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COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses
Small businesses are the lifeline of the Buckeye economy. In fact, as of 2018, over 99% of all Ohio businesses were small businesses, and they employed 2.2 million Ohioans. However, the harsh reality is that the COVID-19 outbreak is taking a heavy toll on these businesses, those who own them and the workers they employ. While we continue to ensure the health and safety of Ohioans during this unprecedented time, it is critical that we also protect our small businesses and ensure they have the support they need.
Most recently, on April 23, 2020, I was proud to vote for the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a bill to replenish critical Small Business Administration (SBA) programs to help small businesses and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, this bill provided an additional $349 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, also known as PPP, bringing the program's total funding amount to $670.335 billion.
On March 27, 2020, I voted for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which created PPP and provided it with nearly $350 billion. With its first round of funding, PPP helped over 1.6 million small businesses, nonprofits, veterans’ organizations, tribal businesses, sole proprietors and independent contractors across the nation stay afloat. In Ohio, businesses have received a total of $14,108,889,927 through 59,800 approved PPP loans.
However, the funding for PPP ran out on April 16, 2020, and no business was able to apply for a loan until Congress voted to replenish the program. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which is now law, helps the SBA continue to provide much-needed, critical relief to small businesses by:
Setting aside the following amounts for the PPP to be made by the following institutions:
- $30 billion for loans made by Insured Depository Institutions and Credit Unions that have assets between $10 billion and $50 billion; and
- $30 billion for loans made by Community Financial Institutions, Small Insured Depository Institutions, and Credit Unions with assets less than $10 billion.
- Appropriating an additional $50 billion for the Disaster Loans Program Account.
- Appropriating an additional $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grants.
- Allowing agricultural enterprises as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)) with not more than 500 employees to receive EIDL grants and loans.
While I was glad that my colleagues from both sides of the aisle finally came together to pass this much needed legislation, there should have NEVER been a delay in providing additional funding for PPP in the first place. This program has been critical for small businesses, who make up more than 99% of all businesses in the United States and employ over 46% of our workforce. As we work to safely re-open Ohio and the rest of our country, Congress cannot allow partisan politics to get in the way of providing critical relief to those trying to pay their workers during a crisis that has already cost 26 million Americans their jobs.
On Tuesday, March 17, the State of Ohio submitted an application with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to qualify the state for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. I am pleased to report that just 24 hours later, the SBA approved the application, making Ohio small businesses eligible for this federal funding. This program provides low-interest loans in order to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please see below for more information:
- Low-interest loans of up to $2 million are available for small businesses and private non-profits
- Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills and have repayment options of up to 30 years
Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private non-profits
Click HERE to apply now. Need help filling out the application? Access these step-by-step instructions or email BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.gov. You can also email Disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for assistance or call the SBA Cleveland District Office at (216) 522-4180.
For those employers who have had to let go some of their valued employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please distribute this form to employees you have laid off.
More information regarding unemployment and COVID-19 can be found here.
I’ve also compiled links to additional tools that may be of service during this difficult time. Rest assured, I remain committed to providing Ohio’s small businesses with the resources and tools they need to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you have any questions or if I can be of further assistance.
- COVID-19: Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Small Business Guide
- Interim CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits Information
- Customizable Coronavirus Prevention Flyer for Businesses
- Paycheck Protection Program Loans FAQ