March 17, 2020
Governor Mike DeWine has taken quick and decisive action in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Each of these actions is to ensure that Ohio’s healthcare system is able to remain strong and available to anyone who needs it.
We are aware that the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is and will continue to modify regular life for all Ohioans; however, our state is home to world-renowned healthcare institutions and together we’ve taken the steps needed to keep Ohioans safe. Once the initial threat of this virus has passed, Ohioans will return to work and school, our stadiums and arenas will open their doors to spectators again, and our restaurants will fill with patrons.
We recognize that this is a difficult time. Therefore, we’d like to share information about a number of aggressive steps the administration is already taking to offer assistance to Ohio businesses and individuals impacted.
Support for Small Businesses & Non-Profit Organizations:
The Ohio Development Services Agency is working this week to qualify Ohio for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides low-interest loans up to $2 million in order to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue during the state of emergency.
Non-profit organizations in Ohio will also be eligible for low-interest loans through the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Businesses impacted by the current public health crisis can contact BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.gov for more information. Additional details about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at SBA.gov/Disaster.
Enhanced Unemployment Aid for Ohioans:
The Governor has issued an executive order, which will grant the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) with the authority to accept and grant requests for unemployment compensation suspending the normal 1-week waiting period.
This order will also give relief to applicants who are not offered paid leave through their job, as well as those who have been quarantined by a medical professional, their employer, or whose employers must temporarily close. Those who apply for unemployment under these circumstances will be exempt from the requirement that they be actively seeking work.
SharedWork Ohio is an alternative to layoffs for employers. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain their staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, employers reduce hours to avert a layoff. The participating employee works the reduced hours, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.
Interested employers should provide the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services with a list of participating employees and specify their normal weekly hours of work, not to exceed 40 hours and not including overtime. Part-time employees may be eligible, but all employees in an affected unit must have their hours reduced by the same reduction percentage. For more information, please visit JFS.Ohio.gov/SharedWorkOhio.
We encourage Ohio employers to take advantage of the State of Ohio’s TechCred program and upskill their employees while they may be unable to perform their typical day-to-day duties. Many of these trainings can be completed online.
TechCred offers employers up to $2,000 in reimbursement for every technology-focused credential earned by an employee, up to $30,000 per employer per round. These technology-focused credentials take a year or less to complete and prepare current and future employees for the technology jobs Ohio employers need.
One-time Liquor Buyback:
The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a one-time liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. This will especially aid those establishments that have stocked up on high-proof liquor ahead of the St. Patrick's Day holiday for which they now have no use, due to their closure to in-house patrons.
Bars and restaurants wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should return their unopened, high-proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. This opportunity is also extended to those with temporary (F2) permits for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6, 2020. If a business has questions about this program, they should reach out directly to the Liquor Enterprise Service Center (LESC) at 1(877)812-0013 or by emailing OhioLiquorInfo@Com.Ohio.gov.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
ONLINE: Please visit www.Coronavirus.Ohio.gov for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health.
PHONE: For any questions you have about COVID-19, please call 1 (833) 4-ASK-ODH from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m (7 days/week).
DAILY UPDATES: Governor DeWine is holding daily press briefings at 2:00 p.m. to deliver the most recent updates as well as give updated guidance for the state’s response. These press events are carried live at www.OhioChannel.org