Business Strategy: Relief program will improve storefronts across OKC

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Kenton Tsoodle
Kenton Tsoodle

The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City is using the last of Oklahoma City’s federal ARPA funds on a proven program to assist small businesses. The Storefront Improvement Program has reopened applications to help Oklahoma City businesses looking to make exterior building improvements.

 

The Alliance will reimburse businesses up to $25,000 in expenses for outdoor building repairs such as windows, paint, signage or other improvements. To qualify, a business must be located in Oklahoma City, have been in business before April 2022 and be either minority-owned or located within a Qualified Census Tract (majority low-income) area.

The Storefront Improvement Program is an example of how our city has taken a thoughtful approach to investing ARPA funds in a way that increases the vitality and resilience of our businesses and workers. Our first two storefront improvement programs have seen many successes and exterior transformations. Funding exterior improvements supports businesses that want to improve curb appeal, get noticed or comply with the new ordinance from the City of Oklahoma City that requires business owners to repair or replace broken, damaged or illegible signs.

We encourage businesses to apply. Please share this information with local businesses in your own neighborhood. Storefront improvements help small businesses, and they also help to signal economic activity in the neighborhood and inspire other improvements to nearby homes and businesses.

The Alliance has created multiple programs since the spring of 2020 to maintain jobs, support small business recovery and increase their resiliency.

Small businesses employ just over half of all Oklahoma City workers and help to diversify our economy, provide valuable goods and services, foster innovation and entrepreneurship and enhance the quality of life for everyone. Small businesses and especially minority-owned small businesses were impacted most by COVID. Since the start of the COVID pandemic, The Alliance partnered with the City of Oklahoma City, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and other organizations to create and administer multiple assistance programs using federal relief dollars.

I’m proud of our work to help stabilize businesses, provide a catalyst for improvements and spur economic activity and private investment. For details or the application, visit www.theallianceokc.org/arpa-programs.

Kenton Tsoodle is the president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.

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