Deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program is March 31
Businesses can prepare now for Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
Federal COVID relief bill includes Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Celebrate SBDC Day by reaching out to your local SBDC
OhioMeansJobs launches redesign of its website
Vaccination Eligibility Expands Again
In response to a significant increase in the amount of vaccine coming into Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine this week outlined the individuals who are included in Phase 1D and Phase 2B of Ohio's vaccination plan. Those phases went into effect Thursday, March 11.
Phase 1D includes approximately 197,000 eligible Ohioans with certain medical conditions not addressed in previous phases, including Type 2 diabetes and end-stage renal disease.
Phase 2B will open vaccinations based on age for Ohioans ages 50 and older. This group includes approximately 1.2 million eligible Ohioans.
Governor DeWine also announced that Ohio's centralized scheduling website is now available at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. The website will serve as a singular location for Ohioans to confirm that they are eligible to be vaccinated, identify nearby providers, and schedule their vaccine appointments.
“As we continue to receive more vaccines, having a centralized scheduling website will streamline the process, reduce data lags, and provide real-time information on vaccination progress across the state,” Governor DeWine said.
The Ohio Department of Health will continue to work directly with vaccine providers to integrate their current systems into the statewide system. Providers will be expected to use this system or another electronic scheduling system that interfaces with this portal.
The centralized scheduling website will also be used for scheduling appointments at the mass vaccination clinics, including the FEMA site in Cleveland, that were announced last week.
Outside partners, including the Area Agencies on Aging, will be available to help Ohioans who do not have access to the internet with appointment scheduling.
COVID-19 Cases Per 100,000 Continues to Decline
Governor DeWine announced Thursday that Ohio is now at 155 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people during the past two weeks. Last week, the Governor said that all health orders would be lifted when the rate drops to 50 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period.
The number of cases is trending down. Last week, the state was at 180 cases per 100,000. Ohio reached a peak of 845 cases per 100,000 in December. Still, Governor DeWine noted that 155 cases still is considered high incidence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“In Ohio, we are still at a very elevated level of cases, but today's health data is certainly trending in the right direction,” Governor DeWine said.
Cases per capita calculated using cases with onset dates in the preceding 2 weeks excluding incarcerated individuals. For instance the 845.5 value for December 16 is calculated using archived data from December 16, 2020 for cases with onset dates from December 2, 2020 through December 15, 2020. The indicator for incarcerated cases was not archived prior to April 22. Calculated cases per capita values for March 25 to April 15 do not exclude incarcerated individuals.
Virtual Town Halls Explain Vaccination Program
The Ohio Department of Health used a series of virtual town hall meetings focused on specific minority communities to explain Ohio’s vaccination program. These meetings featured local medical professionals and community leaders who guided these conversations to discuss the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
Paycheck Protection Program Deadline is Approaching
Businesses can apply for federal financial help through the Paycheck Protection Program, but the deadline to apply for the second round of funding is March 31. The program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). For more information, click here.
The SBA also offers other programs to help businesses affected by COVID-19, including:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration. Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2021. For more information, click here.
The Economic Aid Act also included additional funds to relaunch the EIDL Loan Advance program that is now targeted to low-income communities. The grants will go to prior EIDL applicants in low-income communities that did not receive the full $10,000 loan advance or who applied but were approved after all EIDL Advance funds were depleted. To qualify, a business must have already applied for an EIDL before December 27, 2020, be located in a low-income community (census tract with 20% of the population in poverty or rural tracts where median family income is 80% or less the statewide median family income), and can demonstrate a 30% loss in business revenues during any eight-week period after March 2, 2020. Eligible businesses do not need to take action. They will be contacted by the SBA via email on next steps. For more details, click here.
SBA Continues to Prepare for Shuttered Venue Grants
Although applications are not yet available for the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) urges those who may be eligible to prepare for the opening of the program.
The program provides $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible entities include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums that meet specific criteria, motion picture theater operators, and talent representatives.
The SBA still is working on details of the program. For more information, click here. To view a recording of a webinar about the program, click here. The SBA also has prepared a frequently asked questions document. It is available here.
One requirement for the grant is that businesses must be registered in the federal System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Businesses can complete that registration now to avoid delays once the grant applications open. To learn more, click here. The Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) can help businesses register at SAM.gov. This service is free. To find a PTAC in your region, 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, which was approved this week by Congress and signed by President Biden on Thursday.
The SBA has not released information 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.
Lt. Governor Unveils Redesigned OhioMeansJobs.com
Lt. Governor Jon Husted and InnovateOhio, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, this week unveiled a fully redesigned, more accessible OhioMeansJobs.com website for Ohio job seekers and employers. Users will find it much easier to register for an account, navigate job opportunities, and apply for positions on mobile devices, all driven by user feedback and upgraded technology tools.
