Register for no-cost business financial planning course
Bar and Restaurant fund deadline is Sunday
Companies: Sign up for an export intern by Monday
Vaccinations Set to Begin for Public School Staff
Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that every public school district in the state - except for one - has agreed to resume in-person schooling by March 1, which was a requirement for staff to have early access to the vaccine.
More details on Ohio's K-12 vaccination process will also be released on Friday. The plan ensures that the maximum number of people can be vaccinated in the shortest amount of time. The plan also makes the process as simple as possible for staff to be vaccinated and is organized to allow most K-12 staff in a county to be vaccinated within seven days of their assigned vaccination start date.
Deadline is Sunday for Bar and Restaurant Assistance
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.
Overnight Curfew Reduced by One Hour
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed a health order pushing back the statewide curfew one hour, changing the start time of the curfew to 11 p.m. The new hours began Thursday, January 28, and they will last through 12:01 p.m. Thursday, February 11. The change is being made because Ohio hospitalizations for COVID-19 have remained below 3,500 for seven consecutive days.
System Updates to Allow 95,000 Additional Ohioans to Begin Claiming Unemployment Benefits
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is finishing system updates that will allow more than 95,000 additional Ohioans to begin claiming unemployment benefits this weekend. Programming updates for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program will be complete on Sunday, January 31.
The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, signed on December 27, extends and amends many of the federal pandemic unemployment programs made possible by the CARES Act, with new complexities that are taking all states time to implement. ODJFS and its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) vendor partner, Deloitte, expect to implement the following provisions on the dates below:
January 31: Additional 11 weeks of PEUC: As a result, more than 95,000 additional Ohioans will be eligible to receive these benefits, including many of those who formerly received Federal-State Extended Benefits. Eligible individuals also will receive the $300 FPUC payments. The CARES Act provided up to 13 weeks of PEUC benefits for Ohioans who exhausted their maximum 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits, through December 26. The new legislation provides an additional 11 weeks of PEUC, but new programming is necessary to make them available to claim.
February 6: New PUA Applications, Payment Fix: As a result, Ohioans new to PUA will be able to apply, claim weeks, and receive benefits. In addition, an estimated 155,453 PUA claimants who had balances on their accounts of up to seven weeks can again be paid, provided they have no other issues holding their claims. Eligible individuals also will receive the $300 FPUC payments.
ODJFS is currently paying unemployment benefits to more than 245,000 Ohioans. This includes nearly 98,000 who are receiving a form of traditional unemployment benefits and more than 144,000 who are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). All claimants eligible for these programs between December 27 and March 13 also will receive the supplemental $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments.
The recent federal stimulus package in response to the pandemic offers grant and loan programs to help businesses affected by COVID-19. The programs include:
A reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The initial opening on January 11 provided dedicated access to community financial institutions that specialize in serving underserved communities, including minority-, women-, and veteran-owned small businesses. As of January 19, the Paycheck Protection Program is open to all participating lenders. For more information, visit sba.gov/ppp.
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 Shuttered Venue Operators Grant provides $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 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, 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.
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.
COVID-19 Spread Still High Throughout Ohio
This week's Ohio Public Health Advisory System map shows little change. Hamilton County is no longer listed as a Level 4 (Purple) Public Emergency, but the rest of the state remains the same as last week. A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.
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.
Deadline Is Monday for Companies to Apply for Export Interns
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.
The Diversity & Inclusion Technology Internship program places highly motivated college students at early-stage technology companies or companies with a technological need.
Companies that select and hire interns will be reimbursed for two-thirds of intern wages, up to $10,000. Companies can hire up to three interns. The application period for companies opens February 1 and runs through February 22.
Students can apply from February 15 to March 8. The internships will be in the summer 2021.
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 27, the affected states are:
South Dakota 27.2%
Connecticut, Kentucky, Oregon, and Wyoming have experienced reporting irregularities with the total number of tests performed this past week, which means an accurate positivity rate can’t be calculated.
Ohio’s positivity rate for the seven-day average is 12%.
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 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.
Jessica Boyd was a private caregiver when she came across an ad for a women’s mentor meeting at her local Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She attended just to see what it would be like, but she ended up leaving that meeting knowing that she wanted to be a business owner.
Jessie created two businesses over the span of seven months: End of Life Caregivers and the Vivian Walker Hospice House. They are sister companies that provide complete hospice care, through clients’ homes and residential in-house care. Jessie utilized free classes and workshops the SBDC offered, helping her create her businesses’ branding and marketing content.
When she started End of Life Caregivers, Jessie was the sole employee trying to find her way. Over the first three months, she was able to hire and train six employees. Jessie said that with SBDC advisor Nancy Stoll’s help, she was able to “create, market, and expand my business in an efficient and trustworthy way.”
When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, Jessie’s businesses were significantly affected because of how hands-on her employees must be with her clients. COVID-19 also made it even more lonely for her clients, who already deal with the terminal aspect of their care.
“Nobody should have to die alone,” she said. “During COVID, a lot of people are, and it’s very saddening. Once we get our clients, we become their families.”
Business slowed, but Jessie was able to keep her employees working. Instead of having multiple clients at a time, they pared it to one or two. Before, multiple caregivers would be assigned to the clients, but now they have more one-on-one time to bond with their clients.
“If it wasn’t for Nancy, I would not be here,” Jessie said. “What she does is so important, and I appreciate everything that was available for someone like me. The help of the SBDC that was offered to me was awesome.”
For more information on End of Life Caregivers, click here. For more information on Ohio Small Business Development Centers, click here.
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.