Governor DeWine’s Reopening of Ohio Businesses Proceeds at an Intermittent Pace
Last week, Governor DeWine made numerous announcements about the intermittent reopening of Ohio businesses. He first announced the signing of a Director’s order to permit youth day camps and residential camps that can meet specific criteria to reopen immediately. He also announced the continued reopening of businesses in Ohio with a separate Director’s order yet to be released to permit certain entertainment venues, mainly indoor, to reopen on June 10. The businesses identified in the order must be able to follow the Retail, Consumer, Service & Entertainment Guidelines and other applicable additional guidance for all businesses. The specified venues are as follows:
- Art galleries
- Country clubs
- Ice skating rinks
- Indoor family entertainment centers
- Indoor sports facilities
- Laser tag facilities
- Movie theaters (indoor)
- Playgrounds (outdoor)
- Public recreation centers
- Roller skating rinks
- Social clubs
- Trampoline parks
Late afternoon on Friday, the Governor announced a separate order to reopen casinos, racinos, amusement parks and water parks on June 19. Guidance for casinos and racinos was released but we are still awaiting guidance for amusement parks and water parks. He also announced that the annual Memorial Golf Tournament at Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin will be held July 13-19.
Today an additional order was released that permits live entertainment at restaurants, bars, banquet and catering facilities and services. Activities such as billiards, electronic games and dancing are also permitted as long as all social distancing and sanitation guidelines are maintained.
If you have questions about the new orders or previous orders, please e-mail Lora Miller at email@example.com or call 614-221-7833.
BWC Mask Donations Underway
As we previously announced, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is donating masks to all employers who pay into the state fund and recently received a dividend. Many employers started to receive their masks this week. Be on the lookout for yours in the coming days. A friendly reminder, no request or additional paperwork is necessary to receive the masks. For questions, please email AlexB@ohioretailmerchants.com or call 614-221-7833.
Additional State Programs Announced to Help Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the creation of several programs to help small and medium-sized businesses in Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs outlined below will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.
Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program
The $5 million program will provide grants to help businesses owned and operated by minorities and women in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible businesses can apply for grants of $10,000 per business on first-come, first-served basis. This will provide access to much needed capital for up to 500 minority- and women-owned businesses to continue operating now and to prepare for the future.
State-certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and/or women-owned businesses with state certification in the Encouraging Diversity Growth and Equity (EDGE) Program with up to $500,000 in annual revenue and 10 or fewer employees are eligible. Businesses that have received federal assistance through the federal CARES Act are not be eligible.
Appalachian Region Loan Program
This loan program will benefit small businesses in the 32-county Appalachian region of Ohio that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative will loan $10 million to Appalachian Growth Capital LLC, which is a U.S. Treasury – certified Community Development Financial Institution serving Appalachian counties in eastern and southern Ohio. Appalachian Growth Capital then will offer low-interest loans to small businesses in the region to help them through the current economic crisis and position them for a stronger future.
The maximum loan amount will be $500,000, and businesses will have the ability to defer payment for up to six months. Businesses can apply at appcap.org. Development will administer the loan to Appalachian Growth Capital.
Ohio small businesses can learn more about these and other resources available through the Office of Small Business Relief and Development at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp.
Update on PPP Loan Forgiveness and Extension
This past Friday, the President signed HR 7010 into law, which enacts two key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relating to borrowers. First, borrowers can extend the 8-week emergency period to 24 weeks. This change makes it easier for borrowers to meet the forgiveness threshold on their loans. The PPP law requires borrowers to use a percent of the loan on payroll, insurance, pensions and utilities during the emergency period in order to have the loan forgiven. Second, the 75% forgiveness threshold becomes a 60% with an all-or-nothing forgiveness provision. As a result, borrowers will have a longer time period to use the money toward qualified expenses and a lower 60% threshold, however, if borrowers don’t meet the new 60% threshold under the new law, none of their loan will be forgiven.
For questions, please email AlexB@ohioretailmerchants.com or call 614-221-7833.
Operational Problems Associated with COVID-19
Are you experiencing business difficulties associated with state or local governmental actions as a result of the coronavirus that you believe are inappropriate or overreaching? If so and you would like assistance, please reach out with the details of your problem by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 614-221-7833.