A Broken Arrow company has received a funding award from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to help the state during the COVID-19 recovery.
Rapid Application Group (RAG), which normally develops and supplies parts for the aerospace, energy and health care industry, shifted gears and is working round-the-clock to design, develop, test and manufacture two different types of adaptable, reusable face masks for health care professionals, first responders and veterans.
“This is a crisis that needs a solution right now. That’s what we’re doing,” Terry Hill, CEO of RAG, said in a statement. “It’s just in our core DNA. If there’s somebody that needs help, if we have the resources, we’re going to give them everything that we can.”
Launched April 10, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Reboot Program was designed to assist Oklahoma manufacturers as they retool to develop new products and/or expand current capabilities. In the one week the application was available, the DOC received more than 300 applications.
Tuesday, the DOC and Gov. Kevin Stitt issued contracts to more than 30 companies, including RAG, Cosmetic Specialty Labs of Lawton, IMMY, a medical technology manufacturer from Norman, and Parrish Enterprises, a home builder in Enid.
This incentive makes monthly cash payment awards in the form of payroll tax rebates to help companies grow and boost business expansion investments in Oklahoma. To be eligible, a company must have a minimum annual payroll of $1.25 million. Special consideration will be given for awards associated with projects that can be implemented quickly. Awards will generally range from $50,000 to $150,000.
When reviewing the applications, the DOC will take into consideration: amount of capital investment from the company; the ratio of private sector dollars leveraged from Bounce Back Assistance awards; number of existing jobs, number of projected new jobs and the average wages paid to employees. Projects must provide a net positive benefit for the state.
Because of the high level of interest and the quality of projects submitted in the Reboot program, the DOC developed the Oklahoma Bounce Back Assistance Program to continue to stimulate economic growth and combat the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the state’s economy.
This new assistance program will support high-impact new capital investment across a broader range of industries, that will diversify the state’s economy, lead to new product development or increase capacity at Oklahoma’s existing companies. In addition to encouraging new capital investment, the awards will support existing jobs and the creation of new jobs.
“We are all aware of the strain the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our state’s economy,” Sean Kouplen, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development, said in a statement. “By enacting this program, we can help businesses start to move forward, giving them more flexibility as they adjust capabilities, begin new operations and hire more Oklahomans.”
The Bounce Back program uses funds set aside by Oklahoma Economic Development Pooled Finance Act, and companies must meet eligibility requirements outlined in the statute.
To apply, companies will submit an application to Commerce at www.okcommerce.gov/bounceback. After submitted applications are reviewed, the DOC staff will reach out to eligible companies. Companies that are awarded funds through the Oklahoma Manufacturing Reboot Program are not eligible.
In addition, companies that have current contracts with the Oklahoma Quality Jobs program are not eligible.
Participating businesses will be required to provide quarterly reports verifying employment levels and expenditures, as well as submit verification of purchase and installation of machinery and equipment. The deadline to apply is noon May 8.
Courtesy of Tulsa World