Urban Renewal Provides For Businesses
COVID-19 relief grants for small businesses in urban renewal areas are being offered by a city program.
Businesses with five or fewer employees located within designated areas may apply for the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority grants.
The grants are up to $10,000 each.
The City Council voted last month to approve $400,000 for the program.
The authority will dispense the grants to some of the smallest local business in low-income and moderate-income areas.
“We kept the application process as simple as possible so that small business owners can take advantage of this funding without a lengthy application process,” said Cathy O’Connor, executive director of the Urban Renewal Authority.
“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 payments, utilities, business equipment, inventory, business training, technical assistance and other necessary business expenses, it was said.
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 proprietorship;
- 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-income or moderate-income as defined by the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant guidelines, or located in a census tract, where at least 51 percent of the residents are low-income or middle-income earners as defined by HUD’s CDBG guidelines; and
- 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.
Businesses may apply for a grant online at ocura-ok-ok.org.
Application forms can be downloaded, completed and returned by mail or e-mail.
Application forms can be sent by mail for those who call (405)604-6780.
The first review period will begin after the close of business on Monday, Ma6 25.
After May 25, applications will be reviewed every two weeks until funding runs out.
The program is funded with federal Community Development Block Grants money administered by the city of Oklahoma and the Urban Renewal Authority.