UPDATE May 27, 2020:
If you are a farmer/rancher that has been effected by the COVID 19 pandemic, the USDA has launched a program to help those who have faced losses due to the current price and market declines. For more information please follow this link to the website: Food Assistance Program USDA
UPDATE April 15, 2020:
Independent Contractors & Self-Employed Individuals Can Now Apply for SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
IN THE PAST, independent contractors and self-employed individuals were not eligible for unemployment benefits, but this is not the case during the pandemic. Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) has not received the new update from the federal government to successfully accept applications. If you apply and receive a “denial” response, do not dispute it. Please be patient, notifications will be posted as soon as the system is updated.
Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses.
- Potential 100% loan forgiveness for 8 weeks of qualified loan uses.
- Fixed low interest rate at 1.00%
- No collateral required
- 2-year terms
Who Can Apply
Independent contractors receiving 1099-MISC forms and self-employed individuals are eligible to apply for these potentially 100% forgivable loans beginning on April 10, 2020.
The requirements are straightforward. You must have been in operation on February 15, 2020, your business must have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and you must submit the required documentation along with your loan application.
For more information click here.
COVID-19 Talent Exchange
Submit your business’ information to be connected to jobseekers currently looking for employment.
The Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development is working closely with the Oklahoma Grocers Association, Oklahoma Retail Association, and Oklahoma Hospitality and Restaurant Associations to try and match out-of-work Oklahomans with industries who need employees to fill current job openings. This effort will quickly connect job-seekers to employers who need new workers right now.
if you are an employer in any industry interested in having your job openings featured and directly receiving jobseeker information, complete the requested Employer Information at https://oklahomaworks.gov/talentexchange/#employerinfo/ or contact email@example.com.
Oklahoma Manufacturing Reboot Program
An incentive program for Oklahoma manufacturers to address the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Oklahoma businesses. Awards range from $25,000 to $150,000, depending on market potential and long-term impact of the new production capabilities on Oklahoma’s economy. Program funds are capped at $5 million total. For more information click here.
To apply, visit okcommerce.gov/reboot.
Updated Paycheck Protection Program Information here.
UPDATE April 09, 2020 :
Coping With Stress During an Outbreak
The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Ways to cope with stress:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you
Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Shop local as much as possible!
As you know this is a very difficult time for small businesses around the country, and here at home. We must do our best to support our local small businesses that make our communities unique. Please support your favorite restaurant, shop, or business and shop local – here are a couple of ideas:
- Buy a gift card to use later or online.
- Shop locally online – if a business does not have an online store, call and make an order over the phone.
- Use drive-thru, or order takeout/to-go – and don’t forget to tip. Most servers rely on tips to make ends meet and without dine-in patrons their tips are almost non-existent.
- Send flowers to a friend to brighten their day, especially if they are elderly or live alone.
- Keep your memberships current – most places rely on your dues to operate.
- Ask business owners you know how you can help.
COVID-19 Fraud Prevention Tips: Justice Tips
Remember to follow the basic precautions from CDC: CDC Prevention Tips
Easy instructions for making your own face masks (have several for each member of your family) can be found at DIY Facemask from Hobby Lobby, and Mask from Leah Day. If you don’t have elastic you can use binding or fabric ties (easy to make as well).
Legal Aide Services of Oklahoma: Get Help Here
Currently, LASO is rolling out a COVID HUB. This HUB will target Oklahoman’s who have lost employment because of layoffs, furloughs, or COVID itself. LASO will assist with unemployment benefits, sick leave, rent and mortgage issues, consumer debt issues, Fair credit reporting, eligibility for new Federal benefits, access to benefits such as VA, Sooner care, SNAP, and LIHEAP, and family issues. LASO will do so as case managers and deal with this full range of issues with the goal of preventing or ameliorating additional stress and securing economic stability.
A referral can call LASO at (888) 534-5243 Monday thru Thursday from 9-12 and 1-4 OR apply online thru OKLegalConnect.org. or both.
NODA’s cities, towns, and counties (and our region, state, nation, and the world) are facing unprecedented times in an uncharted territory with the novel (new) coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19. Business closures (mandated and un-mandated) are affecting many people’s livelihood, mental and physical health (in addition to the actual virus!), and future careers.
There is a lot of information out there about COVID-19, but which sources are trustworthy? Below are resources of information NODA has reviewed and considers to be viable sources that we trust. We will update this webpage as much as possible, but if you have any questions please contact Jonathon Cross (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Vicki Eggers (email@example.com) and we will work to find answers for you.
Sources for information provided on this page include:
- Autry Technology Center
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Enid Regional Development Alliance (ERDA)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)
- National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
- Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC)
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
ODOC COVID-19 Weekly Industry Webinars
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) is hosting weekly webinars with Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Sean Kouplen, addressing the COVID-19 situation and business needs.
Webinars take place each Wednesday. Business leaders are encouraged to attend webinars for sectors in which they do business.
Aerospace 3 pm
Agriculture & Food 2 pm
Econ. Dev. & Chambers 11 am
Energy 1 pm
Manufacturing 9 am
Non-profits 8 am
Retail 10 am
Services 4 pm
For more information go to www.okcommerce.gov
ODOC Small Business Teleconference – SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application and Program
ODOC is hosting a series of teleconferences for businesses interested in SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL).
Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 2-3pm
Thursday, April 9, 2020, 2-3pm
Each meeting is free, but capped at 1,000 participants. Register HERE.
Scammers are using the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) name to con small businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 crisis through phone calls, emails, text messages and letters.
- If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the SBA, suspect fraud.
- Emails from SBA or other legitimate government agencies will always end in .gov
- There is no cost to apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan and SBA will never ask you to provide a credit card.
- Do not release any private information (social security number, date of birth, etc.) or banking information in response to an unsolicited caller, letter, email, or text.
- If you are in the process of applying for an SBA loan and receive email correspondence asking for PII, ensure that the referenced application number is consistent with your application number.
- An SBA logo on an email or webpage does not guarantee the information is accurate or from the SBA.
- Check for spelling and grammatical errors in an email and be wary of clicking on any links or attachments.
- For help with applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, call 800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use a text telephone (TTY) by calling 1-800-877-8339.
- For inquiries regarding support for small businesses, send an email to email@example.com
- Visit the Small Business Cybersecurity site to learn more about small Business Cybersecurity tips, common threats, training, and best practices. www.sba.gov Cyber Security Page
- Visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Infrastructure site for small business resources. www.nfib.com Small Business Resource
- Trust your instincts! If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.
Website links for additional information:
Oklahoma Dept. of Commerce (ODOC) COVID-19 website with information for businesses including loans, grants and forgiveness loans:
Autry Technology Center website for business assistance: autrytech.edu/covid19businessassistance
Links to SBA loan/grant documents related to COVID-19: Loan Rescource Guide
Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act: SBC Guide
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): EIDL Guide
PPP Borrower Information Fact Sheet: PPP Information Guide
SBA Paycheck Protection Program Application: SBA Paycheck Form
CARES Act – Loan Amount Calculation: Calculator
CDC/FEMA/White House official coronavirus/COVID-19 website:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for COVID-19:
FEMA Eligible Emergency Protective Measures fact sheet for states and tribal nations who have emergency declaration for COVID-19. (Funding has not been assigned as of 3/30/2020):
National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) website. Their membership and focus is small businesses (500 or fewer employees): www.nfib.com
NFIB’s Guide to New Federal Lending Options: https://www.nfib.com
Side-by-side comparison of Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Small Business Loans Side-by-Side
NFIB COVID-19 Webinar Series (recordings):
Part I: How Small Business, Workers, and Workplaces Should Respond to COVID-19 (3/12/2020): www.nfib.com/webinars/covid-19
Part II: Congressional and Legal Update for Small Businesses (3/20/2020): www.nfib.com-webinars Covid 19 Part 2
Part III: Financial Resources & Update for Small Business (3/30/2020): www.nfib.com-webinar Small Business Resources and Updates