SBA still trying to fix Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal problems
Paycheck Protection Program deadline extended to May 31
InnovateOhio launches speaking series to spotlight Ohio breakthroughs
New round for TechCred applications is open until April 30
SBDC again offers Profit Mastery course to Ohio businesses
Vaccination Program Moves Forward as Cases Increase
Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that more than 36 percent of Ohioans have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, but Ohio's statewide case incidence number has reached 200 cases per 100,000 people. That compares to 144 cases per 100,000 people four weeks ago.
“What we’re seeing in Ohio is a strong variant that is multiplying very quickly and is more contagious than the virus we’ve seen in the past, but we have hope, and hope is the vaccine,” Governor DeWine said. “Vaccination is how we get out of this."
The majority of the counties with the highest incidence of cases in Ohio are in the northern region of the state, which is seeing a high level of variant cases. Lucas County is currently seeing the highest occurrence of cases with 341.1 cases per 100,000 county residents.
Franklin County increased to Alert Level 4 (purple) on Ohio Public Health Advisory System because of a sustained increase in COVID-related emergency room visits, outpatient visits, and hospital admissions. Four counties are at Level 1 (Yellow), 34 are at Level 2 (Orange), and 49 are at Level 3 (Red). To review the Ohio Public Health Advisory System information, click here.
Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided an update on Ohio's vaccination plans following Tuesday's decision to pause the administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
The majority of the Ohio's Johnson & Johnson doses were directed to mass vaccination clinics and to 63 public and private four-year colleges and universities, most of which have already completed their student vaccinations.
Of the mass vaccination clinics and college/university clinics that did plan to offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, most are proceeding with their clinics by offering either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Eight sites did not offer any vaccines this week as the health community works to recognize, report, and manage any adverse events related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
There are many other local providers with open appointments for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov to look for open appointments.
Ohio has begun working with employers and other organizations to offer workplace vaccination clinics. Beginning this week, vaccine providers can allot up to 25 percent of their vaccine allocation to be used to vaccinate their own employees or to partner with local employers, labor unions, churches, and other organizations to vaccinate their employees at their work locations. Employers and organizations are encouraged to reach out to their local health department and vaccine providers to set up vaccination clinics.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has updated its vaccination guidance for employers and organizations. To read it, click here (PDF). ODH also has guidance for vaccine providers working with Ohio employers and organizations. To read it, click here (PDF).
All Ohioans 16 years old and older are eligible for vaccinations at clinics and sites across the state. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov or by calling 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH).
SBA Still Working on Shuttered Venue Grant Portal
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is continuing to work on fixing technical issues with the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal. Applicants can register for a new account but cannot complete the application process at this time.
The SBA will provide notice of the time and date the portal will reopen so applicants can be prepared. To register a new account, click here.
Here are steps businesses can take to prepare for the reopening of the program portal:
To review frequently asked questions, application checklists, and additional information, click here.
To view a sample of the online application, click here.
The Ohio Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are prepared to help businesses through the process. SBDCs are located throughout the state. To find one in your city or region, click here.
Applicants also will be required to register in the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Ohio SBDC advisors can help businesses with the registration process. The Ohio University Procurement Technical Assistance Center recently hosted a webinar about registering for SAM.gov. To view a recording of the webinar, click here.
Federal Government Provides Small Business Assistance
Paycheck Protection Program: The deadline for applying for federal financial help through the Paycheck Protection Program has been pushed back to May 31. For more information, click here.
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 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. The SBA announced on social media that SAM.gov registration will not be required for this program.
COVID-19 disaster loans: The SBA is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and nonprofit organizations can borrow through its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The SBA has raised 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. Also, the SBA extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the EIDL program, until 2022.
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.
InnovateOhio to Feature Ohio Science Breakthroughs
In 1901, the first Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to a university faculty member who discovered that when cathode rays pass through glass, they produced a glow on a nearby chemically coated screen. He named his observation “X-rays” because the technology was yet unknown to science.
When X-rays were discovered, they changed the world for the better. Fast forward to today, in Ohio, our university faculty are discovering breakthroughs that are on the cutting edge of science and that will ultimately change the world.
