Help for Business

The CARES Act is providing unprecedented economic and health care relief to ensure small businesses in Ohio get the support they need to get by during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. These provisions are designed to help ensure that families and employers can stay afloat during this public health crisis and that, once it subsides, Ohio will be able to quickly get its economy back up and running. 

The CARES Act rescue package will help small businesses across Ohio stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic by: 

  • Providing $350 billion in low-interest loans for companies with under 500 employees through the Small Business Administration.
    • Small businesses are eligible to receive up to $10 million under this program.
    • Importantly, if a small business uses the loan for payroll, rent, or mortgage payments, it is completely forgiven, effectively making it a grant.
    • The application for borrowers can be found HERE
  • Including $500 billion in immediate tax relief for businesses of all sizes, including provisions such as payroll tax deferral and the ability to immediately monetize tax losses. Also included is an employee retention credit for businesses that keep employees on their payroll during a suspension of their business operations.
    • These provisions allow Ohio businesses to prioritize keeping employees on payroll and thus minimize painful layoffs.
    • The provisions also provide immediate cash flows to help businesses, and in particular small businesses without cash reserves, stay afloat during the months ahead.
  • Providing billions of dollars in support for addressing the coronavirus pandemic to ensure businesses can once again open their doors.
    • That includes $150 billion to health care providers and hospitals nationwide to accelerate the public health response, increase testing, and save lives.
    • And it includes $4.3 billion to support the CDC and state and local health departments to support the development of better testing and antiviral therapies that can help alleviate the worst symptoms of coronavirus to bring about a quick close to this pandemic. 

Small Business Administration Loans

The CARES Act provides significant relief to Ohio small businesses and non-profits through the expanded SBA 7(a) program.  Answers to frequently asked questions for small businesses can be found here.

Small businesses in Ohio have access to the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide a forgivable loan to cover payroll, rent, and utilities.   

We know that over $100 billion of the Paycheck Protection Program's $350 billion has already been disbursed to small businesses across the nation.  Small businesses should work through an SBA-approved lender to apply.

While our office cannot directly recommend a specific banking institution, I encourage you to visit: sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find to search for eligible lenders in your area.

Detailed Information from the Small Business Administration

Coronavirus Funding Options

Click here to learn more about available SBA loan and debt relief options.

Our nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.

To learn more about the relief options available for your business, click here.

Guidance for Businesses and Employers

The President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America - 30 Days to Slow the Spread

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:

The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.

To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use the guidance described below and on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page.

Below are recommended strategies for employers to use now. In-depth guidance is available on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page:

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Separate sick employees
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning
  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
    • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from designated countries with risk of community spread of Coronavirus, and information for aircrew, can be found on the CDC website.
  • Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
    • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
    • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

Common Issues Small Businesses May Encounter:

  • Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business's financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it.  See SBA’s capital access resources.
  • Workforce Capacity – Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It’s critical to ensure they have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected.
  • Inventory and Supply Chain Shortfalls – While the possibility could be remote, it is a prudent preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event one supplier cannot meet an order request.
  • Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.
  • Insurance Coverage Issues – Many businesses have business interruption insurance; Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.
  • Changing Market Demand – Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand.
  • Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.
  • Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA’s website at: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-planning-exercises

The IRS is extending payroll tax credits to eligible small and midsize businesses https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-and-labor-announce-plan-to-implement-coronavirus-related-paid-leave-for-workers-and-tax-credits-for-small-and-midsize-businesses-to-swiftly-recover-the-cost-of-providing-coronavirus

Federal Paid Leave Requirements

Employers curious about federal paid leave requirements for employees can find more information through the Department of Labor. More information here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave

Employers can also find a link to the Department of Labor’s frequently asked questions here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

More information regarding the Labor Department’s 30-day non-enforcement policy can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/field-assistance-bulletins/2020-1

The required poster for employers to fulfill notice requirement can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf

Information for Businesses from the Office of Lt. Governor Jon Husted

  • Use good judgment to follow the plain requirements of the order. 
  • Businesses do not need a letter, certification or clearance to operate, but it is recommended that a business develop a document providing the rationale on how you qualify as “essential business” and what you were doing to comply with item 18 (see full text below) which includes a checklist of sanitary workplace regulations.
  • Please don’t call law enforcement and don’t call the health department to ask them to interpret it for you. They are in charge of enforcement and can’t take thousands of calls to interpret the order for you.
  • Be prepared, because if you are a violator you can expect that a neighbor, competitor or employee will report you and you will be asked to justify your operations and ultimately be held accountable.
  • Please read the order: If you see an exemption for your business in the order as an “essential business” then you can remain open. But if you’re not on the list of exemptions or you are not part of the essential supply chain then consider yourself closed until April 6 at 11:59 pm.
  • And remember, even if you are in an “essential business” you need to follow the health and safety guidelines outlined in this order under section 18. Remember the goal of why we asking you to do this: to limit the spread of coronavirus. If can stay home please do."