To qualify, the business or nonprofit must:

  • Have 100 or fewer employees. 1099 contractors will NOT be considered employees.
  • Be physically located within Oklahoma County, but NOT within the City of Oklahoma City. Online businesses are not eligible. The program is specifically intended to assist qualifying small businesses and nonprofits with sustainability needs not met through other means including previous business grants, loans, or technical assistance programs administered by the City of Oklahoma City, State of Oklahoma, or U.S. Federal Government. To identify the qualified coverage area, see a map of Oklahoma County.
  • Have been established (not necessarily open) prior to February 15, 2020.
  • Be able to demonstrate a negative impact since March 1, 2020, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Not have any outstanding business-related liens or judgments
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Program administrators are pointing applicants to this map to identify the qualified coverage area in Oklahoma County (click -/+ to zoom):

countybridgemap1

Oklahoma Industries Authority responsible

Oklahoma County Commissioners have allocated $15 million to the program and tasked the Oklahoma Industries Authority (OIA) with accepting applications and administering the program.

Cathy O’Connor, executive director of the authority, encourages Oklahoma County businesses outside Oklahoma City limits to apply.

“We opened the opportunity for any business or nonprofit in Oklahoma County to help provide stability and preserve jobs in central Oklahoma – keys to our economy,” said O’Connor in a news release.


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