O’Connor: call for tenders for service providers in the legal, HR and other fields
As we anticipate the influx of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to Oklahoma City, we are developing new programs to help businesses and individuals with additional COVID recovery services. The Oklahoma City Economic Development Alliance is working with the City of Oklahoma City and community partners to plan programs that will direct relief funds to businesses and individuals in a way that supports families, helps companies to access the capital and other resources necessary for growth, train people for jobs in demand and otherwise impact our local economy. Our goal is to start rolling out these programs before the end of the year.
One of the programs will continue from the small business continuity programs we developed in 2020. The technical assistance program connects pre-qualified local subject matter experts and consultants with small businesses in Oklahoma City. to provide key services and expertise that small businesses say they need. The service provider is paid through the program and the small business receives much needed support to access capital, human resources, legal advice, marketing, e-commerce and more.
The Alliance for Economic Development has opened a Request for Quotation, or RFQ, on our website for these service providers. Some examples of types of service businesses include those with expertise in finance and accounting, human resources, legal, marketing, and e-commerce. We are particularly interested in service providers belonging to minorities and those who are fluent in the Spanish language.
The technical assistance program we launched in 2020 has seen many successes. Restaurant Received Help Completing Paycheck Protection Program Application, Dry Cleaner Received New Website With Easy Online Ordering and Scheduling, Nonprofit Received From help updating their employee handbook. new remote work guidelines and a dentist received digital and social advertisements to reach new patients. COVID has forced small businesses to quickly change the way they deliver goods and services. In-person purchases, meals, events and other connections are now balanced with the need for virtual contact, remote service delivery, and physical facility adaptations. Small businesses have shown real resilience; they also report that having professional assistance in these key areas has enabled them to continue their full employment and maintain sales at a sustainable level.
Over the next few weeks, I will be bringing more updates on the new relief programs.
Cathy O’Connor is the President of Oklahoma City Economic Development Alliance.