Published 04/08/2020 | Reading Time 4 min 21 sec
TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC), in partnership with City of Tulsa, George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF), Tulsa Community Foundation and Atento Capital, have come together to form the Tulsa Responds Task Force to help Tulsa’s small businesses and nonprofits apply for financial assistance from federal, state and local loan programs in response to COVID-19.
“The Tulsa Responds Task Force’s goal is to help organizations successfully apply for relief funding. We are here to help Tulsa bounce back as fast as possible by guiding local small businesses and nonprofits through the various assistance programs,” said Rose Washington, chief executive officer of Tulsa Economic Development Corporation. “There are a limited number of loans available so we want to help as many Tulsans access resources and receive the assistance they need to overcome these challenging times.”The Tulsa Responds Task Force helps organizations and nonprofits with under 500 employees by providing resources to better understand relief options, preparing financial information for loan applications and/or providing connections to financial institutions and bankers.
“Everyone I have spoken to so far is so grateful and genuinely relieved to receive a call and support as they work through the loan application process,” said Tulsa Responds Navigator Pamela Amburgy. “One applicant in particular who owns a local catering business told me how she gave all of her food inventory away to provide meals for families in need. She was glad to hear that the Tulsa Responds Task Force cared about her and her business and will be applying for the EIDL, PPP and the Tulsa Business Resilience and Recovery Fund.”
Tulsa Responds Navigators have been working around the clock to support applicants. Since the website launched on April 1, the Tulsa Responds team has received more than 700 inquiries. Within 48 hours, all potential loan applicants received personal outreach from a navigator. While there is no guarantee that organizations and businesses will receive funding, the Tulsa Responds Task Force is committed to providing support in navigating the application process.
“GKFF is pleased to support the Tulsa Responds effort with help for the technical side of navigating the variety of stimulus funds,” said Suzanne Schreiber, senior program officer at George Kaiser Family Foundation. “Understanding what funds are available and submitting quality applications for the funds is critical to the economic recovery of Tulsa and fits well with our effort to create a vibrant and inclusive Tulsa.”
The Tulsa Responds Task Force team will help businesses and nonprofits take advantage of available federal, state and local programs for which they qualify, including but not limited to, SBA Payroll Protection Program, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans and the Tulsa Business Resilience and Recovery Fund.
“During the COVID-19 outbreak, small business owners and employers throughout Tulsa have closed their doors in order to save the lives of our fellow neighbors. The formation of the Resilience and Recovery Fund is helping provide immediate assistance to our entrepreneurs and businesses until more substantial funds are available from the federal level,” said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. “I want to thank our partners, GKFF and TEDC, for their continued collaboration and support of the Tulsa community in our time of need.”
Organizations who qualify can fill out a form at tulsareponds.org. A Tulsa Responds Task Force team member will contact applicants via phone or email to discuss financial options available.