Last Updated 9:00am on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021
(9/14) President Biden issued multiple Executive Orders (EOs) regarding new policies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccine mandates for federal workers, healthcare systems and businesses with 100 or more employees.
For full information on these new policies, CLICK HERE.
(9/12) SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, a federal disaster relief loan designed to better serve and support our small business communities still reeling from the pandemic, especially hard-hit sectors such as restaurants, gyms, and hotels. Information on the updated program guidelines, uses and ways to apply can be found HERE.
(8/13) The GAC, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Development, hosted an informational session on four new grant programs from the State of Ohio. The program featured a presentation and Q&A with Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Ohio Department of Development and John Werkman, Chief of the Business Services Division of the Ohio Department of Development which covered the grant programs detailed below.
CLICK HERE for a recording of the presentation and Q&A session.
CLICK HERE for access to the new grant programs.
(8/12) The SBA has announced that it is now accepting applications through its "Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgiveness Portal" which is a streamlined application portal that allows borrowers with PPP loans $150,000 or less through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA.
(8/11) The SBA announced updates to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, including:
- New applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. PT on Friday, August 20, 2021.
- The SBA will open the program for supplemental SVOGs for 50% of the original award amount, capped at a total of $10 million (initial and supplemental combined) later this month. Details will be announced at a later date.
- The SBA is currently accepting, by invitation, applications for reconsideration of award amounts and appeals. This rare opportunity gives applicants a chance to prove their eligibility and reverse a prior decision.
- CLICK HERE to learn more.
(8/4) Summit County’s rate of COVID-19 infection has nearly doubled in less than a week and moved the county to the “substantial” level of spread, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
See HERE for additional information on what this means for Summit County citizens.
See HERE for the latest CDC data relevant to our region.
(8/3) Regarding questions on employers' rights to require employees to get vaccinated, recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance says employers CAN require their employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. With that said, employers must make exceptions for employees' religious and disability accommodations in accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA and Ohio Civil Rights Act.
- “Federal EEO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other EEO considerations. Other laws, not in EEOC’s jurisdiction, may place additional restrictions on employers. From an EEO perspective, employers should keep in mind that because some individuals or demographic groups may face greater barriers to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination than others, some employees may be more likely to be negatively impacted by a vaccination requirement.”
Furthermore, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost confirms this in a recent statement FOUND HERE. We will continue to update this page as additional information is made available at the state level.
(7/27) Following the continued impacts of the COVID-19 Delta variant, the CDC has issued new guidance and protocols for both vaccinated AND unvaccinated people. Below are the main points:
- Updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant currently circulating in the United States.
- Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
- Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
- Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
- CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
(7/10) Recently, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services detailed recent improvements to the state's unemployment system. Following the work of a Public-Private Partnership team, which is made up of insurance, banking, and other industry experts, improvements have been made to the unemployment call centers, claims processing, and fraud detection efforts. For more information on these improvements and the status of Ohio's unemployment system, please CLICK HERE.
(6/25) Recently, new grant programs for small businesses launched that target businesses who have suffered significant losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs began taking applications on Tuesday, June 29.
More information about these programs is available online at BusinessHelp.Ohio.gov, including each grant program’s terms and conditions, fact sheets and frequently asked questions.
The programs are:
- Food and Beverage Establishment Grant: This program will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other food and drinking businesses. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ loss of revenue in 2020.
- Entertainment Venue Grant: This program will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to theaters, music venues, spectator sports venues, museums, and other entertainment venues. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ loss of revenue in 2020.
- Lodging Grant: This program will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast operations. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ decline in occupancy rate in 2020.
- New Small Business Grant: This program will provide grants of $10,000 to small businesses that were established between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.
Each program will require applicants to have an OH|ID. Businesses that plan to apply can get an OH|ID now, if they don’t already have one. Register at OH|ID (ohid.ohio.gov) by creating an account with a username/password.
For help with the process, click here.
(6/1) PLEASE NOTE: The PPP ended on May 31st, however, existing borrowers may still apply for forgiveness for First and Second Draw PPP Loans. More information on the forgiveness process and required documentation, please CLICK HERE.
SBA also offers additional COVID-19 relief for small businesses still seeking additional support.
(5/26) Recently, Governor DeWine signed two bills that will provide much-needed grants to alleviate some of the losses that businesses have experienced over the course of the last year. The bills appropriate over $400 million in grants to various industries including bars, restaurants and lodging, hospitality, local fairs, indoor entertainment venues, new businesses (formed in 2020), and small businesses (through the existing Small Business Relief Grant Program).
The final program guidelines and application process for the new grant programs will be available at the end of June. To stay updated on these programs and to apply, CLICK HERE.
(5/26) On May 14th, Governor DeWine amended the remaining health orders to comply with the new CDC guidance, which says that those who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, while those who have not been vaccinated should still wear a mask and socially distance. Starting on June 2nd, the Ohio Department of Health to remove most pandemic health orders, except for in certain circumstances involving nursing homes and as sited living facilities.
More information on these developments, CLICK HERE.
(5/17) On May 17th, Akron City Council voted to rescind an ordinance that required people in public places to wear face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The repeal takes effect immediately and the proposal comes as Ohio on June 2 will lift most COVID-19 restrictions, and with national health officials now saying people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks under most circumstances.
For more info, CLICK HERE.
(5/13) In a recent statewide evening address, Governor DeWine detailed a series of statewide drawings to provide incentives for Ohioans to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Ohioans aged 18 and older will be entered into "Ohio Vax-a-Million," a weekly drawing with a prize of up to $1 million. A total of five weekly drawings for each prize will take place, with the first winners being announced May 26th. Winners must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the date of the respective drawing.
For more info, please CLICK HERE.
(5/10) Beginning the week of May 23, Ohioans will be required to resume weekly work-search activities as part of future applications for unemployment payments. Allowable work-search activities include applying for a job, attending a resume-writing course, or creating and maintaining a reemployment plan on OhioMeansJobs.com. Under Ohio law, some individuals will be exempt from conducting work-search activities, including employees on a temporary layoff of 45 days or less, and individuals in approved training.
Additionally, individuals will meet their weekly work-search requirement if they are members in good standing with a union hiring hall that refers its members to jobs. For those in approved school or training, their work-search requirement may be considered met if they are attending all classes and making satisfactory progress.
ODJFS will notify unemployed Ohioans impacted by this change directly, to allow plenty of time to understand the requirements and begin their process of weekly work-search activities. For more information, please CLICK HERE.
(4/22) The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
For more information on this program and how to apply, CLICK HERE.
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- Supplemental documents
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- Set asides
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- Information about RRF in other languages
(4/21) The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal will reopen by the end of the week of April 18, 2021. Also, the SBA is updating the applicant user guide and FAQs to further clarify information and will post those here in advance of the application portal opening. Applicants may continue to register for an application portal account.
(4/7) The Greater Akron Chamber is hosting a virtual meeting on Thursday, April 15th at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the most recent COVID-19 response efforts at the local, state and federal levels of government. As we continue helping businesses recover from the pandemic, this will be a key opportunity for participants to better understand forthcoming support and directly engage elected leaders in Q&A.
Guest speakers include:
- Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16)
- Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted
- Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro
- Moderator: Steve Millard, President & CEO, Greater Akron Chamber
To register, please CLICK HERE.
(3/30) President Joe Biden signed recently passed legislation to extend the PPP through May 31st. For more information on the PPP and lender-specific information, please CLICK HERE.
