Help for small businesses


Applications being accepted through Nov. 27

By Tim Colliver - tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.com



Earlier this month, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that $429.5 million in CARES Act funding was going to be distributed as a relief package addressing several key areas.

According to Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) Public Information Coordinator Gina Collinsworth, $125 million has been set aside to establish the Small Business Relief Grant program to provide grants to eligible small businesses.

In addition, if the locally owned small business also happens to be a bar or restaurant, owners can apply for both the Small Business Relief Grant Fund and the $37.5 million Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund.

To further assist those affected by the pandemic, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced Saturday that up to $25 million in CARES Act grants were going to be made available to non-profit agencies that serve low-income and at-risk Ohioans.

The Small Business Relief Program will provide $10,000 to eligible businesses with no more than 25 employees, according to the OVRDC, and can be used for a variety of business-related expenses such as salary, worker health care premiums, supplies, equipment, mortgage or rent payments and more.

To insure that all 88 Ohio counties can equitably share in the program, $44 million has been set aside so at least 50 businesses in each county can benefit.

However, the OVRDC said that businesses that complete and submit the application, and meet the criteria will be eligible on a first-come, first-served basis.

The online application process opened on Nov. 2, and businesses can apply at www.businesshelp.ohio.gov.

The $37.5 million Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund is focused on the locally-owned community business, she said, with eligible businesses receiving $2,500 to be distributed to eligible businesses with on-premises consumption permits that would include bars, restaurants, distilleries, etc.

In order to qualify, she said the bar or restaurant must have an active permit as of Oct. 23, 2020, and while the establishment doesn’t have to be currently open, it must have an active license.

As with the Small Business Relief Grant Program, she said that application information is available at www. businesshelp.ohio.gov.

On Saturday, the ODJFS outlined the process by which non-profit organizations that serve low-income and at-risk Ohioans can apply for CARES Act grant funding.

“Those who were in need prior to this pandemic are even more vulnerable now, and many of the organizations assisting them have been struggling as well,” ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall said. “We are pleased to be able to provide this assistance to organizations that have accumulated unemployment debt as a result of the pandemic, and are devoted to helping Ohioans during difficult times.”

She said that organizations that receive funding can apply it to their unemployment debt, or bolster their work forces by rehiring staff they may have had to lay off.

Applications for the non-profit grant assistance will be accepted until Friday, Nov. 27 online at jfs.ohio.gov/nonprofitgrants.

The OVRDC said that the CARES Act funding was designed for critical services and everyday help for Ohio residents who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis, with funding that included:

• $100 million for higher education sites to be used for critical services, including targeting student mental health needs and COVID-19 testing.

• $62 million funding relief for rural and critical access hospitals.

• $50 million relief program for Ohio residents to access rental, mortgage, water and/or sewer assistance.

• $25 million for non-profit organizations.

• $20 million to support the arts in Ohio.

Additional updated information can be found at www.businesshelp.ohio.gov, or by emailing businesshelp@development.ohio.gov.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

Applications being accepted through Nov. 27

By Tim Colliver

tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.com