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Oklahoma County Commissioners Allocate $15 Million In CARES Funds For Small Businesses

The Oklahoma County Budget Board meets on November 16, 2020.
The Oklahoma County Budget Board meets on November 16, 2020.

The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners on Monday decided to give $15 million in coronavirus relief funds to a program designed to help businesses, nonprofits and other community organizations hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CARES Act funds come from a pot of $25 million the county jail trust said it couldn’t spend by a December 30 deadline and will be entrusted with the Oklahoma Industries Authority to be made available for county organizations that operate outside Oklahoma City.

The board said Oklahoma City residents already had a chance to receive federal Cares Act funds.

The county commissioners attached a December 9 deadline for applicants to be approved for grants. After that date the board plans to take the leftover funds back to spend on other projects ahead of the federal deadline.

Multiple county residents criticized the Board of County Commissioners for its original decision to transfer the majority of its CARES Act funds to the county’s jail trust.

Commissioner Kevin Calvey was the only member of the board to vote against sending the funds to businesses and nonprofits.

He argued the jail was a more responsible place to spend the money because it makes up about ? of the county’s budget and improvements there would benefit every citizen of the county.

Soon the county commissioners are also expected to decide how to spend the 10 million remaining CARES Act dollars.

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