Some of Oklahoma City’s smallest businesses have a new source of financial help.
Businesses with five or fewer employees located within designated Urban Renewal Areas may apply for a grant at ocura-ok.org for up to $10,000 through the Urban Renewal Authority Small Business Grant Program.
The Oklahoma City Council voted April 28 to approve the $400,000 program through the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority (OCURA), which will provide funds for COVID-19 disaster relief to some of the smallest local businesses in low- or moderate-income areas.
“We kept the application process as simple as possible so small business owners can take advantage of this funding without a lengthy application process,” said OCURA executive director Cathy O’Connor. “We know this has been a very difficult time, and we want to help them get back on a path to stability.”
Grant funds may be used for future payroll, rent or mortgage, utilities, business equipment, inventory, small business training, technical assistance and other necessary business expenses. Expenses paid or incurred prior to the award of the grant are not eligible.
Eligible businesses must:
- Have five or fewer employees (including the owner), including sole proprietorships.
- Be located in a designated Urban Renewal Area. There’s a link to a map at ocura-ok.org.
- Be owned by someone of low- or moderate-income as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s CDBG guidelines; OR be located in a census tract where at least 51 percent of the residents are low- or moderate-income as defined by HUD’s CDBG guidelines.
- Have appropriate licenses and permits before funds can be disbursed. Businesses may apply for the grant without the necessary licenses and permits and as a benefit of the program, will receive help in obtaining them.
To apply for a grant, go to ocura-ok.org. The application can be downloaded, completed and returned by mail or email. Call (405) 604-6780 if you need an application by mail. The first review period will begin after close of business on May 25. Applications submitted after May 25 will be reviewed every two weeks until funding runs out.