OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma will use some of its federal coronavirus relief funding to provide eviction mitigation aid and assistance to small businesses, state officials announced today.
Congress passed the CARES Act earlier this year, which among other things gave states funding to help their communities recover from the coronavirus. Oklahoma received $1.2 billion. A legislative advisory group has been working to find the best way to invest the funds.
Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City, serves as a member of the advisory group and advocated for the two programs.
“We need to ensure that coronavirus relief helps everyone who is reeling from the pandemic’s damage to our economy,” Dunnington said. “That’s not just the big businesses that have already gotten billions of dollars.”
Under the programs announced Friday, Oklahoma will invest $10 million to protect renters from eviction. Nonprofits across the state will utilize these dollars to help families and individuals keep their homes, with up to $3,600 in support each.
“No Oklahoman deserves to lose their housing because they lost work in a global pandemic,” Dunnington said. “We have a moral responsibility to ensure relief funds help the most vulnerable among us. I’m proud to have pushed for this program.”
CARES Act funding will also provide $50 million for economic grants for payroll assistance, inventory equipment, and working capital. The program includes a designated reserve for minority-owned businesses.
“We need to make sure our local small business owners can keep their lights on, and we need to make sure their workers get a paycheck,” Dunnington said. “Big box stores and national chains have already gotten their help. Small businesses in districts such as the Plaza, the Paseo, Uptown23rd, and the Asian District in House District 88 make our city unique, and we have to help them survive this unprecedented downturn.”