Ohio Controlling Board Approves $420 Million In COVID-19 Relief Funding

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On October 26, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the Ohio Controlling Board has approved a Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act package of nearly $420 million. The relief package, which is intended to aid those financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, includes funding for Ohio’s small businesses, restaurants, bars, hospitals, higher education, arts, nonprofits, and families.
The breakdown of the CARES Act relief package is as follows:

  • $125 million in funding to provide grants to businesses with no more than 25 total or full-time equivalent Ohio employees as of January 1, 2020. Eligible businesses must have a physical location in Ohio and earn at least 90% of annual revenue based on activities performed in and taxable to Ohio. The funding, which will be provided in the form of $10,000 grants, will aid small businesses in paying for a variety of expenses, including, but not limited to, compensation for employees and contractors; mortgage, rent, and utility payments; and business supplies and equipment.

    Of the $125 million in funding, $44 million of the grant funds will be set aside to ensure that businesses in all 88 of Ohio’s counties receive funding. Fifty businesses will be funded in each county. Once a county’s allocation is exhausted, grants will be awarded from the remainder of the funding on a first-come, first-served basis regardless of the business’ location in Ohio. The Small Business Relief Program will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency and will begin accepting online applications on November 2, 2020.
  • $37.5 million in funding to the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund. This relief is designed to assist Ohio’s on-premise liquor permit holders through the financial difficulties resulting from the pandemic, which has prohibited liquor permit holders from fully using their permits. Businesses with on-premise consumption permits will be eligible to receive $2,500 per unique business location. To apply for funding, businesses do not have to be currently open but must have had an active on-premise permit as of close-of-business October 23, 2020. Permit holders may apply for both the liquor assistance and the Small Business Relief Grant. Applications will be accepted beginning November 2, 2020.
  • $100 million in funding to higher education which will support COVID-19-related services provided at Ohio’s colleges and universities, including mental health services and expanded on-campus testing for students, staff, and faculty.
  • $62 million in funding to rural and critical access hospitals to be applied to additional costs associated with the pandemic, including safety measures and PPE for first responders.
  • $50 million in funding to 47 Community Action Agencies to provide rent, mortgage, and water and/or sewer assistance to aid Ohioans in paying outstanding balances. Community Action Agencies will assist eligible Ohioans in catching up on past payments back to April 1, 2020, and will provide additional assistance through December 30, 2020. Ohioans can apply for assistance through their local Community Action Agencies beginning November 2, 2020.
  • $25 million in funding to non-profit organizations to be used for services which help communities.
  • $20 million in funding to Ohio’s arts organizations for costs incurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures outlined above were funded by federal CARES Act aid. The CARES Act—a $2.2 trillion economic relief package—was signed into law on March 27, 2020.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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