As small businesses navigate the complicated environment of the coronavirus pandemic, local agencies and national companies are providing resources to guide owners through the process.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce launched a Coronavirus Business Resource to serve as a hub for all the happenings during the COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio. This includes business regulations and pending legislation, along with support for businesses who have had to close.
“We know these are trying times for everyone, we want to provide whatever assistance we can to Ohio businesses,” said Chamber President & CEO Andrew E. Doehrel said in a statement. “Ohio has been through trying times before and we will make it through this together.”
In Friday’s update on the coronavirus response in the state, Gov. Mike DeWine thanked businesses who have worked with the administration on closures and public health directives.
“We continue to work to find the right balance,” DeWine said.
He said there were still businesses putting employees at risk by not following safety guidance such as providing cleaning supplies and disinfectant.
“The bad behavior, the reckless behavior, must stop,” DeWine said.
For those struggling with the loss of business during the outbreak, the state’s small businesses can now apply for up to $2 million in loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The state asked to be included in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program this week after closing restaurants and bars to dine-in traffic to reduce risk of the spread of COVID-19.
The loans come with a 3.75% interest rate “for small businesses without credit available elsewhere,” according to a release from the Governor’s office. Nonprofits will receive a 2.75% interest rate.
Nationally, grants are emerging to help businesses with their loss of revenue. Facebook, for example, says it will release $100 million in “cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.”
The Ohio legislature could be considering stimulus proposals at their sessions next week as well, but no details have been released about the proposals.
Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.