Application period for Oklahoma Business Relief Program funds opens June 29

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Last week, Oklahoma Governor Stitt announced the creation of the Oklahoma Business Relief Program to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The program utilizes $50 million in funds set aside from the federal CARES Act.

Under the Oklahoma Business Relief Program, businesses can begin applying for economic grants through participating financial institutions (PFIs) on Monday, June 29, 2020. Grants will be awarded to eligible businesses on a first come, first served basis, based on the time that the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) receives the required documents from the PFI. A total of $50 million in funding has been designated for the program, of which $10 million will be provided to eligible businesses owned, in whole or in part, by a member of a racial or ethnic minority. Eligible businesses who receive grants may be awarded two months of their average payroll up to $25,000. Average payroll is the greater of the monthly average of 2019 or the average of January and February 2020. Funds received may be used for business expenses incurred from March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020, relating to Oklahoma business locations. >

Eligible businesses are those that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Located in Oklahoma and in good standing with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.
  • Current on their most recent quarterly or yearly taxes with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
  • Have suffered a 25% or more loss in monthly revenue generated from business activities during the period of March 1, 2020, through May 31, 2020, as compared to any of the following periods: (i) 2019; (ii) March 1, 2019 through May 31, 2019; or January 1, 2020 through February 29, 2020.
  • Revenue loss must be substantially caused by the impact of COVID-19, and the grant must be necessary to help the business recover. The loss can be attributable to all or some of the following:
    • Oklahoma business locations were ordered closed;
    • Restrictions or reduced hours at Oklahoma business locations; or
    • A decline in customers or clientele likely due to COVID-19 precautions being taken by customers or clients of Oklahoma business locations.     
  • Operated continuously in Oklahoma from January 1, 2020, through the date of the application submission and is a going concern for the future.
  • Not an ineligible business, which are businesses falling within one of these categories: (i) publicly traded companies; (ii) government entities or agencies; (iii) banks, life insurance companies, bail bond companies and other businesses whose stock in trade is money and mortgages; (iv) private clubs; (v) lobbying firms or businesses who dedicate 50% or more of their time or resources to lobbying activities; (vi) businesses that engage in gambling activities, not including transactions involving Oklahoma Lottery products (vii) businesses that present live performances of a prurient sexual nature and/or who derive revenue through the sale of products or services of a prurient sexual nature; (viii) businesses that generate income through activities performed in violation of state or federal law, including the sale, cultivation or transportation of marijuana; (ix) businesses that are participating in the Oklahoma Manufacturing Reboot or Bounceback Programs; or (x) businesses that exist for the purpose of advancing partisan political activities.

Businesses seeking a grant under the program should submit applications and required documents directly to a PFI at any time from June 29, 2020, through July 10, 2020. The PFI will then submit all required documents to the ODOC through an online application. If approved, funds will be disbursed to the PFI beginning on July 17, 2020, and then to the business upon execution of a receipt of funds document. A PFI may charge a $500 fee to businesses that are actually awarded a grant under the program.

A list of PFIs and other additional information can be found on the ODOC website at: https://www.okcommerce.gov/doing-business/business-services/oklahoma-business-relief-program/

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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