Ohio Offers Small Business Relief Grants

Date: October 23, 2020

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 on November 2, 2020, will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Application window opens November 2, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.

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 Governor of the State of Ohio, Mike DeWine, 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. Governor DeWine has determined that these grants are necessary to respond to the public health emergency by providing economic support to some of the businesses harmed by the effects of COVID-19. The SBRG program will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.

For-profit businesses with 25 employees or less are eligible, click here for more criteria that must be met.

“NFIB is particularly pleased that this program specifically targets help to the smallest of Ohio’s entrepreneurs, of which many were unable to access any of the federal relief funds,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.

“As the pandemic continues to hammer away at Ohio entrepreneurs, the opportunity to tap into additional CARES Act dollars made available by Governor Mike DeWine is certainly welcome news and much appreciated. In a recent survey, 77 percent of our members indicated they accessed a Paycheck Protection Loan. However, 88 percent of them have already exhausted the funds that they indicated mainly went to employee wages, utility costs, and rent or lease costs,” he continued.

“With so much uncertainty still looming, access to these dollars along with the rebates by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation being mailed out this week will provide vitally important resources to help keep their businesses open. We once again appreciate the strong leadership shown by Governor Mike DeWine, Speaker of the House Bob Cupp, and Senate President Larry Obhof for their understanding of just how much the small business owners of our state still need help so they can keep their doors open and their valued people employed,” Geiger concluded.

SBRG funds can be used to reimburse eligible businesses for the following COVID-related expenses incurred between March 22, 2020, and the date the application was submitted relating to their Ohio business location(s) as long as the costs do not violate State or Federal law and are not otherwise specified as “ineligible costs”:

  • Personal protective equipment to protect employees, customers, or clients from COVID-19.
  • Measures taken to protect employees, customers, or clients from COVID-19.
  • Mortgage or rent payments for business premises (personal residences explicitly excluded).
  • Utility payments (excludes utilities for personal residences and cellular phones not used primarily for business purposes).
  • Salaries, wages, or compensation paid to contractors or employees, including an employer’s share of health insurance costs.
  • Business supplies or equipment

For a printable sheet click here: Small Business Relief Grant 

Businesses that receive funds from the SBRG shall keep records of all specific expenses for which the funds were used for a period of five (5) years from the final expenditure of received funds. These records shall include but not be limited to paid invoices, canceled checks, payroll records, and other documentation acquired when the permissible expense occurred.

Upon request, the business shall provide access to these records to the State of Ohio, its agencies, agents, directors, and/or any party who has contracted with the State for the exclusive purposes of evaluating or ensuring compliance with CARES Act or SBRG requirements.

At its own expense, the business shall prepare photocopies of all of the requested records to the State or any of the aforementioned parties upon written request of the State within a reasonable time of the request.

Failure to abide by the requirement may result in a demand for the business to repay SBRG funds to the State of Ohio within thirty days of a written request for repayment.

Beginning on November 2 at 10:00 AM, businesses can submit an application for the OSBRG Program at businesshelp.ohio.gov. In order to access the application, individuals will be required to log in using an existing OH|ID or create a new OH|ID, which provides users with secure access to State of Ohio services and programs. For more information on creating an OH|ID, visit https://ohid.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/ohid/home

Additionally, The Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund is designed to assist Ohio’s on-premise liquor permit holders. Governor Mike DeWine has designated $37.5 million of funding received by the State of Ohio from the federal CARES Act to provide $2,500 assistance payments to on-premise liquor permit holders to help them through the financial difficulties experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These permit holders have not been able to fully use their liquor permit and it’s had an impact on their business. The program, which will also begin accepting applications on November 2, 2020, will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency. More can be found here: https://businesshelp.ohio.gov/pdf/10292020-bar-and-restaurant-assistance-fund.pdf 

More details are here: https://businesshelp.ohio.gov/small-business-relief-grant.html

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