(3/30) All Ohioans 16 and over are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov or by calling 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH). Additional details about the stationary and mobile clinics will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
For complete information on case data & vaccines, see the below links:
- In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov.
- Ohio's central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov
- All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov
- More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine
(3/16) Lt. Governor Husted announced that TechCred applications will reopen on April 1st. Starting with the April round, the following updates have been implemented to further streamline the program:
- The length of the grant will be reduced from 18 months to 12 months from the award date.
- Training programs must start on or after the date of the award, not before, and must be completed in less than 12 months.
- Training providers are no longer eligible to receive reimbursement for employees trained in-house. If a training provider wishes to utilize TechCred to upskill their employees, they must use an external training provider.
The next TechCred application period opens Thursday, April 1st and closes April 30th at 3:00 p.m. Businesses with employees who have completed their TechCred training should submit proof of credential completion to receive reimbursement at TechCred.Ohio.gov.
You can learn more about the program at TechCred.Ohio.gov.
(3/16) On Tuesday, March 16th Governor DeWine expanded vaccination eligibility to ages 40 and up. By March 29th, he says that all Ohioans 16 and up will be eligible. For more information on Ohio's mass vaccination plans, please CLICK HERE.
(3/11) Governor DeWine today detailed four initiatives that are making rapid COVID-19 tests more accessible to Ohioans:
- Federal Qualified Health Centers
- The state's ongoing partnership with federally qualified health centers has led to the availability of over 150,000 rapid tests at community health centers. These centers have professionals on-hand to administer the tests free of charge.
- Local Health Departments
- Local health departments have partnered with their communities to make at-home testing available to schools, nonprofit organizations, and first responders.
- Public Libraries
- The state has recently partnered with public libraries to make at-home tests available to more Ohio communities. During the first two weeks, Ohio has partnering with 120 libraries.
- K-12 Schools
- A new partnership launched today will bring 200,000 at-home tests to Educational Service Centers. To increase confidence and safety in schools, Governor DeWine encourages school districts to take advantage of this resource and develop aggressive testing plans.
Between libraries and local health departments, at-home testing is accessible in 76 of Ohio's 88 counties. Some of these areas had disproportionate access to testing earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on testing, please click HERE.
(3/10) On Wednesday, March 10th, Congress passed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package aka the American Rescue Plan. This legislation included a wide variety of policies and funding to support the nation as it continues to feel the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can review a summary of the American Rescue Plan or the full text of the American Rescue Plan by following the links.
Below are some highlights relevant to small businesses, local pandemic response and economic development included within the American Rescue Plan:
- $350 billion in financial assistance to state and local governments
- $15 billion in additional relief for our nation’s small businesses and hard-hit industries through increased funding for Targeted EIDL grants
- $25 billion in funding for a new dedicated grant relief program for restaurants
- $7 billion for expanded PPP assistance for nonprofits and digital news services
- $1 billion in Save Our Stages grants for independent live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions
- $1,400 Direct Payments
- $7 billion in broadband to expand broadband access, particularly for schools and students
- $14 billion for vaccine distribution
- $49 billion for COVID-19 testing, tracing, and genomic sequencing
- $8 billion to strengthen the public health workforce
- $11 billion for public health investments, including expansions of community health centers
- $30 billion for transit agencies
- $10 billion for critically-needed medical supplies and equipment
- $45 billion in rental and utility assistance and mortgage relief
- $40 billion in needed funds to cover many of the COVID-related costs of colleges and universities
- $130 billion to help K-12 schools safely reopen.
- $40 billion to support childcare
More information on these programs and the funding opportunities they represent will be made available in the coming weeks.
(3/6) Ahead of Congress passing the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package (the American Rescue Plan) the Ohio General Assembly has teed up another $2.15 billion in COVID-19 relief funding that remains from previous stimulus packages. Through a variety of companion bills in the Ohio House and Senate (separate from the ongoing state budgets making their way through the Ohio legislature) state leaders plan to utilize this $2.15 billion to reinvigorate statewide efforts to support struggling small businesses, nonprofits, local governments, schools and families.
Below are some highlights of the legislation putting the $2.15 million to use:
- $300 million for businesses, fairs, veterans homes and child care providers
- $125 million for bars, restaurants and the lodging industry
- $683.1 million to public schools, $154.8 million to private schools, $19 million for educational service centers, joint vocational schools and county boards of developmental disabilities; $173 million for expanded testing and vaccine distribution by ODH; $8 million for additional deployment of Ohio National Guard rapid response efforts
- $465 million for rent & utility assistance
More information on these programs and the funding opportunities they represent will be made available in the coming weeks.
(3/5) Governor Mike DeWine today that 15 long-term mass vaccination clinics will open throughout Ohio to significantly expand regional access to COVID-19 vaccines. One of these sites will be located in Akron at Chapel Hill Mall. The state-sponsored, regional sites will be offered in addition to the eight-week mass vaccination clinic to open March 17 at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. The regional mass vaccination clinics, which will begin opening in the coming weeks as supply becomes available, will operate until they are no longer necessary and will be equipped to administer between 300 and 3,000 vaccines a day depending on location, supply, and demand.
For more information on vaccines and to make an appointment to get your shot through Ohio's centralized scheduling tool, please visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
(3/2) The Small Business Administration has some key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which will be available for a limited amount of time to ensure America’s smallest businesses get exclusive access. If you are a small business owner with 20 employees or less, or are self-employed; there is new information for you. Please join us for a series of webinars hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Public Private Strategies Institute, & other stakeholders to hear about:
- What steps you can take now to take advantage of this special opportunity, which closes at 5:00 P.M. EST, Tuesday, March 9th, 2021.
- Additional changes and recent policy announcements made by Biden-Harris Administration
- Have your questions answered by SBA Leadership
- Mar. 5, 1:00 p.m. ET, Black + African-American Small Business Owners, Click here to register.
- Mar. 5, 3:00 p.m. ET, Hispanic Small Business Owners, Click here to register.
- Mar. 6, 2:00 p.m. ET, Veterans, Self-Employed Business Owners, Click here to register.
- Mar. 8, 3:00 p.m. ET, LGTBQ Business Owners, Youth Entrepreneurs, Restaurant Owners, Click here to register.
(2/25) Governor DeWine announced the launch of a new health equity website on coronavirus.ohio.gov that highlights Ohio's efforts to achieve equity in its pandemic response and provides resources to help communities, agencies, and organizations across the state join in those efforts. The new Communications Resources Hub will offer various print, digital, audio, and video resources to help Ohioans provide education about the vaccine to any number of communities. In addition to general resources, the website offers materials created for specific groups, including minorities and Ohioans who speak English as a second language.
(2/22) The Biden Administration today announced several changes to the Paycheck Protection Program with a stated goal of better targeting the initiative "to the smallest businesses and those that have been left behind in previous relief efforts." The changes include:
- Instituting a 14-day period, starting Wednesday, during which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for loans through the program.
- Revising the loan calculation formula for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals so that it offers more relief, and establishing a $1 billion fund for businesses in this category without employees located in low- and moderate-income areas.
- Eliminating a restriction that prevents small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions from participating in the program.
- Eliminating a restriction that prevents small business owners who are delinquent on their federal student loans from participating in the program.
- Ensuring non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents can use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to apply for relief.
For more information on these developments, please CLICK HERE.
(2/19) Businesses applying for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant will need to be registered in SAM, the System for Award Management. The Small Business Development Center at the Summit Medina Business Alliance and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center are holding a webinar on how to register for SAM. The webinar will be held on Thursday, February 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
CLICK HERE for additional information and to register.
