March 15th, 2020

Coronavirus Update – March 15, 2020

Coronavirus Update – March 15, 2020
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This afternoon, Governor Mike DeWine ordered all bars and restaurants to close at 9:00 pm tonight for an indefinite period of time.  The order only affects sit-down service.  Carry-out, drive-thru and delivery service may remain in operation.  This order is in response to the continued escalation of the spread of the Coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Bars and restaurants that purchased high-proof liquor within the past 30 days in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness may return unopened bottles to the liquor agencies where they were purchased.  This also applies to temporary F2 permit holders for events scheduled to be held between March 12 and April 6.  All permit holders must contact the Liquor Enterprise Service Center for approval before a return can be made.  To do so, call 877-812-0013 or e-mail ohioliquorinfo@com.ohio.gov.

To provide relief to temporarily displaced workers, unemployment benefits will be available to employees with no paid leave who are affected by the order, those who are quarantined and without pay because of the virus, and those who are without income because their employers closed in response to the virus.  The Governor has also waived the usual one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits to take effect.  For more information, visit http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm.

Lastly, Governor DeWine announced that the Development Services Agency is applying to qualify for economic injury disaster loans from the federal government.  The loans, up to $2 million per entity, would be available to small businesses and nonprofits.  Businesses wishing to be notified about loan availability should e-mail their contact information to businesshelp@development.ohio.gov.  Additional information can be obtained by visiting sba.gov/disaster or call 800-659-2955.

If you have questions specific to the Coronavirus, please call the Ohio Department of Health hotline at 833-427-5634.  We will continue to notify you with updated information as it is made available.  Based on the Governor’s request, we will be working remotely so please reach out to us at info@ohioretailmerchants.com for specific inquiries or leave a voicemail message at 614-221-7833 and we will return your call as soon as possible.



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