Recent Updates

Last Updated 4:00pm on Friday, October 23rd, 2020

(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

(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

(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 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 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

(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

(9/22) Governor DeWine today unveiled a new case demographics dashboard on 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

(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 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

(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

(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 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 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 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 HEREApplications 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 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

  1. New Cases Per Capita
  2. Sustained Increase in New Cases
  3. Proportion of Cases that Are Not Congregate Cases
  4. Sustained Increase in Emergency Room Visits
  5. Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits
  6. Sustained Increase in New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions
  7. 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.

(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

(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 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:

(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

(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 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.

(5/26) Over the weekend, the SBA released updated guidelines for the PPP loan forgiveness process, which can be found here. To view the application for PPP loan forgiveness, please click here.

(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

(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.

(3/21) Ohio's Bureau of Worker's Compensation allows businesses to defer Payments for March, April, and May 2020, to June 1, 2020.

(3/20) The U.S. Treasury has changed the April 15, 2020, tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020, for all tax payers and businesses.

(3/19) SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans now open for Ohio Small Businesses.

(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.

(3/18) HUD suspends all foreclosures and evictions for the next 60 days to provide immediate relief for homeowners.

(3/18) Ohio Governor’s office submits formal request for federal assistance for small businesses, following required data-gathering process.

(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.

(3/15) Ohio bars & restaurants ordered to close; liquor buyback program made available.

(3/13) FirstEnergy, Dominion, and the City of Akron forgo utility shutoffs amid pandemic.



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