(2/15) REMINDER: Borrowers with a PPP loan less than $150,000 have the ability to more easily apply for forgiveness through a new streamlined application. Also, the requirement that PPP borrowers must deduct the amount of any EIDL advance they received from their PPP forgiveness amount has been removed. To be eligible, applicants must submit to their a lender a certification including:
- A description of the number of employees the eligible recipient was able to retain because of the PPP
- The estimated amount of the covered loan amount spent by the eligible recipient on payroll costs
- The total loan value
For additional guidance, please visit the SBA's website or contact your PPP lender
(2/9) The Ohio Development Services Agency is now distributing $100 million in federal funding to help low-income Ohioans who do not own their own home pay their rent, water, sewer, wastewater, electric, gas, oil and/or trash removal bills. Ohioans can apply for assistance with outstanding balances dating back to March 13, 2020, assistance for future rent/utility payments once back bills have been made current, and assistance for future rent and utility assistance for three months at a time.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply, please CLICK HERE.
(2/8) REMINDER: Verizon is committing $10 million to provide grants to small businesses through LISC. As small business owners across the country continue to face uncertainty amid the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this grant opportunity will support recovery and aid in survival through the pandemic and beyond. Additionally, Verizon is making a multi-year commitment to bring one million small businesses forward by 2030 with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy.
The application period is now open. Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, February 9th at 11:59PM ET. All applicants are encouraged to review their grant information and FAQ prior to submitting an application.
Grants are for eligible small businesses across the US, particularly in historically underserved communities hit hard by the pandemic. Eligible expenses for the grant include:
- Paying rent and utilities
- Meeting payroll
- Paying outstanding debt to vendors
- Upgrading technology infrastructure
- Other immediate operational costs
(2/3) Just as a reminder, Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at unemployment.ohio.gov. It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov.
(2/1) Governor DeWine unveiled his Administration's Executive Budget for Fiscal Years 2022 to 2023, which includes an aggressive plan to spur Ohio’s continued recovery by investing in communities, people, and businesses. Through the Investing In Ohio Initiative, the Executive Budget launches a strategic effort to invest more than $1 billion toward accelerating economic growth and ensuring economic vitality. The Investing In Ohio Initiative within the proposed Executive Budget includes $460 million to support Ohio's small businesses that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal includes:
- Investing $200 million in grants for bars and restaurants;
- Investing $150 million in grants for Small Business Relief Grant applicants, who previously applied and are qualified;
- Investing $50 million in grants for lodging industry businesses;
- Investing $40 million in grants for indoor entertainment venues;
- And investing $20 million in grants for new businesses, many of whom were unqualified to receive previous funding.
(1/27) REMINDER: The January TechCred application closes on January 29 at 3:00 p.m. TechCred helps Ohioans obtain new skills and improves Ohio’s workforce by reimbursing employers up to $2,000 for each technology-focused credential earned by a current or prospective employee. For more information, please CLICK HERE.
(1/26) Governor DeWine announced under what circumstances Ohio's current curfew, which extends from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., could soon end. DeWine says that if the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals remain below 3,500 patients for seven consecutive days, he would roll back the curfew to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for two weeks. After that, he would reduce the curfew to midnight to 5 a.m. if COVID-19 patients remained below 3,000 for seven consecutive days. That would last two weeks. After that, DeWine would lift the curfew if Ohio's hospitals had 2,500 COVID-19 patients or fewer for seven consecutive days. Updates on Ohio's curfew can be found HERE.
(1/26) The State of Ohio, through its local public health departments, will soon put to use the 2 million at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests it recently purchased which utilize telehealth services to deliver results within minutes without the need to send the test to a lab for processing. Additional information will be released about these easy-to-use antigen tests that detect the virus when people are most infectious HERE by the Summit County Public Health Department.
(1/21) Earlier this week, the GAC hosted a webinar with Congressman Gonzalez and the U.S. SBA regarding the new rules and regulations of the Paycheck Protection Program. Click HERE for a recording of that conversation. Click HERE to review slides from the SBA's presentation.
(1/21) The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, signed on December 27, 2020, extends and amends the following pandemic unemployment programs and benefits through March 13, 2021: Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUA), Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation and other employer benefits. For more information, please CLICK HERE.
(1/21) Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio's 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery is permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10:00 p.m.
(1/19) Additional documents have been released by the SBA regarding new rules around forgiveness, loan calculations (First and Second Draw) and application processes.
- Second Draw PPP Loan Calculation for Revenue Reduction and Maximum Loan Amounts (revised 01-19-21)
- How to Calculate First Draw PPP Loan Amounts (revised 01-17-21)
- PPP Borrower Resubmissions of Loan Forgiveness Applications using form 3508S, Lender Notice Responsibilities to PPP Borrowers, and Offset of Remittances to Lender for Lender Debts (revised 01-15-21)
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508S
- Paycheck Protection Program Excess Loan Amount Errors (revised 01-15-21)
(1/14) The Ohio Department of Health will launched a tool at coronavirus.ohio.gov to assist residents looking for a provider that has been allotted vaccines. The tool will be searchable by zip code or county, but it will not be updated in real-time. It is critical that those eligible to receive a vaccine consult local resources to determine up-to-date vaccine availability. The Ohio Department of Health is in the process of developing a state vaccination scheduling system. Additional information is forthcoming.
(1/14) The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) urges Ohio employers to cash the checks BWC mailed them in December to mitigate the economic hardship brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Tuesday, 23,351 employers still had not cashed $513.7 million in checks BWC sent last month in its $5 billion dividend for nearly 180,000 private and public employers. More info at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
(1/11) SBA, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, has reopened the Paycheck Protection Program loan portal. When the PPP loan portal system opens, it will initially accept First Draw PPP loan applications from participating CFIs, which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries. Additional information and support documents are below.
- Paycheck Protection Program First Draw Borrower Application Form (revised 01-08-21)
- Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Borrower Application Form (01-08-21)
- Top-line Overview of PPP First Draw Loans
- Top-line Overview of PPP Second Draw Loans
- Frequently Asked Questions for Lenders and Borrowers (12-09-20)
- How to Calculate Loan Amounts (06-26-20)
- Frequently Asked Questions for Faith-Based Organizations Participating in the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
- PPP Myth vs. Fact
(1/8) The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter.
(1/7) Following Congress's most recent COVID-19 relief package, the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided updated rules, guidelines and application & forgiveness information for the PPP. Additional information will soon be made available on the specifics and timing of the PPP's reopening.
-- For the Interim Final Rule on Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act, please CLICK HERE.
-- For the Interim Final Rule on Second Draw Loans, please CLICK HERE.
-- For PPP Guidance from SBA Administrator on Accessing Capital for Minority, Underserved, Veteran and Women-Owned Businesses, CLICK HERE.
(1/7) Governor DeWine announced those in Phase 1B will be able to receive vaccinations beginning on Tuesday, January 19. Those 80 years of age and older will be prioritized first in this next phase, roughly totaling 420,000 Ohioans. Then, beginning Monday, January 25, those 75 and older. The following week, vaccinations will be available to those 65 years of age and older. For more information on Ohio's COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, please click HERE.
(1/7) Lt. Governor Husted announced that the deadline for the BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant, which provided $50 million to schools to help them purchase equipment for students to access the internet, has been extended an additional year, until December 31, 2021. More information about the grant program can be found at ohio-k12.help.
