Business Resources

Investing in Ohio's Future

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the launch of four grant programs to help small and medium-sized businesses recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic:

  • The Food and Beverage Establishment Grant will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other food and drink businesses. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’s loss of revenue in 2020. The total funding available for this program is $100 million.
  • The Entertainment Venue Grant will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 theaters, music venues, spectator sports venues, museums, and other entertainment venues. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’s loss of revenue in 2020. The total funding available for this program is $20 million.
  • The Lodging Grant will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast operations. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’s decline in occupancy rate in 2020. The total funding available for this program is $25 million.
  • The New Small Business Grant will provide grants of $10,000 to small businesses that were established between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. The total funding available is $10 million.

All four programs will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency (Development). Program guidelines, terms and conditions, and required documentation for all four programs are available now at BusinessHelp.Ohio.Gov. The applications will open on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Program

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. 

Restaurant Revitalization Program Guide

Restaurant Revitalization Funding Application Sample

Visit here for more information.

Paycheck Protection Program

The second round of the Paycheck Protection Program ended May 31, 2021.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Visit here for more information.

SBA Debt Relief

Visit here for more information.

Cross Program Eligibility

Visit here for more information.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) which is a follow-up to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) became a law on March 11, 2021. The following is an overview of key provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Funding for COVID-19 Relief-Related Activities

  • Approximately $415 billion in increased funding for a national vaccination program, COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, scientific research and development, and manufacturing of pandemic-related medical supplies.
  • Approximately $360 billion in funding to state, local, and territorial governments for economic relief and $20 billion in funding for public transit systems. Among other uses, state and local recipients can use the funds to provide aid to households, small businesses, nonprofits, and industries such as tourism and hospitality, to provide premium pay to essential employees or grants to their employers, to provide government services affected by a revenue reduction during the pandemic, and to make investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. Funds can be used to cover costs incurred through the end of 2024.
  • Approximately $176 billion for education, with funds to assist K-12 schools in reopening by hiring more staff and putting in place new testing protocols, as well as funds for institutions of higher education.
  • Funds toward cybersecurity efforts (including modernization of federal IT and networks), largely in response to the recent SolarWinds breach of federal systems and to assist with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process.

Aid to Individuals

  • Recovery checks will be issued in amounts up to $1,400 for an individual, $2,800 for joint filers, and $1,400 for each qualifying dependent (phasing out after an income threshold of $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers, with a complete phase-out for single filers with income exceeding $80,000 and for joint filers with income exceeding $160,000). Eligible qualifying dependents include full-time students under the age of 24 and adult dependents.
  • Provides unemployment compensation benefits in an amount equal to $300 per week, in addition to any existing state benefits, through Sept. 6, 2021, while also making nontaxable the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits for households with an income threshold of up to $150,000.
  • Temporarily expands and otherwise modifies certain tax credits (including the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and the dependent care credit) by increasing the credit percentages and phaseout thresholds. The maximum child tax credit is temporarily set at $3,600 for each child younger than six and $3,000 for other qualifying children and starts to phase out for individual parents earning more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000. The child credit will be fully refundable, so that low-income households will get the full benefit, no matter how little they earn.
  • Provides premium assistance for certain health insurance coverage, including COBRA for those who lose employer-sponsored health insurance.
  • Provides additional funding for agriculture and nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the food stamp program).
  • Provides child care and programs for families.
  • Provides mental health and substance-use disorder services.
  • Extends emergency rental assistance, homeowner assistance, and other housing programs.

