Ohio Opens New Office of Small Business Relief
Ohio’s nearly 950,000 small businesses now have a government office dedicated to their COVID-19 relief options and resources. In an April 7, 2020 news release, Governor DeWine announced the creation of an Office of Small Business Relief (OSBR) within the Ohio Development Services Agency. According to the Governor, the OSBR will:
- Serve as the state’s designated agency for administrating federal recovery funds awarded to Ohio for small business support and recovery;
- Work with federal, state and local partners to evaluate and determine possible regulatory reforms that encourage employment and job creation; and
- Coordinate efforts of Ohio’s Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Assistance Centers.
The OSBR web site details various resources for economic support. It includes an overview of considerations that small businesses should make during the pandemic such as reviewing financials and cash flow, using online platforms, understanding their insurance policies and abiding by new federal paid sick leave requirements. It also identifies the financial resources available to small businesses. Among those options for financial relief, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, tax filing and payment extensions, and deferment of workers’ compensation insurance through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) are discussed. The website also offers alternatives to laying off employees and information about banking relief and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. (Eastman & Smith’s COVID-19 Insights and Information page contains articles and webinars on these topics as well.)
In addition to the resources above, the OSBR website provides answers to some common questions that small business owners may have related to COVID-19 and the programs available to them. Small businesses can find answers to questions about their EIDL application, whether they qualify as an essential business and how to choose a federal financing program. The website also provides direction to small business owners looking for more information about the COVID-19 outbreak, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the unemployment compensation system.
Small businesses with additional questions can contact the OSBR by email at BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov.
Should you have any questions regarding relief efforts for small businesses please contact one of our business attorneys.
Anna L. Crisp, a law clerk with Eastman & Smith who is finishing her third year at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, contributed to this article.
At the date of publication the above information was correct. It is quite possible the information above has changed as COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation.
The article in this publication has been prepared by Eastman & Smith Ltd. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney/client relationship.