(1/7) Governor DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Sixth Amended Director's Order to Limit Access to Ohio's Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities, with Exceptions. This revised order clarifies that in-person compassionate care visits are permitted in nursing homes and similar facilities. The new order does not change required precautions all visitors must take, including but not limited to, wearing of a facial covering and social distancing.
(1/5) Lt. Governor Husted announced that the seventh round of TechCred – a program that helps businesses upskill their current and incoming workforce with tech-focused credentials – is now open until January 29. To learn more and apply, businesses can visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov.
(1/5) Lt. Governor Husted announced that the deadline to apply for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund has been extended to January 31. Eligible businesses can visit businesshelp.ohio.gov to apply, which requires them to simply enter their liquor permit number and federal tax information.
(1/5) Lt. Governor Husted also announced that Ohio’s public employers will pay $14.8 million less in premiums this year thanks to a rate reduction from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation that went into effect January 1. The rate cut means approximately 3,700 counties, cities, public schools, and other public taxing districts will pay an average of 10% less on their annual premiums than in calendar year 2020.
(1/5) Because the availability of the vaccine remains limited in Ohio and across the country, Ohio is taking a phased approach that prioritizes the most vulnerable citizens, those in the healthcare field, and school staff members. Phase 1A, which is currently underway, includes approximately 1 million Ohioans. Phase 1B focuses largely on those who are 65 and older. For more information on Ohio's COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, please click HERE.
(12/31) Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio's 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until January 23, 2021. The extension is necessary until Ohio can determine if it will see a post-holiday case surge that impacts hospitals.
(12/28) On Monday, President Trump signed Congress's latest $900 billion COVID-19 relief stimulus package, solidifying support for individuals, businesses, renters and the unemployed. Support programs, like the PPP, are currently being updated to reflect new procedures and guidelines (in respect to the recent legislation) and will be announcing how, when and where to apply in the very near future. A summary of the provisions relevant to small businesses can be found HERE.
(12/21) Congress has agreed to another COVID-19 relief stimulus package for a total of $900 billion. This latest relief package will see those earning under $75,000 receive $600 stimulus payments, more than $284 billion for the PPP to support small businesses, an extension of unemployment insurance and a federal unemployment insurance bonus of $300 per week, $69 billion in testing and vaccine distribution funds, $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools, $13 billion in food assistance, $25 billion in rental assistance and a one-month extension of the eviction moratorium. A full section-by-section breakdown of the $900 billion stimulus deal can be found HERE.
(12/21) Today, Congress has passed a $1.4 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill (otherwise known as the 2020 Year-End Legislation). This appropriations bill is filled with support for key areas of the economy as businesses, schools, healthcare systems and communities across the country continue enduring the pandemic. A summary of the $1.4 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill can be found HERE.
(12/15) Governor DeWine announced that Ohio will receive vaccinations throughout the month of December. Ohio is expected to receive 123,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, as well as 201,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine. During the week of New Year’s, Ohio is expected to receive an additional 148,000 Pfizer vaccines and an additional 89,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. For more information on the Administration's vaccine distribution plan, please click HERE.
(12/15) Governor DeWine announced that Ohio will launch a new COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard in the coming days at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The dashboard will list the number of people vaccinated in Ohio and will be sortable by demographic and by county.
(12/10) Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will be extending the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew until January 2, 2021. A copy of the extended order can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
(11/30) Governor DeWine today announced a new program to help improve indoor air quality and reduce the transmission of COVID-19 at senior living facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living centers, and adult day centers. The $28 million program (funded through CARES Act funding) was created to address indoor air quality through HVAC inspections, portable air filtration systems, new filtration systems, maintenance on current systems, and other interventions. Eligible recipients can receive up to $15,000. Additional questions about the program should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(11/30) Ohio's COVID-19 hospitalizations have hit an all-time high at 5,060 people hospitalized with the coronavirus across Ohio as compared to just under 1,700 COVID-19 patients on November 1. Of Ohio's currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients, there are 1,180 individuals in intensive care units and 682 people are on ventilators. According to Dr. Thomas, one-third of ICU patients have COVID and one-third of individuals on ventilators have COVID.
(11/24) At the urging of Governor DeWine, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) board voted unanimously to approve issuing $5 billion in dividends to Ohio’s employers in mid-December to ease the financial pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This is nearly four times the dividend BWC issued in October, bringing total dividends this year to nearly $8 billion. Employers should expect to see their checks in the mail in mid-December.
(11/24) Lt. Governor Husted announced that less than half of the eligible permit holders have submitted an application for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund. Roughly 30 different permit types, including bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, wineries, casinos, and private clubs may be eligible. Ohioans can find a list of eligible permits, along with the application, at BusinessHelp.Ohio.gov.
(11/19) Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that ODH Director Stephanie McCloud signed a health order encouraging people to stay at home during specified hours unless they are working or engaged in an essential activity. Individuals within the state must stay at a place of residence during the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. except for obtaining necessary food, medical care, social services, providing care for others, or other specified exceptions.
(11/17) Governor DeWine announced the release of a new holiday celebration guide from the Ohio Department of Health to help families celebrate safely during the 2020-2021 holiday season. The guide provides alternatives to large in-person celebrations for a variety of holidays, including Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Orthodox New Year, and others. Please share with your networks as you deem appropriate.
(11/17) Governor DeWine today provided details on Ohio's vaccine prepositioning plan. ODH has identified 10 sites across the state that will receive the pre-positioned vaccine after a COVID-19 vaccine is given emergency-use authorization. Once the CDC and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issues its recommendation on how to use the vaccine, these sites will begin administering the vaccine immediately.
(11/5) Over the last 33 weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $7.1 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 833,000 Ohioans. Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, more than 95% have been processed, with less than 5% pending. In addition, ODJFS has issued more than $6.8 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to more than 656,000 PUA claimants.
(11/5) Through the the federal COVID-19 vaccination “Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program" CVS and Walgreens will provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents with no out-of-pocket costs. Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities will be able to sign up via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and all other facilities via an online sign up form.
(10/29) As Ohio communities continue to face the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that they have the resources they need to help keep residents safe. HERE is a COVID-19 Resource Guide for local communities to use as a tool as we continue to help one another and persevere until we are on the other side of this crisis.
(10/29) Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has partnered with Governor DeWine’s Children’s Initiative to provide financial support to families who may need supplemental assistance outside of what is provided by their child's Individualized Education Programs (IEP). Learning Aid Ohio was created to connect tutors, aides, or in-home providers who can offer distance learning support for students with disabilities on IEPs. Applications can be submitted at www.LearningOhio.com.
(10/23) On Friday, October 23rd, Governor DeWine and the Ohio Development Services Agency announced two new COVID Relief grant programs for Ohio companies that will provide more than $162 million in grant support. One program is focused on all small businesses with one to twenty-five employees. The other is specifically for Bars and Restaurants for Division of Liquor Control permit holders. Applications go live on November 2nd. Visit www.BusinessHelp.Ohio.Gov site for all of the available details.
(10/22) CALL TO ACTION: Governor DeWine unveiled a new advertisement that will begin airing across the state to serve as a visual reminder of how quickly COVID-19 can domino out of control. Please consider sharing this ad with your networks to help amplify its important message.
(10/22) The Lt. Governor announced that Ohio recently received two RAPIDS apprenticeship rankings: number four in the U.S. for number of apprentices and number one among the 28 states with state apprenticeship systems. ApprenticeOhio programs provide full-time work during the training period as well as decent wages – so Ohioans can earn while they learn. More information can be found at Apprentice.Ohio.gov.
