Tulsa City Council Approves Nearly $5M In Relief Funds To Boost Economy

Thursday, December 3rd 2020, 5:22 pm
By: Erick Payne

TULSA, Okla. -

The Tulsa City Council approves nearly $5 million in pandemic relief, to help the economy.

Councilors hope the federal money will create new jobs and lead to more start-up businesses. This funding plays off Mayor GT Bynum's State of the City address a few weeks ago.

City leaders are focused on helping Tulsans financially bounce back from the impact of COVID-19.

The City of Tulsa is moving to push more than $4.7 million to lift up the local economy as the state fights another surge of the pandemic.

"We're really focused on thinking about how do we use this economic downturn as an opportunity to position Tulsa to weather the next economic recession or the next public health crisis," Tulsa's Chief of Economic Development Kian Kamas said.

She said more than $3 million will go toward a partnership with Tulsa Community Work Advance. City leaders said it'll help many Tulsans retrain and get higher-paying jobs and careers. They hope it'll help more than 500 Tulsans over the span of two year.

"That's a huge impact for working families, and it helps them become more economically resilient so if they have any future disruptions, they have savings or they have the ability to maintain and protect their family," Kamas said.

The city is also using more than a million dollars to spark small businesses and start-ups.

The local nonprofit 36 Degrees North will transform the empty 5th floor of City Hall to use as an incubator.

Kamas said the company has been negotiating with other groups to fill 90% of the floor by the end of the first year. Last year, the organization helped create more than a thousand jobs in the city.

"It's exciting to know the demand is there, and that this should be a quick win for Tulsa residents," Kamas said.