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Ohio Continues to Implement Phase 1B of Vaccinations Governor Mike DeWine reviewed the vaccine distribution for Phase 1B, which began this week for those ages 80 and up. Governor DeWine was joined at news briefings this week by several Ohioans who received a vaccination. Beginning next week, vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, and who have a developmental or intellectual disability. A representative from the local county developmental disabilities board will reach out to help coordinate receipt of the vaccination for Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, as well as a developmental or intellectual disability.
All 88 counties have a level of spread that is at least three times more than what the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence.
"As we have seen recently, our number of new cases seems to be flattening," Governor DeWine said. "We are still much higher than where we want to be and still much higher than where we've been most of this pandemic."
Governor DeWine also discussed key measurements regarding the incidence of cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks, as well as regional COVID-19 ICU utilization.
"Out of any 200 Ohioans, at least one has tested positive for COVID during the past two weeks," Governor DeWine said. "Additionally, we still have more than one out of four patients who are COVID positive in our ICUs, which means our hospitals are still spending a lot of time and effort to treat these patients who are critically ill with COVID-19."
Credentials for Cybersecurity Available in Ohio
Lt. Governor Jon Husted this week outlined various resources available to Ohioans who are interested in earning a credential or pursuing a career in cybersecurity. Strengthening the state’s talent and workforce in this industry is a key component to improving cybersecurity efforts and protecting citizens and businesses from cyberattacks.
Industry-recognized credentials are offered at high schools across Ohio. To learn more, visit Education.Ohio.Gov.
Cybersecurity programs offered at institutions of higher education. To learn more, visit Ohioc3.org.
The Ohio Cyber Range supports curriculum development, cyber contests for K-12 to college students, internship programs, and more. To learn more, visit OhioCyberRangeInstitute.org.
TechCred offers tech-focused credentials, including many on cybersecurity. To learn more , visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov.
Grant Program to Help Operators of Shuttered Venues
The recent federal stimulus package in response to the pandemic includes a grant program for operators of entertainment and cultural venues.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. A total of $2 billion is reserved for eligible venues with up to 50 full-time employees.
Eligible entities include:
Live venue operators or promoters
Live performing arts organization operators
Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums that meet specific criteria
Motion picture theater operators
The venue must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020, and the venue or promoter must not have received a Paycheck Protection Program loan on or after December 27, 2020.
The SBA still is working on details of the program, and the application period has not yet opened. For more information, click here. To view a recording of a webinar about the program, click here.
60,000 Paycheck Protection Program Loans Approved in First Week
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this week that it has approved approximately 60,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications submitted by nearly 3,000 lenders, for more than $5 billion, between the program’s reopening on Monday, January 11, through Sunday, January 17. Last week, the PPP provided dedicated access to community financial institutions that specialize in serving underserved communities, including minority-, women-, and veteran-owned small businesses from Monday through Thursday, joined Friday by smaller lenders.
As of January 19, the Paycheck Protection Program is open to all participating lenders.
First Draw PPP loans are for those borrowers who have not received a PPP loan before August 8, 2020. The first two PPP rounds open between March and August 2020 helped 5.2 million small businesses keep 51 million American workers employed.
Second Draw PPP loans are for eligible small businesses with 300 employees or less and previously received a First Draw PPP loan. These borrowers will have to use or had used the full amount of their First Draw loan only for authorized uses and demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. The maximum amount of a Second Draw PPP loan is $2 million.
The Paycheck Protection Program remains open for First and Second Draw PPP loans until March 31, 2021, as set forth in the Economic Aid Act, or until Congressionally appropriated funding is exhausted.
For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp.
Remember that Ohio Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centers (MBAC) across the state will be available to help businesses with the application process. To find a local SBDC, click here. To find a local MBAC, click here.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration is extended to December 31, 2021.
To date, the SBA has approved $197 billion in low-interest loans, which provide working capital funds to small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural businesses to make it through this challenging time.
EIDL loan applications will continue to be accepted through December 2021, pending the availability of funds. Loans are offered at very affordable terms, with a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and 2.75% interest rate for nonprofit organizations, a 30-year maturity, and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin. Every eligible small business and nonprofit is encouraged to apply to get the resources they need.
Financial Planning Course Available to Ohio Businesses
Starting and running a business is a challenge, and more than half fail in the first four years. The economic volatility of recent COVID-19 disruption has amplified confusion, anxiety, and fear.
A six-session virtual course in financial management can 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, beginning February 16, and also 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.
The seventh round of TechCred – a program that helps businesses upskill their current and incoming workforce with tech-focused credentials – is now taking applications from employers until January 29.