(10/20) Governor DeWine announced that Ohio has submitted its Interim Draft COVID-19 Vaccine Plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan is a framework on how Ohio will proceed once a vaccine is available. The plan is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
(10/15) The City of Akron and the Western Reserve Community Fund (WRCF) are launching a program that aims to provide low-cost loans to small businesses in Akron called the Akron Resiliency Fund. For more information, please CLICK HERE.
(10/8) The U.S. Small Business Administration released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars. For more information on this updated streamlined process, please CLICK HERE.
(10/8) Governor DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes has signed the order that allows nursing facilities to permit indoor visitation beginning Monday, October 12th. In order to permit indoor visitation, facilities are required to meet certain health and safety requirements. The visits will be limited to two visitors and will be a maximum of 30 minutes. Facilities are required to report visitation information, including visitation status, hours, maximum visitation time, and number of visitors via an online dashboard at coronavirus.ohio.gov. Facilities must register with the state by October 19th.
(9/29) Lt. Governor Husted announced today that Ohioans can now access training at no cost through 12 training providers under the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP). Ohioans who are low income, partially unemployed, or totally unemployed can visit the IMAP landing page at IMAP.Development.Ohio.gov to work directly with the awarded training provider of their choice to enroll in the training program that works best for them. For more information, contact the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation at Workforce@OWT.Ohio.gov.
(9/24) Yesterday, Governor DeWine announced that Retail Food Establishments are permitted to resume use of their self-service food stations in accordance with guidance from the Ohio Department of Health. Examples of Retail Food Establishments are convenience stores, gas stations, and grocery stores. Self-service food stations are currently still not permitted to operate in Food Service Operations like restaurants. You can find a link to the updated Dine Safe Ohio Order HERE, and a link to updated sector guidance for self-service food stations in retail establishments HERE.
(9/24) Governor DeWine announced today that Ohio's ResponsibleRestart guidelines for higher education will now include a recommendation that all residential colleges and universities regularly test a sample population of asymptomatic students. The updated ResponsibleRestart Ohio guidance will be posted tocoronavirus.ohio.gov.
(9/22) Governor DeWine today unveiled a new case demographics dashboard on coronavirus.ohio.gov. The new dashboard gives citizens access to COVID-19 case data by race or ethnicity. The data can be broken down by age and county and compared to the overall Ohio population.
(9/17) Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has started distributing $300 per week in Lost Wages Assistance to eligible unemployment insurance recipients. This assistance is available to Ohioans who received traditional unemployment benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Trade Readjustment Assistance, SharedWork Ohio or extended benefits for weeks ending August 1st through September 5th. PUA claimants will receive payments first, in a staggered manner with individual payments for each week they qualified for the program. For Ohioans receiving other types of unemployment benefits, there will be one retroactive payment for all weeks they qualify. Updates on this process can be found at jfs.ohio.gov/lwa.
(9/17) Governor DeWine reminded parents that Halloween activities will be different this year than in years past. He encouraged parents and children to wear a mask, practice social distancing, avoid large groups, and to stay home if sick. Final decisions on whether to hold or participate in trick-or-treating or other events should be made by local communities, individuals, and parents. The state will be developing guidance for Halloween and it will be posted on coronavirus.ohio.gov to help communities and families plan for the holiday.
(9/17) Governor DeWine announced the state has launched the Schools Dashboard and the Children’s Dashboard to provide school districts and parents the best information to make decisions about their child’s education and social interactions. The Schools Dashboard will show new and cumulative COVID cases reported to schools by parents/guardians and staff. Schools are required to report cases to their assigned Local Health Department who then report to the Ohio Department of Health. The Children’s Dashboard, developed in consultation with the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, includes information about cases and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 among children aged 0-17 in Ohio by selected demographics and county of residence. Both dashboards are available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
(9/15) Governor DeWine, along with JP Nauseef, president and CEO of JobsOhio, announced that JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Development Services Agency will launch a pilot initiative called Ohio To Work. The Initiative will help connect Ohioans looking for a job to a new job opportunity. The first Ohio To Work initiative will be launched in Cleveland-Cuyahoga County. Ohioans can learn more at OhioToWork.com.
(9/15) Yesterday, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 606 into law. House Bill 606, sponsored by Representative Diane Grendell, ensures civil immunity to individuals, schools, health care providers, businesses, and other entities from lawsuits arising from exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19, or any mutation of the virus, as long as they were not showing reckless, intentional, or willful misconduct.
(9/10) With flu season approaching, Governor DeWine today reminded Ohioans of the importance of getting a flu shot this year. The Governor, First Lady Fran DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted, all received their flu shots this afternoon. Those who are elderly and need help getting to their physician's office can contact their local Area Agency on Aging at 866-243-5678 to access transportation resources and other services. Anyone without a primary healthcare provider can visit vaccinefinder.org to find nearby pharmacies and other healthcare locations offering the flu vaccine.
(9/10) On World Suicide Prevention Day, Governor DeWine reminded citizens that resources are available for anyone who needs support due to stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or other concerns. Ohioans can reach the Ohio Careline by calling 1-800-720-9616. Residents can also be connected to a trained crisis counselor via the Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4hope” to 741 741. Several PSAs on mental health issues and prevention resources can be found HERE.
(9/8) In response to numerous rumors, Governor DeWine stressed that there are no orders in Ohio to create "FEMA camps" to quarantine citizens against their will. The order simply creates a funding mechanism to allow for federal reimbursement for communities that choose to offer alternate locations for people to safely quarantine outside of their homes. If a citizen chooses to recover in a quarantine housing location, others in the household can remain at home and unexposed.
(9/8) Governor DeWine announced that thousands of Ohio children, who qualify for free or reduced-price meals but are currently learning remotely, will soon receive additional money to purchase nutritious foods through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. Parents do not need to apply to receive these benefits. The benefits will be automatically loaded onto existing Ohio Direction cards or a pre-loaded card will be sent in the mail.
(9/3) Governor DeWine announced that information from Ohio's new Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network is now available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The network was developed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through the study of wastewater samples.
(9/2) The Department of Labor (DOL) has provided additional FAQ guidance specific to the emergency family and medical leave provisions. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides for a temporary expansion of emergency family and medical leave (EFML) for the specific event resulting in caregiving responsibilities arising out of school or day care closures. As schools are beginning to open in a variety of ways, the DOL provides the following clarifications:
- If a school gives an employee-parent the choice between in-person and remote learning, and if the employee-parent chooses remote learning, then the employee-parent would not be entitled to EFML.
- If school is providing a hybrid learning methodology whereby a student can only be in-person certain days of week and must be remote other days of the week, the employee-parent is entitled to EFML only on the days the student must be remote.
- If a school is only offering remote learning but may later change to in-person learning, the employee-parent is entitled to leave during the time remote learning is offered. Once in-person learning is offered, EFML would become unavailable.
(8/28) The U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service released guidance (Notice 2020-65) that implements President Trump’s recent memorandum directing the Secretary of the Treasury to use his authority to defer certain payroll taxes. Employers that defer the tax collections from Sept. 1 through year’s end will need to collect unpaid taxes starting on Jan. 1 and remit them by April 30. More information can be found HERE.
(8/27) Lt. Governor Jon Husted has announced that Ohioans can soon benefit from the highly anticipated $300 federal unemployment bonus. These funds are expected to be made available in mid-September, as Ohio is still waiting for the $717 million to be received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, following the Executive Order by President Trump. These funds will be retroactive dating back to August 1 and more information can be found HERE.
(8/25) Interim Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes today signed the Director's Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Entertainment Venues.
