The DeWine-Husted Administration is focused on supporting businesses, communities, and families so all Ohioans can succeed. The resources and information available below are intended to support small businesses, help Ohio communities, and ease the burdens of Ohio families.

For Individuals

Eligible individuals can apply for the following opportunity.

Home Relief Grant

The state of Ohio, working with local Community Action Agencies, will help eligible Ohioans on rent, mortgage, and water and/or sewer utility bills catch up on past payments back to March 13, 2020, and provide additional assistance through December 31, 2021.

Ohioans can apply for assistance through their local Community Action Agency.

Click here for more information on how to apply.

For Businesses

Ohio Micro-Loan Program

This loan program is designed to stimulate the growth of new and existing businesses by providing micro-loans at 0% interest. The minimum loan amount is $10,000 to a maximum of $45,000. Loans will be repaid within five years for permanent working capital and seven years for equipment.

For more information and to apply, click here.

Women’s Business Enterprise Loan Program

This loan program is designed to stimulate the growth of existing women-owned businesses by providing loans at market rate or below market rate interest (currently up to 3%). The minimum loan amount is $45,000 up to a maximum of $500,000. Loans will be repaid within 10 years for equipment and machinery and 15 years for owner-occupied real estate.

For more information and to apply, click here.

Food and Beverage Establishment Grant (Application Closed)

The Food and Beverage Establishment Grant provides grants up to $30,000 to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other food and drinking businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ loss of revenue in 2020. Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Legislature have designated $100 million for this program. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development.

Review Terms and Conditions PDF.

Download Food and Beverage Establishment Grant Fact Sheet PDF.

Review frequently asked questions PDF.

For questions about this program, email foodandbeveragegrant@development.ohio.gov.

Entertainment Venue Grant (Application Closed)

The Entertainment Venue Grant provides grants up to $30,000 to theaters, music venues, spectator sports venues, museums, and other entertainment establishments affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ loss of revenue in 2020. Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Legislature have designated $20 million for this program. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development.

Review Terms and Conditions PDF.

Download Entertainment Venue Grant Fact Sheet PDF.

Review frequently asked questions PDF.

For questions about this program, email entertainmentvenuegrant@development.ohio.gov.

Lodging Grant (Application Closed)

The Lodging Grant provides grants up to $30,000 to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast operations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of the individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ decline in occupancy rate in 2020. Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Legislature have designated $25 million for this program. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development.

Review Terms and Conditions PDF.

Download Lodging Grant Fact Sheet PDF.

Review frequently asked questions PDF.

For questions about this program, email lodginggrant@development.ohio.gov.

New Small Business Grant (Application Closed)

The New Small Business Grant provides grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses that were established between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Legislature have designated $10 million for this program to help ensure the survival and stability of these businesses. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development.

Review Terms and Conditions PDF.

Download New Small Business Relief Grant Fact Sheet PDF.

Review frequently asked questions PDF.

For questions about this program, email newbusinessgrant@development.ohio.gov.

Small Business Relief Grant (Application Closed)

The Small Business Relief Grant is designed to provide relief to Ohio businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19.

Governor Mike DeWine has designated up to $125 million of funding received by the State of Ohio from the federal CARES Act to provide $10,000 grants to small businesses to help them through the current crisis. The program, which will begin accepting applications November 2, 2020, will be administered by the Ohio Department of Development.

Click here to check your application status.

Download Small Business Relief Grant Fact Sheet PDF.

For Communities

Ohio Communities can apply for the following opportunity.

Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant

The Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program will provide nearly $250 million to improve access to clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Grants will be up to $250,000 for design projects and up to $5 million for construction projects to Ohio communities. Public entities within a political subdivision with the authority to own and operate public water and sewer systems and nonprofit, non-community public water systems may apply. Funding for the program is provided by the American Rescue Plan Act.

Review Guidelines PDF.

Review Detailed Scoring PDF.

Review Frequently Asked Questions PDF.

For questions about this program, email watergrants@development.ohio.gov.

County engineers must provide a prioritized list of projects for consideration. Click here to submit priority projects.

Review Informational Presentation PDF.

Click Here to Apply

Responsible RestartOhio

For all of Ohio Department of Health’s responsible restart protocols, visit click here.

Responsible Protocols for Getting Ohio Back to Work

Download this section as a fact sheet PDF

Guiding Principles:

  1. Protect the health of employees, customers and their families
  2. Support community efforts to control the spread of the virus
  3. Lead in responsibly getting Ohio back to work

5 Protocols for All Businesses:

  1. Require face coverings for employees and recommend them for clients/customers at all times.
  2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if "fit for duty."
  3. Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing.
  4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
  5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines.
    • Establish maximum capacity at 50% of fire code.
    • And, use appointment setting where possible to limit congestion.

