Small businesses have been disproportionately hurt in Ohio during the Covid-19 pandemic. As Covid-19 cases continue to surge, the toll on small business is not yet over. The availability of cash on hand has become more important than ever for many small businesses.
In response to such economic pain, the State of Ohio has developed a program to provide some relief to Ohio businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The State has designated up to $125 million of funding from the federal CARES Act to provide $10,000 grants to small businesses to help them through the current crisis. The relief is a grant and will not have to be repaid. Small businesses can apply even if it has received other governmental assistance, such as a PPP loan.
Qualifying small businesses must:
- be a private, for-profit entity that has a physical location in Ohio;
- have at least 1 and no more than 25 employees as of January 1, 2020;
- earn at least 90% of annual revenue from activities in Ohio;
- have been in continuous operation since January 1, 2020, except for interruptions required by Covid-19 orders, and have the ability to continue operations as a going concern;
- have experienced revenue loss or incurred unplanned costs substantially caused by Covid-19 and the grant is necessary to help it recover from such impact; and
- be in good standing with the Ohio Secretary of State, Ohio Department of Taxation and other governmental entities.
Thus a sole proprietor with no employees or a business with solely 1099 contractors is not eligible.
Funds can be used to reimburse eligible businesses for the following COVID-related expenses incurred between March 22, 2020 and the date that the application was submitted to the State of Ohio:
- personal protective equipment to protect employees, customers, or clients from COVID-19;
- measures taken to protect employees, customers, or clients from COVID-19;
- mortgage or rent payments for business premises (personal residences explicitly excluded);
- utility payments (excludes utilities for personal residences);
- salaries, wages, or compensation paid to contractors or employees, including an employer’s share of health insurance costs; and
- business supplies or equipment.
The program, began accepting applications on November 2, 2020 and is being administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency. If the small business is approved, it will be notified at the email address identified in the application. The applicant will have seven days to log back into the application and acknowledge and accept the grant funds. Once acknowledged, a check will be mailed to the business address identified in the application. If the business fails to acknowledge and accept the funds, the approval will be rescinded and the application denied.
You may apply for the relief by going to the following webpage: https://businesshelp.ohio.gov/small-business-relief-grant.html
If you need assistance in applying for these relief funds, you should contact your Stark & Knoll attorney, as we are prepared to serve you.