Where can I find guidance for businesses during COVID-19?
There are many federal, state, and local resources providing valuable information for small business owners.
State of Ohio Resources:
You may contact a local Small Business Development Center of Ohio for small business guidance and resources. To find a local center, visit https://clients.ohiosbdc.ohio.gov/.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Business Resources webpage provides information for small business owners on a variety of COVID-19 related topics including Ohio’s Executive Orders, Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation for employers, Ohio Department of Health Employee Screening Guidelines, and financial relief resources.
There are several organizations/government agencies in Northeast Ohio providing valuable information and assistance for small business owners during the coronavirus pandemic. These organizations include:
Northeast Ohio Hispanic Business Center (ask for a referral to Legal Aid if needed)
Economic & Community Development Institute(ECDI)(ask for a referral to Legal Aid if needed)
Are there any funding or financial relief programs for small businesses?
Yes. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently passed by Congress included several programs intended to support small businesses. The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act published by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship provides a comprehensive overview of these programs. Below is information about specific CARES Act programs and links to relevant resources.
What loans are available to help small businesses in Ohio cover basic operating expenses during COVID 19?
JobsOhio, Peoples Bank, and First Federal/Home Savings Bank have formed a partnership to support existing small business clients with maintaining operations and payroll. JobsOhio has committed up to $50 million to assist Peoples Bank and recently merged First Federal Bank and Home Savings Bank with providing lending support to companies negatively affected by COVID-19. This assistance bolsters each bank’s ability to provide additional financing on favorable terms for local businesses in good standing that would otherwise not be able to access this credit due to COVID-19. Eligible businesses can use the newly available loan funds for working capital, including payroll, rent, mortgages or other fixed debts, utilities, and other bills. For information on how to apply for this lending support, businesses should visit peoplesbancorp.com/coronavirus, First-fedbanking.com/COVID-19 or Homesavings.com/COVID-19.
What is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?
The Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act provides funds to small businesses, eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses. These funds may be used to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits; and to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
For more information about the Paycheck Protection Program visit the Small Business Administration website at: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp.
To apply for the PPP, contact the bank where your business already has an account. If your bank is not an SBA lender, search for other banks who are SBA lenders and who will make loan to a business that is not already a customer of that bank. Find an eligible lender here. Find a sample PPP borrower application form here, but check with your bank because it may have its own form.
What is the Small Business Debt Relief Program?
The Small Business Debt Relief program provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Under this program the SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans for six months, including principal, interest, and fees.
For more information about the Small Business Debt Relief Program, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website at: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-debt-relief.
What are the Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants?
Under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) small businesses may request up to $2M per business to provide economic relief for businesses experiencing a loss of revenue. Up to $10,0000 of the EIDL may be considered an “advance” EIDL advance funds will not have to be repaid.
For more information about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance.
To apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan visit: https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/s/Here are step-by-step instructions on how to fill out the EIDL application.
Can I apply for both EIDL and PPP?
Yes, you can apply to both. However, you cannot use EIDL and PPP money for the same purposes during the same period of time.
What resources assist small businesses located in the City of Cleveland?
The City of Cleveland is prepared to help businesses weather the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and has established the Emergency Working Capital Fund Loan. For more information and to apply visit: https://rethinkcleveland.org/news/city-of-cleveland-emergency-working-capital-loan-fund.
The Cleveland City Council also recently passed Ordinance No. 341-2020 which authorizes the Director of Economic Development to defer payments on loans owed to the City. For more information visit the City of Cleveland Economic Development Department at https://rethinkcleveland.org/covid-19.