The OhioMeansJobs site has served as the state’s one-stop shop for job seekers and employers since 2008. In 2019, the InnovateOhio team, under the leadership of the DeWine-Husted Administration, launched a mission to completely redesign OhioMeansJobs.com to better meet the needs of Ohioans looking for jobs and Ohio companies looking for talent.
“The OhioMeansJobs redesign takes an outdated site and transforms it into a streamlined, simple-to-use resource for Ohioans looking for new career opportunities,” said Lt. Governor Husted, Director of InnovateOhio and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation. “The revamped site also makes the tough task of searching for a new employee much easier, connecting businesses to candidates with the right skill set and experience.”
SBDC Day is a national, collective proclamation of the impact America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) have on the success of our nation’s dreamers, innovators, and doers – America’s small businesses.
The fifth annual SBDC Day will take place on Wednesday, March 17.
SBDC Day unites the nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they serve by sharing, in real time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community at large. This special day will be celebrated with social media campaigns, public relations initiatives, and other online events.
The Ohio Small Business Development Centers offer no-cost business advice and counseling through a network of offices around the state. The trained advisors in each office can help businesses with any challenge they face in today’s economy. To learn more about the Ohio SBDC, click here.
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.
More Counties Drop to Orange Level; One Now at Yellow Level
Nine more counties have dropped from Level 3 (Red) to Level 2 (Orange). In addition, one county – Meigs – dropped from Red to Level 1 (Yellow). Holmes County, which was at the Yellow level last week, is back at Orange. The changes mean that 66 counties remain at the Red level.
Weekly travel advisory will no longer be issued
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) will no longer issue a travel advisory for those entering Ohio after traveling to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher. Instead, ODH is revising its travel guidance to encourage Ohioans to carefully review Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance when considering travel.
This change means the state-by-state list will no longer be updated. Even as more individuals are vaccinated across the United States and in Ohio and testing availability continues to improve, travelers should still practice appropriate public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing your hands.
Additional CDC guidance related to domestic travel during the COVID-19 pandemic includes:
Travel can increase your chance of getting or spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
You and your travel companions, including children, may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to family, friends, and community after travel.
If you have a known exposure to COVID-19, you should delay travel even if you are not feeling sick, quarantine yourself from other people, get tested, and monitor your health.
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.
Startup is Creating an At-Home Test for Variety of Ailments
As the fight against COVID-19 continues, companies all over the world are working to create easier, more effective tests. The first companies to design an at-home test that delivers great results could be in for massive growth and investment and could help turn the tide against the disease. But what if the same test could be used for other ailments like influenza or even hepatitis? That’s the big dream of Cleveland’s IdentifySensors, a startup working on an in-home device that could test for COVID-19 and much more. But when the company began its life in 2010, they were in an entirely different field.
“IdentifySensors started off creating single-walled carbon nanotube sensors at Case Western Reserve here in Cleveland,” said Dr. Gregory Hummer, founder and CEO. “Our sensors were mainly to detect explosives. Then came sensors to detect the spoilage in the food supply chain. Fish, meat, and produce comes from all over the world, and the supply chain is huge, so there was a need to develop a sensor that detects spoilage for meat and fish or E. coli, salmonella, and other bacteria for fruits and vegetables. Years later, we found that Purdue University had very similar technology, and we started working with them. Then, last year, they asked us to help with a COVID-19 test.”
When IdentifySensors began working on a test for the virus, it changed everything. The company found that the electronics required for a COVID-19 testing device were similar to what it had already been producing, so it was able to use much of its existing tech. And surprisingly, some of the same properties used in testing for E. coli in lettuce became the building blocks of the test that Hummer hopes will change medicine.
“It’s worked out great because now we’ve functionalized this test for COVID-19 and RNA viruses and what we’re able to do has gone beyond our expectations,” he said. “In fact, I’ve had some major scientists across the world call me and say, ‘If you are really doing this, it’s a major step forward in biologics.’ And it’s true; it’s going to be a disruptive force because laboratory medicine is mired in 50-year-old technology that hasn’t changed much. Our technology is going to be like having a lab in your medicine cabinet. You’ll be able to test yourself not only for COVID-19, but for influenza, hepatitis C, HIV, Lyme disease, you name it.”
Hummer said the device is close to completion; he hopes to have FDA approval and an emergency use authorization in the next few months for the test centered on COVID-19 and expand its capabilities to other diseases in the future.
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.