Oklahoma City Small Business Continuity Program applications now being accepted

Person typing on open laptop

Online applications are now being accepted for economic relief and technical assistance provided through the City of Oklahoma City’s new Small Business Continuity Program.  The recently launched initiative, which consists of four separate programs, is designed to help qualifying businesses located in Oklahoma City retain employees while weathering the current public health crisis.

The four programs are:

  • Small Business Incentive
  • Small Business No-Interest Forgivable Loan
  • Small Business Low-Interest Loan
  • Small Business Technical Assistance

To qualify, businesses must be for-profit, physically located in Oklahoma City, have 50 or fewer employees (except for the Small Business Incentive Program, which requires 15 or fewer employees), were operating as of March 16, 2019, and have seen a 50% drop in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The drop in revenue will be determined based on comparing revenue between March 16, 2020, and April 15, 2020 to the same period in 2019.  Full-time employees will be calculated by taking the total number of hours worked by all employees (not including independent contractors) from February 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020, and dividing that by 160.

Certain businesses are ineligible for these programs, including rental property or real estate development businesses, churches, and business primarily engaged in lending.

Small Business Incentive Program:  A reimbursement of up to $10,000 for payroll expenses with no obligation of repayment.

Small Business No-Interest Forgivable Loan: Forgivable loans to be used for payroll expenses to support employee retention.  Businesses may qualify for up to $50,000 at 0% interest.  Forgiveness is subject to certain conditions.  If those conditions are not satisfied, the loan will be converted to a Low-Interest Loan.

Small Business Low-Interest Loan:  Loans to be used for payroll expenses and certain operational costs, including rent and utilities.  The interest rate on these loans will be 2% with a 10-year repayment term.  Business can qualify for up to $100,000.

Small Business Technical Assistance Program:  Expert support in various identified areas of need will be provided, including SBA funding, marketing, sales, financial advice, accounting, human resources advice, and IT support.

One objective of this program is to provide funding to businesses located in low-income census tracts.  Another objective is to provide assistance to businesses in the retail, restaurant and local service industries.  The intent is to disburse funds by May 1, 2020, via electronic funds transfer.

Applications and amount of funding received will be based on several factors, including need, loss of revenue, and length of business operation.  This program is being funded with a $5.5 million dollar allocation from the City’s Strategic Investment Program, which was funded in 2017 by Oklahoma City voters to provide community support.    

Applying for this program will have no impact on qualification for other state and federal assistance, including the Paycheck Protection Program loans and Economic Injury Disaster loans.

Online applications are being accepted from April 6th to April 17th and can be found here.          

A list of additional documentation required can be found here.

For assistance navigating economic relief programs, contact the author or a McAfee & Taft business attorney.