The Oklahoma City Council approved an unprecedented $5.5 million emergency relief program for local small businesses. The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the City of Oklahoma City built the framework of the proposal.  The Small Business Continuity Program is based on research of what other communities are doing nationally and globally to save their local small businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

 “Our goal is to develop an online platform that can accept applications for assistance by April 6,” said Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City President and CEO Cathy O’Connor. “We want to make sure small business owners citywide know about the program, particularly those who own businesses in vulnerable census tracts.”

Starting April 6,  OKC business owners may go to to apply for COVID-19 disaster relief funds from the City of Oklahoma City’s Small Business Continuity Program. The period to apply for the program will be April 6th through April 17th. After the deadline, business that have been approved will start to receive notifications after April 17th.                                                                  .

The program has three key components:

  • Incentive Program ($1.5 million)
    • Cash incentives, on a reimbursement basis, up to $10,000 for retained employee payroll. Qualifying businesses must have fewer than 15 full-time equivalent employees. 
  • Loan Program ($3 million)
    • No Interest Forgivable Loans: 10-year, 0% interest loans up to $50,000. Qualifying businesses must have fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees. Long-term employee retention and other requirements could lead to loan forgiveness over time.
    • Low Interest Loans: 10-year, 2% interest loans from $50,000 to $100,000. Qualifying businesses must have fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees. 
  • Technical Assistance Program ($500,000)
    • Pre-qualified local subject-matter experts will provide technical assistance in these areas and more:
      • Applying, processing and compliance for federal Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and other federal, state and local assistance programs.
      • Online business platform and e-commerce channel development.
      • Best practices for remote working (maintaining employee productivity, etc.)
      • Legal best practices (extended worker leave, etc.)

A committee will review and approve applications.

It’s the first emergency aid package directly from the City government to local businesses in modern Oklahoma City history.

The program is funded by $5.5 million from general obligation bonds included in the Economic and Community Development component of the Better Streets, Safer City program.

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