301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

Tulsa World From Staff Reports Aug 12, 2020

The state of Oklahoma has contributed more money to the Oklahoma Business Relief Program.

Gov. Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma’s CARES FORWARD team and the Department of Commerce on Tuesday announced that the state will dedicate an additional $45 million to allow qualifying OBRP applicants to receive up to a $14,250 grant.

Qualifying applicants are those who submitted to a participating financial institution (PFI) on or before July 14 and who didn’t receive OBRP Phase 2 funding.

Stitt originally set aside $50 million in Federal CARES Act funds for Phase 1 of the program and an additional $50 million for Phase 2. The approval of funding for this final, third group brings the total to $145 million.

Phase two funds were depleted in less than an hour on July 14, and about 3,000 OBRP business applications remained unfunded after the submission form was closed.

“The vision of the OBRP was to provide Oklahoma companies impacted by COVID-19 access to much needed funding to bridge the gap while they work to get back up to speed, both in terms of operations and revenues,” Stitt said in a statement. “Our CARES FORWARD team has worked hard to ensure these critical funds are distributed quickly and on target, and I am pleased we are able to provide additional assistance to the remaining OBRP applicants.” 

Developed to help Oklahoma businesses overcome the economic challenges of COVID-19, OBRP offered funding for businesses that have suffered revenue loss because of the pandemic. Businesses submitted their applications through participating financial institutions, and 20% of the program funds were designated for minority-owned businesses.

“We appreciate the commitment by Governor Stitt and the CARES FORWARD team to provide additional financial assistance to these businesses who need it so badly,” said Sean Kouplen, state Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, Commerce has sought out ways to bring assistance to Oklahoma businesses. We will continue to do everything we can to help keep these companies operating and providing jobs to Oklahomans.”

For more information about OBRP, visit www.okcommerce.gov/relief.