Loan limits increase for federal disaster loan program
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant to open April 8
New round for TechCred applications opens April 1
SBDC helps Dublin Vision keep going during pandemic
More Vaccination Clinics to Open Next Week
As of Wednesday, more than 46,000 people have been vaccinated at the state-federal mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center. Next week will be the final segment of first doses vaccines.
Starting April 6, second doses will begin to be administered. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov or by calling 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH).
Next week, Ohio will open 11 stationary mass vaccination sites and four mobile clinics that will travel throughout specific regions of the state. The stationary mass vaccination sites will be held at:
The Knights of Columbus, Lima.
The Lucas County Rec Center, Maumee.
Dayton-Montgomery County Convention Center, Dayton.
The Celeste Center, Columbus.
The Summit County Fairgrounds, Akron.
The site of the former Dillard's at Southern Park Mall, Youngstown.
The Cintas Center, Cincinnati.
The Wilmington Airpark, Wilmington.
Adena Medical Education Center, Chillicothe.
Wayne Street Medical Campus, Marietta.
Colony Square Mall, Zanesville.
Additionally, an Ohio Northern University mobile clinic will start next week and travel between Wyandot, Marion, Union, Logan, Crawford, and Hardin counties. The Ohio University Mobile Clinic will travel between Lawrence, Meigs, Vinton, Washington, Morgan, and Perry counties.
Additional details about the stationary and mobile clinics will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov or by calling 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH). Appointments will be available for Ohioans ages 16 years and older.
COVID-19 Cases Per 100,000 Increases Slightly
Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio is now at 146.9 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people during the past two weeks. When the rate drops to 50 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period, all health orders will be lifted.
The rate announced Thursday is higher than the 143.3 cases per 100,000 announced last week. Two weeks ago, the state was at 155 cases per 100,000 and at 180 cases per 100,000 three weeks ago. Ohio reached a peak of 845 cases per 100,000 in December. The 146.9 rate of cases still is considered high incidence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Governor DeWine continues to urge Ohioans to get vaccinated and to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash hands frequently.
Federal Government Provides Small Business Assistance
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s current relief efforts can be found at sba.gov/coronavirusrelief, and more details will be available in the coming weeks.
Paycheck Protection Program Deadline Is Next Week
The deadline to apply for federal financial help through the Paycheck Protection Program is next Wednesday, March 31.
Congress has passed a bill to extend the deadline to May 31, and it is awaiting the president’s signature. Businesses, however, are encouraged to act now in case the deadline is not extended.
The program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). For more information, click here.
SBA to Increase Lending Limit for COVID-19 Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and nonprofit organizations can borrow through its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Starting the week of April 6, the SBA is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from six months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24 months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.
Businesses that receive a loan subject to the current limits do not need to submit a request for an increase at this time. SBA will reach out directly via email and provide more details about how businesses can request an increase closer to the April 6 implementation date. Any new loan applications and any loans in process when the new loan limits are implemented will automatically be considered for loans covering 24 months of economic injury up to a maximum of $500,000.
This new relief builds on SBA’s previous March 12 announcement that the agency would extend deferment periods for all disaster loans, including COVID-19 EIDLs, until 2022 to offer more time for businesses to build back. In order to shift all EIDL payments to 2022, SBA will extend the first payment due date for disaster loans made in 2020 to 24 months from the date of the note and to 18 months from the date of the note for all loans made in the calendar year 2021.
Questions about SBA COVID-19 EIDL and disaster loan payments can be emailed to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or directed to SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing).
SBA Launches Portal for Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
Prior to the official grant application opening, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 30. To participate, register here.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which appropriated $15 billion for it. The American Rescue Plan Act appropriated an additional $1.25 billion, bringing the program funding to a total of $16.25 billion, with more than $16 billion allocated for grants.
To ensure eligible venues do not miss a window to receive assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, the American Rescue Plan Act also amended the Shuttered Venue program so entities that apply for a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, can also apply for a Shuttered Venue grant, with the eligible entity’s grant to be reduced by the PPP loan amount. The PPP loan applications have been updated to reflect this.
As the SBA builds and prepares to open the program, the dedicated SBA website, www.sba.gov/svogrant is the best source for information for those looking to apply for a grant. The website includes frequently asked questions, video tutorials, and other details.
To prepare for the application portal opening on April 8, potential applicants should get registered in the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM.gov), as this is required for an entity to receive a grant.
Ohio Business Centers Can Help with SBA Applications
Remember that Ohio Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centers (MBAC) across the state are available to help businesses with the federal application process, including SAM.gov registration. To find a local SBDC, click here. To find a local MBAC, click here.
COVID Relief Bill Includes Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Restaurant owners should be watching for the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to be administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The $28.6 billion fund will be created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
The SBA has not released details about the fund yet, but news reports indicate the agency plans to launch the program within weeks. The National Restaurant Association has produced a document that includes some details of the fund. To access the pdf, click here.
One requirement for the fund will be that businesses must be registered in the federal System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Businesses can complete that registration now to avoid delays once fund applications open.
SAM Registration Webinar for Shuttered Venue, Restaurant Grant Applicants
Businesses planning to apply for the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant or the Restaurant Revitalization Fund can learn how to register at SAM.gov in a no-cost webinar next week.
The Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Center at Ohio University is hosting the webinar at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 1. The webinar will detail the process to a successful registration for the federal System for Award Management (SAM.gov). It will also instruct a business to apply for a DUNS number that is also required. Topics covered:
Obtaining a free Dun and Bradstreet Number required to start SAM Registration (takes 72 hours to process).
Information required in SAM; SAM is a free government registration.
Common mistakes to avoid; get it done correctly the first time.
New Law Extends Tax Credit to Keep Workers on Payroll
The Internal Revenue Service is implementing several changes to the Employee Retention Credit that are designed to make it easier for businesses that choose to keep their employees on the payroll despite challenges posed by COVID-19.
The federal government is enacting the changes as part of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, which was passed in late December 2020.
Retroactive to the March 27, 2020, enactment of the CARES Act, the law now allows employers who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to claim the ERC for qualified wages that are not treated as payroll costs in obtaining forgiveness of the PPP loan.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is extended for six months, through June 30, 2021.
Eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of qualified wages from Dec. 31, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
Employers should consider consulting a tax professional regarding these changes.
The next TechCred application period opens Thursday, April 1, and closes at 3 p.m. April 30.
The most recent TechCred application period closed at the end of January. During that round, 384 Ohio employers were approved for funding, resulting in Ohio employees earning up to 4,736 technology-focused credentials. The January round was record-setting, as almost 100 more employers were approved, in addition to more credentials being approved, than the previously most successful round.
Since the program started, 1,168 Ohio employers have been approved for funding, supporting the earning of 19,841 tech-focused credentials by Ohio employees.
Export Services Offer Businesses In-Market Support
The Ohio Development Services Agency works with representatives internationally to provide opportunities for Ohio businesses to increase export sales and create jobs through the International Market Support Program.
Many small businesses don’t have the local market expertise or relationships to expand their business in the international market. The in-market representatives assist with providing detailed market research and matchmaking with potential customers.
Fewer Ohio counties are at Level 3 (Red) in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System this week. There now are 55 counties at the Red level, down from 60 last week. Two counties are at Level 1 (Yellow), compared to five last week. There are 31 counties at Level 2 (Orange) compared to 23 last week. To review the Ohio Public Health Advisory System information, click here.
Resources for Ohio Businesses and Venues
For up-to-date information on sector-specific operating requirements, continued closures, and other business resources, click here.
Ohio Emergency PPE Makers’ Exchange Helps Businesses Find PPE
The Ohio Emergency PPE Makers’ Exchange is an online marketplace where organizations that need personal protective equipment (PPE) and related equipment can find a wide selection offered by Ohio manufacturers. This online service is especially well-suited for organizations that may have lower-volume needs.
For more information and to participate in the Exchange, click here.
A list of Ohio Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) certified companies selling PPE and related products and services is available here (PDF).
In addition to the resources available via the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance Makers’ Exchange, another list of vendors providing various PPE is available here (PDF).
DISCLAIMER: Third-party websites not controlled or monitored by Ohio Development Services Agency. Development is not responsible for any materials, information, or content posted on any linked third-party website. The inclusion of any links or contact information in this communication does not imply any relationship or association between Ohio Development Services Agency, the State of Ohio, and the listed business, nor is it an advertisement or endorsement. Information is provided for user convenience and information purposes only. You are responsible for your access to linked websites or contact of any individual or business.
We’re Here to Help!
The Ohio Development Services Agency has many resources to help business owners make it through the current crisis and prepare for a strong future. Here are some of the resources, and most of them are offered at no cost to businesses.
SBDC Helps Dublin Vision Launch, Then Pivot During Pandemic
When Cara Lai decided she wanted to open her own optometry practice, she knew she needed help.
She had the education and experience to operate a practice that specialized in eye care for children and vision therapy. But she wanted assistance in launching a small business.
Her initial search connected her to Small Business Development Center (SBDC) advisor Thalia Amador Lastra at Columbus State Community College. They met up one-on-one, where Thalia encouraged Dr. Cara to take an upcoming course for entrepreneurs.
“From that point, I enrolled in nearly every class the SBDC offered,” Dr. Cara said.
The courses and individual meetings she had with consultants were “invaluable.” The wealth of resources she was exposed to provided the confidence she needed.
Dublin Vision launched in October 2019 with a cohesive marketing message and brand. The effectiveness of Dr. Cara’s messaging ended up resonating with her optometric colleagues and allowed her to establish a referral network from the beginning. She was on track with her financial goals until COVID-19 hit in March.
Fortunately, the practice generated enough momentum in the first five months that Dublin Vision survived the mandatory business closure. She was able to convert 75 percent of her active patients to telehealth by April and May, which allowed patients to continue making gains with treatment provided the practice with a revenue stream it needed.
Dr. Cara said she is thankful for the SBDC, especially having survived the unprecedented times during her first year of business.
“I cannot imagine being able to pivot as effectively without having formulated a business plan, a strong brand identity, and a targeted marketing initiative through the guidance I received from the Ohio SBDC,” she said.
We’re Pushing News and Information on Social Media
Development also is using its social media channels to raise awareness of programs and assistance available through the state and federal governments. We also are urging small businesses to reach out to Ohio Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Assistance Centers around the state for help in applying for federal assistance and to plan for the future.