(8/18) Governor DeWine announced that an order from the Ohio Department of Health will be issued to outline how sports, both contact and non-contact, may move forward in Ohio. The order will apply to all organized sports in the state and will include guidelines for spectators. The decision for high school fall sports to be postponed to the springtime will be left to the school districts. This order can be found HERE.
(8/13) Today, Governor DeWine released the final Minority Health Strike Force report and the state's executive response. The Minority Health Strike Force was formed in April to examine the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on minority communities, as well as broader health disparities and racial injustices. The COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint lists 34 recommendations on dismantling racism, removing public health obstacles, improving the social/economic and physical environments, and strengthening data collection to better track disparities.
In response to the Strike Force's report, Governor DeWine issued Ohio’s Executive Response: A Plan of Action to Advance Equity. The action plan outlines efforts to reinforce the DeWine Administration's commitment to advancing health equity and establishing Ohio as a model for justice, equity, opportunity, and resilience.
(8/11) According to information gathered by the Ohio Department of Education, 325 public school districts in Ohio are planning to return to school full-time which equates to approximately 590,000 students. A total of 55 districts representing approximately 398,000 public school students will begin the school year remotely. Approximately 380,000 students in 154 public school districts will start the school year with a hybrid of online and in-person learning. Information on 78 public school distracts was not readily available.
(8/7) Lt. Governor Husted announced today that schools can begin applying for the new BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant on Monday, August 10. A total of $50 million will be allocated through the grant program to help provide hotspots and internet-enabled devices to students. Schools can begin applying for this grant opportunity at https://ohio-k12.help/broadbandohio-connectivity-grant/. The public website will be live today, however schools will not be able to apply until Monday. The application period will close Friday, August 21st.
(8/4) The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, has provided updated guidance on how to address borrower and lender questions concerning forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. An updated FAQ can be found HERE.
(8/4) Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a health order requiring that K-12 children wear face coverings while at school. The new mandate comes after the Ohio Children's Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter issued a joint letter today recommending widespread use of masks in schools.
(8/3) Citizens Bank is providing minority-owned businesses grants of $15,000 each to qualifying businesses. Applicants must be at least 51% minority owned, operated and controlled by an Asian American, Black American, Hispanic American or Native American; either a Citizens Business Banking account holder or based in the communities we serve; in business for at least one year; and have annual revenue of no more than $1 million.
To enter, please Submit a statement (up to 150 words) describing how you would use the grant to strengthen and sustain both your business and your community. See Official Rules and additional details HERE. Applications are open until Friday, August 7, 2020.
(7/30) Governor DeWine announced that Ohio will separate its mass gathering guidance into its own order. Mass gathering guidance was most recently referenced as part of other orders, and combining this information into a stand-alone order will allow citizens to easily find guidance on holding gatherings in a safe manner. Mass gatherings in Ohio remain limited to 10 people. The order will still permit Ohioans to go to work, worship, go to school, and acquire goods and services, however, this order will offer clear recommendations on safely holding gatherings.
(7/23) Governor DeWine announced that beginning on Thursday, July 23, at 6:00 PM, a statewide mask mandate will go into effect for citizens living in all 88 Ohio counties. All individuals in Ohio must wear facial coverings in public at all times when: at an indoor location that is not a residence; outdoors, but unable to maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members; waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, such as a taxi, a car service, or a private car used for ride-sharing. A copy of the Order can be reviewed HERE.
(7/22) Lt. Governor Husted today announced that Governor DeWine has signed onto a letter to Congressional leadership with 20 other fellow Governors from across the nation, calling for reasonable limited liability protections for businesses, schools, healthcare workers, and governments as they are reopened during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The letter calls for predictable, timely, targeted liability protections to shield employers from legal risks associated with the spread of the novel coronavirus, so long as they are following the appropriate standards of care to protect their employees, customers, and students.
(7/22) Governor DeWine announced today a travel advisory for all individuals coming into Ohio from states reporting positive COVID-19 testing rates of 15 percent or higher. Those traveling from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, and Texas should self quarantine for 14-days. The self-quarantine recommendation applies to those who live in Ohio and to people who are traveling into Ohio from any of these states. Additional information is provided on coronavirus.ohio.gov for tips on how to effectively quarantine.
(7/15) In a statewide address from his office in the Statehouse tonight, Governor DeWine said that the state is at a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic and implored Ohioans to take appropriate action to reverse the rapidly increasing spread of the virus.
Governor DeWine commended Ohioans for doing their part at the beginning of the pandemic. However, with positive cases increasing, he reminded Ohioans that the choices they make today will impact the spread of the virus in the coming weeks. During the speech, grounded in scientific evidence and data, Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans about the efficacy of facial coverings to protect themselves, loved ones, friends, neighbors and other citizens. He also renewed the call to socially distance and limit public gatherings.
For more information on how to best combat COVID-19 in order to keep the economy moving forward, please visit Responsible RestartOhio.
(7/10) The Ohio Department of Higher Education, in consultation with Ohio colleges, universities, the Ohio Department of Health, and health experts across the state have developed guidance to help campuses safely reopen. The Responsible RestartOhio guidance for Institutions of Higher Education includes minimum operating standards and best practices for all campuses. Because each campus must develop policies and procedures related to COVID-19 testing, new Guidance for COVID-19 Testing at Institutions of Higher Education was also released to help institutions tailor their testing plan to their community and develop policies.
(7/10) In consultation with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, the Ohio Development Services Agency (Development) will administer the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP), including receiving applications from training providers through an RFA process, selecting institutional partners to administer the program, monitoring/compliance, and reimbursement.
IMAP was created to provide opportunities for Ohioans who are low income, partially unemployed, or totally unemployed to participate in a training program and receive a microcredential. Training providers that submit successful applications will be reimbursed up to $3,000 upon completion of each microcredential. For more information, please CLICK HERE.
(7/2) Governor DeWine announced new guidance for resuming school in the fall. The newly issued guidance report advises schools to vigilantly assess symptoms, wash and sanitize hands to prevent spread, thoroughly clean and sanitize the school environment to limit spread on shared surfaces, practice social distancing, and implement a face coverings policy. More details on the new school guidance is available HERE.
(7/2) Governor DeWine announced that going forward, Ohio will maintain vital, necessary baseline orders to control the spread of COVID-19 while also implementing a new alert system. The Ohio Public Health Advisory System will provide local health departments and community leaders data and information to combat flare-ups as they occur in different parts of the state. The system consists of four levels that provide Ohioans with guidance as to the severity of the problem in the counties in which they live.
A county's alert level is determined by the seven data indicators listed below. Additional measurements still in development include county-level data on contact tracing, tests per capita, and percent positivity. Detailed descriptions for each indicator are attached and can also be found on coronavirus.ohio.gov.
- New Cases Per Capita
- Sustained Increase in New Cases
- Proportion of Cases that Are Not Congregate Cases
- Sustained Increase in Emergency Room Visits
- Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits
- Sustained Increase in New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Bed Occupancy
Information on alert levels are listed below. Each alert level includes specific risk-level guidelines (attached), including the requirement that all citizens comply with all health orders.
- Alert Level 1 Public Emergency (Yellow): Baseline level. County has met zero or one indicator. Active exposure and spread. Follow all health orders.
- Alert Level 2 Public Emergency (Orange): County has met two or three indicators. Increased exposure and spread. Exercise high degree of caution. Follow all current health orders.
- Alert Level 3 Public Emergency (Red): County has met four or five indicators. Very high exposure and spread. Limit Activities as much as possible. Follow all current health orders.
