Login | November 26, 2020

CARES Act funds available for Ohio businesses

KEITH ARNOLD
Special to the Legal News

Published: November 12, 2020

Out-of-work Ohioans and small business owners reeling from stringent lockdown measures and a pandemic-wary customer base now have access to more than $200 million in federal funding to mitigate further economic loss.
Starting this week, affected Ohioans may apply to any of three programs funded through the CARES Act and administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.
The Small Business Relief Grant is to provide $125 million for grants to small businesses with 25 or fewer employees, development services officials detailed in a press release.
The grant funding is expected to help businesses pay for a variety of expenses, including mortgage or rent payments; utility payments; salaries, wages, or compensation for employees and contractors; business supplies or equipment; and other costs.
Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
The agency has stipulated that $500,000 is set aside in each of the state’s 88 counties to ensure grants are spread throughout the state.
When a county’s allocation is depleted, businesses in that county will be eligible to receive grants from the remaining funds in the overall grant program, the announcement continued.
The administration has designated $38.7 million for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund for those permit holders who haven’t been able to fully use their liquor permit.
Businesses with an on-premise consumption permit through the Ohio Department of Commerce are to be eligible to receive $2,500 per unique business location.
Businesses are required to have an active on-premise permit as of close of business Oct. 23, 2020.
“Bars, restaurants, and other locations where people go to gather have been substantially impacted by this pandemic,” Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield said in prepared remarks. “This assistance fund gives them an opportunity to pay their rent, buy important supplies, or take care of other business-related expenses with minimal strings attached.”
The Development Services Agency also is expected to allocate $50 million to 47 Community Action Agencies to provide rent, mortgage, and water and/or sewer assistance to Ohioans in need.
The Home Relief Grant is available to eligible Ohioans to pay outstanding rent, mortgage, and water and/or sewer utilities to avoid shutoff, foreclosure or eviction.
Ohio households behind on their bills with an annual income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for assistance. For a family of four, that is an annual income up to $52,400.
“At Development, we are focused on supporting businesses, communities, and Ohio families through this crisis,” said Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik. “Small businesses are an important part of the fabric of life in Ohio, and we want them to be with us in the years to come. We also want to ease the burdens of Ohio families. When our communities are strong and healthy, all Ohioans can succeed.”
The application period for pandemic relief programs began accepting applications Monday.
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