If you’re working on new intellectual property and are affiliated with one of the 16 Ohio I.P. Promise universities, you’re eligible to participate. Up to three speakers will be featured each round, and those nominated will automatically be eligible for participation in future rounds.
Speaker nominations for the inaugural PITCH X are open through April 19, 2021. The free quarterly PITCH X events will feature an average of three talks and will be hosted virtually; each talk will be posted on the InnovateOhio website and YouTube. Speakers may come from any discipline area.
A new application period for Ohio’s TechCred program is open, and companies can apply until 3 p.m. April 30. 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. To learn more about the program, visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov.
Toolkit Helps Employers Recruit Ohioans with Disabilities
Individuals with disabilities represent a talent pool that is often hidden and underutilized. The Inclusive Employer Toolkit, which can be used in its entirety or by section, is a guide to creating an inclusive workplace and accessing this hidden pool of talent.
“Ohioans with disabilities make excellent employees because of their loyalty and drive to be successful,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “Creating an inclusive work environment and leveraging this untapped talent pool gives companies a competitive edge, and the new OOD Employer Toolkit can help give businesses the tools they need to get started.”
Financial Planning Course Available to Ohio Businesses
Beginning June 3, Ohio small business owners may participate in a six-session virtual course in financial management that will give participants the tools and confidence needed to manage their businesses by the numbers.
The program is called Profit Mastery, and it provides independent business owners financial perspective and tools to take advantage of opportunities and deal with challenges.
Participants will attend six virtual sessions and will have access to the Profit Mastery online video curriculum. Any business that has been open at least one year and is interested in exploring new opportunities to increase profitability and manage cash flow during the coronavirus pandemic should attend.
The cost for the course normally is $895, but the Ohio Small Business Development Centers have worked with Profit Mastery so that 400 Ohio businesses will be able to participate at no cost.
Virtual Trade Mission Opens Opportunities in Mexico
Mexico is second only to Canada in its imports of products from Ohio companies, and an upcoming event can help more Ohio companies enter that market.
The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers is offering a multi-sector Virtual Trade Mission to Mexico from June 21 to July 2, 2021. Like an in-person trade mission, participants will receive a prescreened, virtual business-to-business meeting schedule with potential distributors, buyers, and joint venture partners. The virtual trade mission format allows companies to extend their geographic reach in Mexico as meetings are not limited to specific cities or regions. Participants will also benefit from market-sector briefings, an online meeting platform, and support from the Governors and Premiers’ Mexico Trade Office.
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).
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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.
937 Delivers Puts Delivery into the Hands of Local Restaurants
Offering food delivery can be a major burden on a small restaurant. From receiving and coordinating orders to paying partner fees to join services such as Postmates, DoorDash or Uber Eats, joining the delivery party can be challenging. But amid the pandemic, these services are more necessary than ever. That led restaurateur Brian Johnson, a partner at Dayton’s Pizza Bandit, to start 937 Delivers, a service that keeps delivery local. He recruited food trucks and local businesses to participate, and 937 Delivers was born.
Customers can go to the 937 Delivers website, pick a restaurant, and place an order. A 937 dispatcher then contacts one of the 937 drivers, who picks up the order and delivers it to the customer.
“I thought there was a big opportunity, and that was even in the summer when patio dining was still going on,” he said. “In October, when the cold weather hit, no one was doing outdoor dining anymore, and it was like, ‘Wow, we need to do this now. Restaurants are going to have to close if we don’t get this running.’ We launched Nov. 27 with a core group of 10 restaurant partners, and we’ve added six more since then with another few coming soon."
Johnson expanded the idea into its own business when the project started getting bigger than the Pizza Bandit could handle. He took the idea to incubator and support organization Co-Op Dayton, which helped him set up a cooperative business model owned by the partners and employees. Since the launch, 937 Delivers has brought in more than $150,000 in revenue for the restaurants, employed 25 workers, and has helped avoid $50,000 in fees for one of the big-name services, Johnson 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.