- Alert Level 4 Public Emergency (Purple): County has met six or seven indicators. Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services. Follow all current health orders.
(6/27) Governor DeWine has announced a COVID-19 awareness campaign to ensure Ohioans maintain urgency around the coronavirus and has asked the statewide business community to support them in these efforts. Below are links to various videos being utilized in this campaign. More information will be provided in the coming weeks through the Greater Akron Chamber's newsletters and social media posts.
- I Believe – Face Masks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_D9enYXkew)
- I Believe – Social Distancing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTYox4misXs)
- Up to All of Us (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFv4e7D7AzQ)
(6/25) Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will continue funding for the valuable 2-1-1 service as Ohio enters into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2-1-1 is a phone service that connects thousands of Ohioans to local non-profit and government services for healthcare, food and meals, housing, transportation, mental health, and legal services. At the beginning of the year, the service was available in 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties. When the pandemic began, Ohio EMA asked Ohio AIRS, the non-profit that governs Ohio 2-1-1, to provide service to the remaining 37 counties in Ohio, which happened in March. Ohioans can also dial 877-721-8476 to get connected to 2-1-1.
(6/23) Governor DeWine announced the first round of funding being distributed to local criminal justice entities as part of the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Grant. Approximately $2.1 million will be awarded to a total of 65 local criminal justice agencies including law enforcement, probation/parole offices, corrections agencies, courts, and victim service providers. The funding can be used toward COVID-19 expenses such as cleaning supplies, PPE, and medical supplies like thermometers. The funding will also be used to pay for technology upgrades that are needed for teleworking or other virtual services. A complete list of today's grant recipients can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
(6/18) In response to this increase in cases, Governor DeWine announced that pop-up testing sites will surge into the zip codes with the highest number of cases. Testing at pop-up sites is free, and citizens are not required to live in the community where the pop-up site is located to receive a test. New pop-up testing sites will also be scheduled in other locations to ensure testing accessibility throughout the state. A list of sites currently scheduled in Ohio is available on coronavirus.ohio.gov on the COVID-19 Minority Health Testing page.
(6/17) The U.S. Small Business Administration posted a revised, borrower-friendly PPP Loan forgiveness application that reflects changes made to the program in respect to the recently passed PPP Flexibility Act of 2020. In addition to releasing a revised forgiveness application, the SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:
- Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
- Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
- Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.
(6/15) To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. For more info, please click here.
(6/11) Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is expanding testing and encouraged those who want a COVID-19 test, including those who are low-risk or asymptomatic, to talk with their health care provider or contact a testing location to arrange a test. Governor DeWine also announced a series of "pop-up" testing locations, beginning with six locations in Columbus. These temporary testing sites will be available all over the state, including in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Portsmouth, Dayton, Xenia, Columbiana, Akron, and other locations. A flyer is attached and more information on Ohio’s testing locations can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
(6/11) Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will receive an $8.5 million federal Employment Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant to help reemploy individuals who lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help employers rebuild their workforces. ODJFS will work with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation to facilitate the grant program through local OhioMeansJobs centers and will distribute the funding to Ohio’s local workforce areas. ODJFS will also provide outreach to employers and services to individuals who were laid off, either permanently or temporarily, as a result of the pandemic. For more info, please click here.
(6/11) Governor DeWine announced that Dr. Amy Acton will step down as director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and begin serving as his chief health advisor effective at the end of business today. Lance Himes, who previously served as ODH's director, was named interim-director. In her new role, Dr. Acton will take a comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing health and well-being for all Ohioans. In addition to advising on health issues, she will continue to focus on the COVID-19 crisis.
(6/9) Governor DeWine today directed Ohio's Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board to begin developing uniform minimum standards related to mass protests. Members of the collaborative will examine issues surrounding best practices for interaction between law enforcement and crowds that fail to disperse, when tactics involving tear gas, pepper spray, and non-lethal projectiles are necessary and when these tactics should be considered excessive, and how to better protect members of the media from injury.
(6/5) The Ohio Development Services Agency has begun accepting applications for the Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program to specifically assist MBEs, WBEs and EDGE businesses hit hard by the pandemic. This grant program will provide $10,000 in funding to help these companies through the current crisis and set them up for the future.
(6/5) Governor DeWine announced that casinos, racinos, amusement parks, and water parks will be permitted to reopen on June 19th. Additionally, Governor DeWine also authorized the Memorial Golf Tournament to be held from July 13th to 19th. Click here for more info.
(6/2) Governor DeWine announced that he is intensifying efforts in Ohio to improve issues of health and economic disparities, racism, and inequity. The efforts will include new plans to improve law enforcement access to quality training, enhancing transparency between the police and the public, recruiting more minorities to serve as peace officers, and adding more oversight to Ohio's law enforcement agencies to ensure accountability. Please click here for more information on the plans ahead.
(6/2) Ohio announced that it intends to reopen schools in the fall, but individual starting dates will be up to each local school board. In the near future, broad reopening guidelines will be issued for schools in regard to protecting the health of students and staff when the school year resumes.
(6/2) Governor DeWine announced today that health care providers, including dentists, may resume all surgeries and procedures that had previously been delayed if they meet certain safety criteria. Visit Responsible RestartOhio for more information.
(5/29) Governor DeWine and Health Director Amy Acton have released an Updated and Revised Order for Business Guidance and Social Distancing. Additionally, they rescinded the Director's Order that the Sale of Spirituous Liquor be Restricted in Certain Instances in Certain Counties - more info on which can be found here.
(5/28) Printable resources that can be used by anyone in Ohio to display common symptoms, protocols, or guidelines during the reopening of business and services throughout Ohio available in English and Spanish on the coronavirus website here.
(5/28) The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is deferring Ohio employers' premium installments for the months of June, July, and August. Businesses will have the option to defer the monthly premium payments with no financial penalties. This is the second payment deferral BWC has given to employers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
(5/28) Governor DeWine announced today that the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has clarified rules that allow pharmacists to order and administer tests for COVID-19. To help Ohioans find testing locations, a map has been added to coronavirus.ohio.gov that lists COVID-19 testing centers in Ohio. Furthermore, information on the Governor's COVID-19 testing priorities can be found here.
(5/26) COVID-19 signage and health screening questions for use with customers/clients as resources for businesses and other organizations who want to use them are available on the coronavirus website HERE.
(5/26) Governor DeWine announced the formation of new Congregate Care Unified Response Teams to test residents and staff members in Ohio's nursing homes. Medically-trained members of the Ohio National Guard will begin testing residents and staff within nursing homes beginning this week. This testing will help nursing home administrators gauge the status of the virus in their facilities and help isolate the virus to stop it from infecting their community.
(5/21) Governor DeWine announced initial findings from his Minority Health Strike Force. The team was formed in April in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans who make up 14 percent of Ohio's population, but represent 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 31 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 17 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio.
(5/19) Governor DeWine released details of the new "Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory" which replaces the Stay Safe Ohio order that was issued by the Ohio Department of Health on April 30, 2020. Click here for more information.
(5/19) Governor DeWine also announced that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) will begin distributing at least 2 million non-medical-grade face coverings to Ohio employers who are covered by BWC. Public and private employers that participate in the State Insurance Fund will receive a package from BWC containing at least 50 face coverings. The masks are funded through BWC’s existing budget and will not impact any premiums.