Aid to Businesses

  • With certain changes, the American Rescue Plan Act continues to make available, to eligible employers through Sept. 30, 2021, paid sick and family leave credits that have been available under the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act. For compensation paid between April 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2021, changes include increasing eligible wages to $12,000 per employee (up from $10,000 in 2020), expanding qualifying leave, and covering up to 60 days of paid family leave for self-employed individuals (instead of 50 days under previous law).
  • $7.25 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding has been added with less stringent access standards for, among others, nonprofit entities, digital media companies, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals. Eligible nonprofits now include those employing 500 or fewer per physical location (300 or fewer per physical location for second PPP loans) and meeting other standards.
  • $15 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funding has been added, with one-third of such amount targeted to businesses that suffered a revenue loss of greater than 50 percent, are located in low-income census tract areas, and employ 10 or fewer people.
  • The expanded Employee Retention Credit (ERC) provisions under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, set to expire on July 1, will be made available through Dec. 31, 2021, for eligible employers. In addition, startup businesses established after Feb. 15, 2020, with annual gross receipts of up to $1 million and that otherwise do not meet the ERC eligibility tests, will now be eligible for the ERC. The startup ERC is capped at $50,000 per quarter, per employer, and the credit will be computed under regular ERC rules. The revised ERC rules also include a new provision for “severely financially distressed employers,” which is defined as an employer that experienced a gross receipts reduction of more than 90 percent as compared to the same quarter in 2019. If an employer meets this definition, it may treat all wages paid to employees as qualified wages, regardless of the number of full-time employees.
  • Establishes a $25 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund for 2021 to be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). $5 billion of this will be allocated to restaurants whose gross receipts in 2019 were less than $500,000, and the first 21 days of the program prioritizes small businesses owned by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Public companies, government-managed businesses, entities, and affiliates that have more than 20 locations, and entities that applied for a shuttered venue operator grant (as discussed below) will not qualify. Grant amounts will not exceed a restaurant's pandemic-related revenue loss (which is measured by the difference between 2020 and 2019 gross receipts) of up to $10 million (with a limit of $5 million per physical location). Grant amounts may be used to cover payroll costs, mortgage payments, rent, utilities, maintenance expenses, operational expenses, paid sick leave, and supplies. Grant amounts received from the restaurant revitalization fund won't be treated as taxable income, and expenditures paid with such grant amounts will still be deductible.
  • Adds $1.5 billion to the $15 billion in shuttered venue operators grants, which are administered by the SBA, and that were funded under the Consolidated Appropriations Act to assist live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers or live performing arts organization operators, motion picture theater operators, museum operators, and talent representatives that were in operation on Feb. 29, 2020, and that had a 25 percent or greater drop in gross earned revenue during any quarter of 2020 as compared to the same quarter of 2019. The new law removes the requirements under the Consolidated Appropriations Act that prohibited an entity from receiving both a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020 and being eligible for a shuttered venue operators grant. The amount of the grant will instead be reduced by the PPP loan amount received after Dec. 27, 2020.
  • Adds $86 billion to support approximately 185 failing multi-employer pension plans.
  • Adds $10.4 billion to support agriculture, including supply chain monitoring and surveillance, debt relief, grants, training, education, and other forms of assistance aimed at acquiring land.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The deadline to apply for a COVID-19 pandemic Economic Injury Disaster Loan has been extended to December 31, 2021. Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications will continue to be accepted through December 2021, pending the availability of funds. Loans are offered at affordable terms, including a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profit organizations, a 30-year maturity, and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin. All eligible small businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to apply.

Click here for more information.

Updated PPP Loan Forgiveness Forms

If you’ve already received a Paycheck Protection Program loan to help your small business with paying your employees during COVID-19, or you just want to know more about how these loans will be processed for forgiveness on the back end, the SBA and Treasury have released new revised, more borrower-friendly PPP forms including:

In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version that applies to some borrowers. 

For more information on these forms, you can read the full news release.

Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program Guidelines

The Ohio Development Services Agency (“Development”) will accept applications for the purpose of providing grants to manufacturers and other entities to assist in retooling existing facilities through purchasing the necessary equipment to manufacture critically needed Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for use in Ohio or reshoring PPE production to Ohio. These grants will allow small manufacturers and other entities an opportunity to create new business while contributing to the fight against COVID-19. 

Application and Reimbursement Process

  • Businesses apply for funding via an online portal.
  • Development receives applications and shares with program partners for review.
  • The applicant receives the notification of award and enters into a grant agreement with Development.
  • The applicant receives initial grant funding for eligible costs incurred and may subsequently seek reimbursement of remaining grant funding after providing evidence of eligible costs incurred.

Visit HERE for more information.

Appalachian Growth Capital Loan Program

Many small businesses in Ohio’s Appalachian region have been hit hard by the COVID-10 pandemic.  The Ohio Development Services Agency 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

TechCred - June 2021

The application period begins June 1 and runs through June 31. Both employers and prospective employees can apply. The program aims to expand training for people who are underskilled and to help businesses improve the technology skills of their workforce. The state will reimburse up to $2,000 for a technology-focused credential. To be eligible, credentials must take less than a year to acquire and be industry-recognized. Visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov for more information and to apply.

Responsible RestartOhio

Responsible RestartOhio is about protecting the health of employees, customers, and their families; supporting community efforts to control the spread of the virus; and, leading in responsibly getting Ohio back to work. Please check out the links below for more information:

Office of Small Business Relief

A new office has been developed within the Ohio Development Services Agency to better coordinate Ohio’s efforts to identify and provide support for Ohio’s nearly 950,000 small businesses.

The Office of Small Business Relief (OSBR):

  • Serves as the state’s designated agency for administrating federal recovery funds awarded to Ohio for small business support and recovery;
  • Works with federal, state, and local partners to evaluate and determine possible regulatory reforms that encourage employment and job creation; and
  • Coordinates efforts of Ohio’s Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Assistance Centers.

Visit HERE for more information.

Small Business Debt Relief Program

This program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law. Visit HERE for more information. 

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses that currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be long term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. Visit HERE for more information.

COVID-19 Job Search

If you are hiring, post your jobs HERE for free. This site is designed to help companies connect with workers available.