Ohio businesses can receive up to $2,000 for each tech-focused credential earned, up to $30,000 per employer each application period. Since the program’s start, 966 Ohio employers have been approved for funding, supporting the earning of 15,105 tech-focused credentials by Ohio employees.
Jan. 31 Deadline for Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund
The deadline to apply for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund is January 31. There are approximately 15,400 on-premises liquor permits in the state eligible for assistance. Of that, roughly 70 percent have taken advantage of this funding opportunity.
Governor DeWine designated $38.7 million of funding received by the State of Ohio from the federal CARES Act to provide $2,500 assistance payments to on-premise liquor permit holders to help them through the financial difficulties experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and each active on-premises liquor permit is eligible for funding.
While the program is referred to as the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund, more than just bars and restaurants have eligible permits. Movie theaters, bowling alleys, sports and concert venues, and even some hair salons are eligible for this funding.
Eligible businesses can visit BusinessHelp.Ohio.Gov to apply, which requires them to simply enter their liquor permit number and federal tax information.
Companies Apply Now: Export Interns Help Increase Sales
The State of Ohio wants to help businesses grow, and a program offered by the Development Services Agency can provide the boost needed to improve international marketing or logistics.
The Ohio Export Internship Program places students who have completed export-focused coursework with businesses seeking to boost exports. College students from across the state can apply to take the export course at The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business, the Cleveland State University Monte Ahuja College of Business, the Youngstown State University Williamson College of Business Administration, or the University of Dayton School of Business Administration.
Participating businesses receive a 50 percent reimbursement for intern wages, up to $3,600. Companies can apply now for summer 2021 interns. Students will be matched with companies in April 2021, and the internships run from May to August 2021. The deadline to apply is February 1.
Those entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Positivity rate is an indicator of how much COVID-19 there is in a community, and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is recommending against travel to those states with high positivity. If someone must travel, ODH is recommending 14 days of self-quarantine after leaving those locations. This advisory is intended for both leisure and business travel and should be heeded by both Ohioans and out-of-state travelers. It is intended as guidance and is not a mandate; consider the information here along with other factors (mode of transportation, lodging, activities, ability to social distance when traveling, personal health factors, etc.) when making travel decisions for yourself and your family.
The positivity rates come from state-level aggregate data from The COVID Tracking Project (covidtracking.com/data), which is also the source that Johns Hopkins University uses for testing data on their dashboard at coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-states. Positivity information for Ohio’s travel advisory is updated once a week on Wednesdays, using data from that Tuesday. Positivity rates may have changed since our most recent update.
Based on a seven-day rolling average of positivity rates of January 13, the affected states are:
South Dakota 29.4%
Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wyoming have experienced reporting irregularities with the total number of tests performed this past week, which means we an accurate positivity rate can’t be calculated.
For more information on the COVID-19 travel advisory and for tips on how to quarantine effectively, 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 as 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 Businesses Get Assistance
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.
In late 2019, Amanda DeShong and Joan Wallace saw a location in Steubenville that they knew they couldn’t pass up. Amanda had been a professional medium for 15 years and knew it was the perfect time for them to open their own spiritual gift shop.
The storefront had a grand opening in February 2020 and offered a variety of spiritual and meta-physical gifts, in addition to hosting mediumship readings. Their opening garnered a lot of interest from the town, and Amanda and Joan saw that the business was gaining momentum. Shortly thereafter, COVID-19 hit, and they had to close their store.
After two months of being shut down, they wondered if they should continue the business or just cut their losses and move on. Joan reached out to local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Director Steve Schillig to ask about how to best move forward. Steve directed them toward a marketing seminar that would increase their online presence during a time when many brick-and-mortar shops across the nation had to close.
Amanda and Joan ended up attending several SBDC training classes and having a one-on-one Facebook makeover session with SBDC consultant Erika Metzger. After learning about targeted persona building, it was clear they needed to step up their marketing efforts and change the way they did business. COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders were impeding the store’s sales because they didn’t have a website.
The SBDC provided Amanda’s Gifts and More with a talented merchandising expert to help teach them how to create an inviting and memorable atmosphere in the store that would also be experienced digitally through Facebook and website imagery. They created a Google business listing that within two weeks increased their revenue by $1,000, and they gained a dozen new customers.
“When I ask customers how they find my shop, most of them still mention Google, and our revenue has continued to grow because of that,” Joan said.
While their storefront reopened in May 2020, Joan and Amanda are continuing to pursue their online presence. They saw a lot of their regular customers come back, and Joan figures that going all the way online is the future of her business. They are curating a website at amandasgiftsandmore.com and eventually want to offer programs and workshops online.
For more information on Amanda’s Gifts and More, visit them on Facebook. For more information on Ohio Small Business Development Centers, visit clients.ohiosbdc.ohio.gov.
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.