Take the Following Actions When a COVID-19 Infection is Identified:

  • Immediately report employee or customer infections to the local health district.
  • Work with local health department to identify potentially exposed individuals to help facilitate appropriate communication/contact tracing.
  • Shutdown shop/floor for deep sanitation if possible.
  • Professionally clean and sanitize site/location.
  • Reopen in consultation with the local health department.

Resources for Economic Support

Small Business Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak

Review your financials and cash flow. How long can you “make it through” in case of a quarantine, lost wages, employee absenteeism (when you are paying for sick leave AND not bringing in revenue). What do you need to bridge the gap? Plan on a 6-8 month drop in revenues. Map out cash flow now.

Get a credit line approved now. You don't have to use it. But you'll have it when you need it.

Aggressively pursue accounts receivables. Engage your lenders (all SBA backed loans are eligible for deferral – however the lender must agree).

Slash your overhead. If you're worried about losing customers or employees due to sickness, school closures or possible quarantines, cut the things you don't HAVE to spend your money on.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate and Get Online! Keep staff and customers informed and up-to-date on your operations. It's important for businesses to keep in touch with customers to help maintain them through this incident. Let them know what steps you are taking to ensure a safe and clean establishment; what your open hours are and how to communicate with you; use email auto-reply with answers to frequently asked questions to help your customers get information quickly; offer alternative methods of good deliveries (curbside service, at home delivery, drive-thrus, etc.).

Use online platforms, like Facebook and your website, to inform customers of your operating status and how to purchase your products or services. Communicate this information through direct email to customers and through social media such as Twitter. Make sure you have a Business Profile on Google. Postal mail might be a way for your message to get customers' attention who are being bombarded with emails.

Understand your insurance policy. What does your insurance cover? What doesn't it cover? It is recommended that you review your policy and consult with your provider to determine if your insurance covers any losses. The Ohio Department of Insurance has additional resources and information on their website at https://insurance.ohio.gov/.

Look at your supply chains. Are they diversified or are you relying on one source for your products? Supply chain management is essential in any global pandemic. Travel, workforce absenteeism, and financials will impact supply chains across the world. It's important you have multiple providers of a resource that is the core of your business. Consider partnering with other businesses to share a vendor contract. That will make your order larger and a higher priority to the provider and may help to reduce the costs of goods.

Develop an incident response plan. What do you have in place in case of a quarantine? Can your employees work from home? Can you sell online or deliver instead of staffing brick and mortar? What kind of technology can be implemented to reach your customers? What communication is in place to your customers and employees?

Identify essential functions and cross-train employees now so several can perform those tasks. Consider what programs or services could temporarily be shut down.

Think about potential disruptions in supplies, services and transportation in the likelihood those organizations experience employee absenteeism. Identify alternative vendors / suppliers / etc. and how to reach them.

Store information on your employees, vendors, and clients in an online account so it's accessible from any device.

Prepare for a disaster loan.

  • Complete and assemble 2019 and prior year financial statements.
  • Start documenting and forecasting the impacts of the situation.

In the past, SBA disaster loans have required many forms, can be confusing, and could take 3-6 weeks before receiving the money.

Practice Social Distancing! Social distancing is a term applied certain action to stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease. Here's some action items you can implement quickly in your business:

  • Encourage staying more than three feet apart
  • Do not high five, shake hands or have close physical contact
  • Wash your hands more frequently and use hand sanitizer
  • Clean and disinfect your work and customer areas more frequently
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or eyes

It may seem silly to have to continue to tell your employees to – wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. But the truth is, habits are hard to break. Printing signs on your office printer can help as subtle reminders to your employees and customers to practice better personal hygiene – key to recovery from this illness, according to the public health experts.

Encourage Good Hygiene. Purchase hand sanitizer and encourage employees to start using it or washing hands per health agency guidance (alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds). Begin a “no handshaking” protocol NOW so it's ingrained in our daily routine if/when things get worse.

Encourage employees to regularly clean their work areas. Be prepared to do a thorough cleaning of your facility should you need to if employees are directly affected and have been on the property.