(5/18) Governor DeWine announced that he is assembling an enforcement team to ensure that bars and restaurants are operating safely under the Responsible RestartOhio plan. The enforcement team will operate as part of the Ohio Department of Safety's Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) and will conduct safety compliance checks in crowded bars and restaurants. Businesses found violating the Stay Safe Ohio order or the Dine Safe Ohio order will receive administrative citations that could result in the revocation of liquor licenses.
(5/18) Businesses can now download and print posters and forms that effectively display all reopening rules and regulations here.
(5/15) Today, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application. The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the CARES Act. The SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities. Click here to view the application and instructions.
(5/14) The application process has opened for Round 2 of the Summit County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program. For all information on the grant program and how to apply, please click here.
(5/14) Beginning Sunday, May 31, childcare providers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these providers can meet required safety protocols. Click here to learn more about the safety requirements and best practices. To assist in the reopening of child care centers, Ohio will seek to use more than $60 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide reopening grants to all of Ohio’s childcare providers, including family childcare, childcare centers, and both publicly-funded and private providers. More information on how to apply will soon be posted to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' website.
(5/14) Beginning Tuesday, May 26, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) locations in Ohio will be permitted to reopen for certain services if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. Services that can be accomplished online should still be done online. More details on online BMV services can be found at oplates.com.
(5/14) Beginning Tuesday, May 26, gyms and fitness centers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. To review the State of Ohio's sector specific safety protocols and best practices, please click here.
(5/11) JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control today announced they will offer a one-time rebate to bars and restaurants to defray the cost of restocking high-proof spirituous liquor. Beginning in mid-May, JobsOhio will provide a $500 rebate in high-proof spirituous liquor to eligible permits for purchases made through Ohio Liquor Contract Liquor Agencies. To view qualifying permits and to register for the liquor rebate program, click here.
(5/7) Governor DeWine announced when restaurants and bars in Ohio will be permitted to reopen. Outdoor dining may resume May 15 and dine-in services may resume May 21. Governor DeWine also announced that personal services such as hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, and tanning facilities may reopen on May 15. To review the mandatory and recommended best practices for reopening, please click here.
(5/5) Governor DeWine announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio's General Revenue Fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 which ends on June 30. Detailed information on where Ohio's budget stands and where reductions will be made can be found here.
(5/4) The Administration provided new information on Ohio's plan for increased COVID-19 testing that will allow for a steady supply of testing reagent and swabs. With Ohio's new increased testing capacity, Ohio will prioritize various testing groups. Additional information can be found here.
(5/3) As many employers prepare to reopen, many employees are expected to return to their previous employment. We urge everyone to review the Return to Work Guidelines on the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services website here.
(5/1) The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson today announced his Department will allocate $685 million in COVID-19 relief funding to help low-income Americans residing in public housing. The funding, made available by the CARES Act legislation President Trump signed into law on March 27, 2020, will be awarded to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) across the Nation.
(4/30) The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced it is expanding the scope and eligibility for the Main Street Lending Program. As part of its broad effort to support the economy, the Federal Reserve developed the Main Street Lending Program to help credit flow to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the pandemic. More information can be found here.
(4/27) Governor DeWine announced the Responsible RestartOhio plan which aims to protect the health of employees and customers, while supporting community efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 and responsibly getting back to work. A summary of the plan and reopening schedule can be found here.
(4/27) The SBA will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan applications for small businesses to continue paying workers & survive the pandemic.
(4/24) President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancements Act, which provides nearly $500 billion for small businesses, healthcare providers, and expanded testing.
(4/24) Starting today, Ohioans who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19 but who don't qualify for regular unemployment benefits can begin pre-registering for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers. To pre-register for PUA benefits, click here.
(4/21) JobsOhio commits up to $50 million to provide lending support to companies negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, in a partnership with Peoples Bank and the recently merged First Federal & Home Savings Banks. For more information on this initiative and how to apply for this lending support, click here.
(4/20) The Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19 has launched the Ohio Emergency PPE Makers’ Exchange, an online marketplace where organizations that need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and related equipment can find a selection offered by Ohio manufacturers and makers -- many of which have retooled to produce in-demand products.
(4/20) The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services launched a new website for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expanded eligibility program. For more information, including resources for employees and employers, as well as the latest updates on expanded eligibility, click here.
(4/16) The Small Business Administration (SBA) announces that it is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, based on currently available funding. Additionally, The SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans have exhausted the initial funding allotment, and no new applications will be accepted at this point. However, additional funding is being deliberated by the U.S. Congress.
(4/15) The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launches the Save Small Business Initiative, which includes financial aid and other resources to help address small business' immediate needs, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize support for long-term recovery. Learn more here. Click here for eligibility criteria and applications for the Save Small Business Fund.
(4/13) The Summit County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program application period closed at 9:00am on Monday, April 13, 2020. Awards will be announced the week of April 20, 2020.
(4/09) The Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation Board approves a $1.6 billion dividend for Ohio employers to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19. Learn more here.
(4/07) The Summit County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program is launched to provide grants to Summit County businesses that have completed an SBA loan application in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Learn more here.
(4/03) OhioMeansJobs Summit County is now offering virtual workshops for job seekers during the COVID-19 closure. For more information, click here.
(4/02) Ohio extends Stay-At-Home Order, specifying that all individuals living in Ohio are ordered to stay at home, except as allowed in this amended Order, until 11:59pm May 1, 2020. Learn more here.
(3/31) Greater Akron Chamber hosted a Community Update virtual meeting with regional public health and health care leaders and elected officials to provide updates, give guidance, and answer questions. View a recording of the full meeting here.
(3/30) Summit County creates the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program, administered through the Greater Akron Chamber, offering a bridge for small businesses accessing SBA loans. View the release here.
(3/27) Ohio Governor DeWine signs Ohio House Bill 197, providing emergency relief to Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
(3/27) The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a set of emergency stimulus measures valued at over $2 trillion, was signed into law. For an overview and FAQ, click here. Information on resources included in this new law will be updated on this website as details become available.
(3/24) Greater Akron Chamber hosts virtual meeting with healthcare leaders and elected officials to provide updates, give guidance, and answer questions. View a recording of the full meeting here.
(3/23) The Federal Reserve is leveraging its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to American families and businesses, in accordance with its dual mandate to promote maximum employment and stable prices. Learn more here.
(3/22) Ohio issues Stay-At-Home Order, ordering all Ohio residents to stay at home except for essential activities, essential government functions, or essential business operations. The order will take effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 23rd, 2020. Any gathering of more than 10 people is prohibited unless exempted by this Order. Learn more here.
(3/21) The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will issue waivers for haulers carrying heavy or oversized loads of essential goods. ODOT will also waive the current permit fee for this.
(3/19) Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is closing 181 of its locations; law enforcement is being directed to use discretion in penalizing drivers with expired licenses; CDL testing and issuance is to continue.
(3/18) President Trump signs “phase 2” relief bill, enabling paid sick leave for those sent home with coronavirus symptoms or positive diagnoses.
(3/16) Due to COVID-19, the Ohio Primary Election postponed in-person voting from March 17 to June 2; vote-by-mail options are available in the interim.
(3/16) Ohio issues order to close recreation centers such as movie theaters, gyms, bowling alleys, indoor parks, and other such facilities.
- Summit County creates relief grant program - 3/30
- Summit County Letter to Businesses – 3/22
- Greater Akron Partners Launch Resource Guide - 3/20
- GAC SBA Disaster Loan Overview - 3/19
- GAC Weekly Update – 3/17
- GAC COVID-19 Update – 3/15
- GAC COVID-19 Update – 3/13
- Summit County Public Health release – 3/13