More help has arrived for struggling small businesses in Oklahoma City. There is a new way businesses can apply for lending that isn’t through the federal government.
The new support comes from a partnership the City of Oklahoma City with Kiva to help keep small businesses alive.
The City Council voted in December to concur with the Economic Development Trust's agreement with Progress OKC, a local community development corporation that will serve as Kiva's local hub. It kicked off at the beginning of January.
Maurianna Adams, the executive director of Progress OKC, said this is a loan that is for them.
“They can come with their business ideas or needs and share them with a global network of over two million lenders,” said Adams. “These are no interest loans and can keep businesses’ doors open and dreams alive.”
A business must apply for the loan through https://www.progressokc.org/kiva-okc.
Once an application is submitted, it will be approved or denied. Adams said if approved, a business can raise up to $15,000.
“Qualified OKC applicants could raise up to $7,500 on the Kiva platform, then be automatically matched up to $7,500 by a local fund, as monies are available,” said Adams.
These are loans, not grants, so they do have to be paid back within two to three years, but Adams said there is a six-month grace period that has been added due to COVID-19.
“We are hoping that this really is a bridge for those struggling businesses for them to stay afloat and grow and expanded here in the metro area,” said Adams.
This Kiva Oklahoma City program is a partnership between the City of Oklahoma City, Progress OKC and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. Other supporters include the Inasmuch Foundation, Oklahoma City Black Justice Fund and National League of Cities.