Dealing with COVID Exposure

  • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

Reevaluate your sick leave policies. Under pandemic circumstances employees should be encouraged to stay at home beyond their currently authorized sick leave. Also take the time now to review what additional benefit options might be available to support and continue paying employees beyond usual sick leave periods when they may be infectious or need to stay home to take care of family members. An example would be “borrowing” sick leave from the next year, or providing “administrative leave.” Another approach is to establish special provisions just for COVID-19 circumstances.

New FEDERAL Paid Sick Leave Requirements Businesses with 500 OR FEWER EMPLOYEES must provide:

  • Paid sick leave – 2 weeks paid leave at 100% of employee's normal pay, up to $511 per day.
  • Paid family and medical leave – additional 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave at 67% of normal pay, up to $200 per day (small businesses can apply for a waiver of this in some limited circumstances).
  • Small businesses will get a tax credit to cover these costs.
  • Gig workers and independent contractors will get the same benefits in form of a tax credit.

Small businesses: you must provide paid sick leave and/or family/medical leave for any of your payroll workers (not contractors). The Federal Government will pick up the cost of this paid leave—by applying a credit for your 6.2% payroll social security taxes. If the credit is insufficient to cover those costs, the Federal Government will pay you directly. You or your workers do not have to be sick to qualify! Anyone told to quarantine, who is exposed to the virus, showing symptoms, or needs to get tests or preventive care qualifies. Family leave is easier—up to 3 months of paid leave to adhere to quarantine, take care of a sick family member or a child who is home because of their school being closed.

Gig worker/independent contractor: if you are paid by another company (e.g., a ride share company, a caterer, a worker platform like Upwork, another contracting company), you're eligible for a tax credit of up to 2 weeks sick leave at your average pay and 12 weeks of family/medical leave at 2/3 your average pay. The same caps apply--$511/$200 per day. You must show you had to comply with self-isolation or care for family members, including children whose schools had been closed due to the coronavirus. Tax credits will be applied against your tax payments, or you will get a rebate if your tax is lower than the credit.

Plan. Even if you're not currently negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you could be in the future depending upon circumstances, or you could face another type of business interruption. If you are in this situation, use your time now to develop a disaster recovery plan.

A Request. If you are planning a large event, small event, or a gathering…try not to cancel those events. The other small businesses you are working with depend on that cash flow too to survive. Rather, look at your contracts and see if you can reschedule the event for later in the year when this crisis subsides.

Business & Nonprofit Support

The following resources are available to businesses or nonprofits facing financial hardships.

Appalachian Growth Capital Loan Program Many small businesses in Ohio’s Appalachian region have been hit hard by the COVID-10 pandemic.  The Ohio Department of Development and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia will provide $10 million in funding to help these businesses through the crisis.
This new loan program provides funding to the Appalachian Growth Capital LLC, which is a U.S. Treasury-Certified Community Development Financial Institution that provides small business financing in the 32-county Appalachian region of eastern and southern Ohio.

  • Businesses located in the 32-county region with less than $40 million of revenue in the most recently completed tax year are eligible.
  • Appalachian Growth Capital will offer loans to small businesses at 2 percent interest.
  • The maximum loan amount is $500,000, and businesses will have the ability to defer payment for up to six months.

Businesses can apply at appcap.org.

Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Ohio small businesses and nonprofits are now eligible to apply for up to a $2 million, low-interest loan through the SBA. Apply online, which is recommended, or call (800) 659-2955 to have an application mailed to you.

Layoff Alternatives

If your company is facing decisions about layoffs, consider these options first.

Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for assistance to keep employees on their payroll through the end of June. Through the federal CARES Act, small businesses are eligible for a variety of assistance options through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), including (SBA.Gov)

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

  • This program was designed by Congress to help businesses in need during the COVID crisis.
  • According to the SBA, loans can be fully forgiven if the funds are used for:
    • Payroll costs
    • Interest on mortgages
    • Rent
    • Utilities
  • No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

If you have more questions, please download the Paycheck Protection Program Loans - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document prepared by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

For more information, visit SBA.gov/PaycheckProtection

Businesses of all sizes that are closed or distressed are eligible for a fully refundable tax credit to help them keep workers on the payroll. The credit covers 50 percent of payroll on the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, for each employee. Different requirements apply depending on business size. For companies with more than 100 employees, only wages paid to employees when they are not providing services due to COVID-19 qualify. For companies with less than 100 employees, all employee wages qualify for the credit. For the latest information about SBA incentives, refer to sba.gov. Further details are forthcoming.

Ohio's premier layoff aversion program, SharedWork Ohio, helps employers retain trained staff during times of business downturn. Under a SharedWork plan, the employer reduces the employees' hours in a uniform manner and JFS supplements eligible employees' income with a proportionate share of unemployment. Right now, the federal government is fully funding these benefits paid to employees. Learn more at jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/SharedWorkOhio/.

