Ohio adds two new programs to assist small businesses with COVID crisis
By CHRISTOPHER P. FINNEY And JANE SCHULTE | NOVEMBER 15, 2020
The State of Ohio has added two programs to further assist small businesses with the unprecedented business interruption associated with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, (a) $125 million in Small Business Relief Grants and (b) $1.5 billion in refunds to small businesses from the Workers Compensation program. Details on both programs are below
Small Business Relief Grant.
The Small Business Relief Grant (“SBRG”) is designed to provide necessary relief to Ohio businesses that have been negatively impacted by the effects of COVID-19. The State has designated up to one hundred twenty-five million dollars ($125,000,000) of funding received by the State of Ohio from the Federal CARES Act to provide $10,000 grants to small businesses to assist in ensuring the survival and stability of these crucial businesses.
Some of the terms are:
- The applicant business is a for-profit entity (corporation, LLC, partnership, joint venture, sole proprietor).
- The applicant business is an employer firm with at least 1 and no more than 25 Ohio employees paid via W2 wages as of 1/1/2020, determined either by a headcount or full-time equivalent employee calculation.
- NOTE: A headcount calculation should include both part-time and full-time employees. A full-time equivalent calculation equals the total hours compensated for all W2 employees in calendar year 2019 divided by 2,080.
- The applicant business has a physical location in Ohio and earns at least 90% of annual revenue from activities based in Ohio.
- The applicant business has been in continuous operation since January 1, 2020, except for interruptions required by COVID-19 public health orders, and has the ability to continue operations as a going concern, taking into account a potential program grant.
- The applicant business has experienced revenue loss or incurred unplanned costs substantially caused by COVID-19 and a grant is necessary to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19.
- The applicant business is in good standing with the Ohio Secretary of State, the Ohio Department of Taxation, and any other governmental entity charged with regulating the business.
- If applicable, the applicant business has fully utilized any other government support received (including both grants and loans) by the applicant business for business expenses incurred due to COVID-19 or that can be utilized for business expenses incurred due to COVID-19.
- The link for the Ohio Small Business Relief Grant program from the Ohio Development Services Agency is here.
There are also restrictions that may nullify your ability to obtain a grant. Contact Jane Schulte at Finney Law Firm for more information on how we can assist you in navigating the application process.
Workers Compensation refunds.
- This is the second refund program this year, this time distributing $1.5 billion in excess funds held by the Ohio Worker’s Compensation program to Ohio employers. BWC started sending checks to up to 200,000 private and public employers in its system in late October after first applying the dividend to any unpaid balances. The dividend follows a similar dividend in April, where the average check size was $8,500.
- The refunds are automatically calculated and the checks sent by the BWC. No action on the part of employers is necessary.
- The announcement from the BWC is here.