Ohio has taken drastic steps to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as limiting gatherings and closing dine-in restaurants. We all know that the steps taken are for the health and wellness of all Ohioans, but many small businesses may feel a financial impact. Both the Ohio government and the federal government are beginning to enact emergency safety nets for entrepreneurs that may be affected by the pandemic.
COVID-19 is uncharted territory. “No one alive has seen anything like this,” explained Governor Mike DeWine in a tweet on March 15th. Emergency interventions and legislative changes are bound to continue as the weeks go on. News and policies are changing day by day, sometimes hour by hour, as prepare to weather out the storm. The information provided is accurate as of publication.
The Ohio Development Services Agency is preparing to submit an application to The Small Business Administration for disaster relief this week. Once approved, businesses affected by the pandemic can receive loans up to $2 million. Any business affected is encouraged to immediately email their contact information to BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.gov and visit the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance website.
The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a one-time liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. Many bars and restaurants stock up for St. Patrick’s Day, but with the statewide closure of bars and dine-in restaurants, they may have purchased more than what is needed. Bars & restaurants are encouraged to return their unopened, high-proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product.
The Federal Reserve has slashed interest rates to anywhere between 0%-0.25%, and is easing up on lending rules as an emergency action. The goal of this is to inject as much into the economy as possible under the current circumstances. These actions will allow businesses to take out emergency loans without having to worry about interest rates and penalties.
These are rapidly changing times, but Ohioans are known for their resilience. Whatever is to come, we will face it together, and our spirit of community will see us through.