Rapid Response resources are available to assist companies proactively with talent needs or to minimize negative impacts of layoffs. Rapid Response teams will work with your company to quickly maximize public and private resources to minimize the disruptions that are associated with job losses on your business, your workers, and the communities in which you do business and live. Rapid Response can provide customized services on-site at an affected your company, accommodate any work schedules, and assist company leadership and affected workers through the painful transitions associated with job loss. If you are looking to access skilled workers, are expecting a layoff or plant closing, or want to learn more, contact Ohio's rapid response manager, Breeyn Handberg, at 614-466-9897 or breeyn.handberg@jfs.ohio.gov.

After reviewing the alternatives above, any employer still considering layoffs (full separation from their company) or a furlough (mandatory, temporary, unpaid leave) must carefully consider:

Banking Updates

The DeWine-Husted Administration has worked with representatives from Ohio's banking community. These companies recognize the hardships that many Ohioans are facing, and they have committed to working through creative ways to help. Ohioans can be confident that banks, both big and small, will be there for them as we move through the crisis and are offering several measures to help customers.

  • Banks across the state are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many banks are also suspending foreclosures where possible. Recent federal guidelines give financial institutions more tools to help Ohioans and the banking industry has welcomed these changes.
  • Banks are also showing customers how to protect themselves from coronavirus-related scams and encouraging Ohioans to use digital banking features like mobile apps, online banking or banking by phone. If you need help, please reach out to your bank for assistance.
  • Banks and credit unions across the state are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many financial institutions are also suspending foreclosures where possible. Recent federal guidelines give our financial institutions more tools to help Ohioans and the banking industry has welcomed these changes.
  • Learn more at ohiobankersleague.com/customers, ohiocreditunions.org and www.cbao.com.

Goldman Sachs Investment in Ohio Goldman Sachs has specifically committed to providing $20 million for loans to small businesses in Ohio. Loans will be made to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the CARES Act. These loans can be partially or wholly forgiven for businesses who maintain or rehire their workforce, and can be used to help with payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Learn more at GS.com/SmallBusiness.

Questions and Answers

How do I apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program?

Answer You can apply for the loan online by clicking here, which is recommended, or by calling 1-800-659-2955 to have an application mailed to you.

I had to stop in the middle of my EIDL application. Will my information save?

Answer Unfortunately, if you stop in the middle of the application, it will not save information, and you will have to start over.

How can I apply for unemployment if I’m self-employed or have other special circumstances?

Answer Ohioans who do not meet the criteria for regular jobless benefits can check their eligibility for unemployment benefits related to COVID-19 at unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov.

Where can I find more information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak?

Answer Please visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

Where can I find more information on the Federal Economic Stimulus Package?

Answer The Federal Economic Stimulus (CARES Act) was recently signed into law. The U.S. Small Business Administration is reviewing the new law and will soon be issuing rules and guidelines for small businesses. In the meantime, additional guidance and loan information is available here: Cares Act Small Business Guide PDF.

Where can I find more information on the unemployment compensation system?

Answer Please visit the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Coronavirus and unemployment information page. If you have any other questions regarding unemployment, you are encouraged to reach out to Job and Family Services at 1-877-644-6562, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

I have already submitted the "Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet." Do I still need to submit an application on the U.S. Small Business Administration site?

Answer The Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet was required for the state to receive its emergency declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Now that Ohio has qualified for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, you will need to submit an application with the SBA. You can do so at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Are there any other resources available to my business and/or employees?

Answer If you have already sent an email to BusinessHelp@Development.ohio.gov, you have been added to our contact list and will receive updated information as it becomes available. To be added to our contact list, please send an email to BusinessHelp@Development.ohio.gov from your preferred email address.

How do I determine which federal financing program is best for me?

Answer America's Small Business Development Center Network has put together a helpful comparison document PDF that highlights the differences between the currently available financing programs.

Contact us

If you have additional questions related to the business programs, send us a message at BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov. By emailing BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov, you are consenting to receive emails from BusinessHelp.Ohio.Gov. If you do not want to continue receiving emails from us, you may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email.

To be connected to the Small Business Administration or your local Manufacturing Extension Partnership organization, Procurement and Technical Assistance Center, Minority Business Assistance Center, or Small Business Development Center, call 1-833-BIZ-OHIO (1-833-249-6446).

For questions regarding the Home Relief Grant, send us a message at EnergyHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov.