CARES Funding Important for Tulsa County During COVID

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Tulsa County last spring no one was prepared for what is the most serious public health crisis in the history of Tulsa County. Our citizens, businesses, non-profits, schools, health facilities, housing, city governments, law enforcement, restaurants and hotels are confronting the most serious life changing challenges they have ever faced.
The federal government quickly responded and sent trillions of dollars to local governments. On April 23, Tulsa County received $113,690,799 in Coronavirus Aid, Recovery & Economic Security (CARES) funds. We have until Dec. 30 to use these funds to provide relief and recovery to the entire county.
Under the leadership of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) we quickly put together a strategic plan to deploy the funds to bring aid and relief to our citizens and to mitigate the impact caused by the pandemic in every area of our lives.
Now seven months later as 2020 draws to a close I am pleased to report the following areas where Tulsa County was able help our county as of Nov.30:

• Small Business Relief – $30,038,929 to 779 small businesses
• Non Profit Support – $11,678,699 to 84 non-profit agencies
• Childcare Opportunities – $1,356,274 to childcare centers
• Emergency Management – $3,367,792 for PPE supplies
• Election Protection – $934,872 for election costs & PPE supplies
• Food Insecurity – $4,200,000 to non- profit food distributors
• Eviction Housing Relief – $5,563,767 to 3,861 tenants and 1,131
• Public Health Support – $3,555,072 for testing, tracing, and part time employees
• Support for Cities – $1,103,240 to reimburse for COVID costs
• Economic / Jobs Development – $2,440,450 for hospitality industry and jobs development/retention
• Public Safety – $3,640,091 for law enforcement and fire services safety improvements
• County Facilities and Services – $12,970,906 for public health safety improvements to county facilities and remote working capabilities
While it is certain that we will still be living with COVID-19 as we enter 2021, it is uncertain if the federal government will provide more funding. In the event this occurs, Tulsa County has already identified where our next responsibilities will be.
These will include supporting the logistical plan to distribute the vaccine, continuing to provide personal protection equipment where needed, supporting the Health Department manpower needs with the vaccine distribution process, and continuing to provide safe county facilities for citizens and employees.

What leaders across Tulsa County are saying about the Tulsa County CARES Project:

“Tulsa County did a great job prioritizing the highest needs in the community and working with partners that are deeply trusted and highly effective in their work. I think the leaders and the team at Tulsa County served the public in an exemplary manner during this extremely difficult time and serve as a model for the entire country.”
Ken Levit, executive director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

“The County Commissioners and their teams demonstrated a strong commitment to learning about the needs and determining the best solutions to bridge funding for the greatest good. They also brought together experts in Housing and Food Insecurity for summits to drive towards a collaborative community response and most effective use of funds”
Alison Anthony, president & CEO Tulsa Area United Way.

“We often talk about the importance of small businesses as the backbone of our economy, but seldom do words materialize into measurable support.
“The Tulsa Board of County Commissioners recognized the value of the 22,000+ small employer firms and non-profits in Tulsa County and chose to provide a lifeline to those who suffered unprecedented economic interruption due to COVID-19.
“A survey conducted by Tulsa Economic Development Corporation reflected that most businesses would not have been able to manage the blunt force of the pandemic without help from Tulsa County.
“Small businesses will be forever grateful to Commissioners Peters, Keith, and Sallee for their unwavering commitment”
Rose Washington, president & CEO Tulsa Economic Development Corporation.

“The county’s diligent work has been a lifeboat for so many businesses struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“The Tulsa Regional Chamber represents more than 2,200 businesses across the region and we applaud the county for quickly establishing an equitable, transparent application process for the CARES Act funds it received.
“We at the Chamber were especially proud to partner with the county and the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency on the “Safer Tulsa County” program which used CARES funds to distribute personal protective equipment kits at no cost to qualified small businesses and non-profits. We distributed a total of 2,550 kits to 1,980 organizations during June and July to help them reopen as safety and smoothly as possible.
“From that program to the Tulsa County RESET program, the community has benefited in so many ways from the county’s response efforts”
Mike Neal, president & CEO Tulsa Metro Chamber.

“Many Broken Arrow businesses, just like others throughout Tulsa County, have struggled to adapt and innovate during this crisis, and many have seen dramatic decline in revenues. Thankfully CARES funding from Tulsa County has helped businesses throughout the county to stay open and retain employees. We are very grateful for the help from Tulsa County”
Jennifer Conway, president & CEO of the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce

“The City of Collinsville was very pleased with the funding received from the Tulsa County CARES and RESET program. The funding has not only helped the city recoup unexpected expenditures for COVID-19 but also many of our local businesses as well. Thank you, County Commissioners, for this program and your continued support of all cities in Tulsa County.”
Pam Polk, Collinsville city manager.

“Since the pandemic began we have seen about 2000 households that we’ve never seen before. These are people who have lost their jobs and families have moved in together.
“The thing that Iron Gate prides itself on is never having to turn anyone away who is hungry. We are very grateful for our CARES Act money because we just couldn’t have done it without it”
Carrie Vesley Henderson, Iron Gate executive director.