Oklahoma businesses and organizations receive billions in federal coronavirus aid, new federal data shows

Oklahoma recipients include businesses owned by congressmen, churches, chain restaurants and oil and gas operations, the data released by the U.S. Small Business Administration shows.
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New unemployment claims fall to lowest level in months, as COVID-19 cases continue to tick upward

The new unemployment data comes at a time when several Oklahoma mayors, faced with increasingly high numbers of COVID-19 cases in their cities, have started to re-implement some restrictions on businesses and social gatherings, aimed at stopping the spread of the disease.
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With workers facing long lines and waits, state employment agency seeks to increase in-person unemployment claims processing

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission is also planning to host an in-person claims processing event in Tulsa on July 15 and 16, though a location has yet to be determined.
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Stitt says closing businesses again ‘not a part of the discussion’ as coronavirus cases rise

“We are so far away from talking about this, again we just have to learn how to live with it,” Stitt said Thursday about implementing new social distancing restrictions amid a rise in coronavirus cases in Oklahoma.
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Tulsa-based Ross Group Construction settles federal small business fraud claims case for $2.8 million

“Defendants are nothing more than front companies utilized by TRG to obtain contracts set aside for legitimate small and other disadvantaged concerns and to illegally obtain payments from the Government," the whistleblower lawsuit filed against the Ross Group states.
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In Stitt’s government, officials keep one foot in the business world

In a review of hires and appointments by Stitt, The Frontier found at least half of his cabinet secretaries continue to manage a private business, while some agency directors have also pursued additional private sector opportunities.
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Facing delays, many unemployed Oklahomans opt to pay debit card company for ‘expedited’ delivery

The company's CEO predicted that revenue from its government services division, which issues unemployment, food stamp and other government benefit cards, will partially offset the losses in other sectors caused by COVID-19.
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As unemployment climbs to record highs, many who have been waiting weeks for assistance grow frustrated with system

“I'm very frustrated because I'm beginning to feel that I am being tricked,” said one Owasso woman who has filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds. “It has been almost 2 months with no payment.”
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State encourages businesses to report workers who refuse to return to jobs

“Obviously, if somebody turns down employment, then what will happen is, if the company chooses to call OESC (the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission) and let them know, then that individual’s unemployment benefits will stop,” Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Sean Kouplen said.
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As state reopens, Oklahoma workforce leaders discuss asking for end to federal unemployment payments

Oklahoma could ask the federal government to stop giving unemployed workers here the $600 a month unemployment stimulus, or halt benefits altogether for workers who don't go back to work when the economy opens up.
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