The coming weeks and months will be difficult for our small businesses and their employees. The Berea Chamber is here to support the Berea business community during these unprecedented times. Below is a list of resources to help both employers and employees who are being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Updates will be made regularly as the situation changes and evolves. To access the Ohio Resources for Economic Support, click here.
Ohio Small Business Relief Grant
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 November 2, 2020, will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.
Application opens November 2, 2020.
For more information, click here.
Ohio Department of Health
The Ohio Department of Health has a great website set up with information on the coronavirus, confirmed cases throughout the state, educational information, resources for coping with anxiety, guidelines for education and childcare, guidelines for community and faith based organizations, and much more.
To visit their site, click here.
IRS Deferred Tax Payment
The IRS is allowing taxpayers to postpone income tax payments due on April 15th until July 15th without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. Here are the important points:
• Eligible payments would include the 2019 balance due as well as first quarter 2020 estimated tax payments.
• Individual taxpayers can defer payment of up to $1M regardless of filing status.
• C corporations can defer payment of up to $10M.
• Penalties and interest will not be calculated on amounts up to the thresholds until July 16th.
• Tax payments made for April 15th in excess of those thresholds are subject to penalty and interest from April 15th as normal.
• This deferral only applies to Federal income taxes, including self-employment tax. It does not apply to any other type of tax due such as payroll tax deposits.
For more information, click here.
SBA Disaster Assistance
As of March 19, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has qualified the State of Ohio for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
As a result, Ohio businesses and non-profits economically impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 may now apply for a low-interest loan of up to $2 million. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. The SBA will offer loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. You can apply for the loan online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/, which is recommended, or by calling 1-800-659-2955 to have an application mailed to you.
To expedite the application process, applicants should have ready complete copies of their most recent federal income tax return and a completed and signed IRS Form 4506T, which authorizes the release of tax information. Additional information to have available would be a schedule of liabilities, personal financial statement, monthly sales figures, a current year-to-date profit-and-loss statement, and a year-end profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet for that tax year if the most recent federal income tax return has not been filed.
For more information on the SBA’s Disaster Assistance program, click here.
EIDL Emergency $10,000 Grant Program
- Eligible applicants for an EIDL can receive a $10,000 emergency grant within three days of application (through Dec. 31, 2020)
- There is no obligation to repay the grant. To receive the $10,000 emergency grant, it is not necessary to have an approved EIDL loan. However, if you are able to secure a PPP loan, the $10,000 grant will be subtracted from the forgiveness amount
NOTE: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act prohibits borrowers from taking out two loans for the same purpose.
To access the grant application, you must complete the SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application. At the end of the application, there is a checkbox to select that you would like to be considered for a grant of up to $10,000.
To access the small business owner’s guide to the CARES act whicn contains information on the grant program as well as other federal programs that are available to small businesses, click here.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
The Paycheck Protection Program will be available retroactive from February 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees, through June 30, 2020. Small businesses and sole proprietors may begin applying on April 3, 2020. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning April 10, 2020.
For more information, visit the SBA’s online resource.
Bureau of Workers Compensation
The BWC has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions document to provide information about the coronavirus’ (COVID-19’s) impact on BWC operations.
To view a short webinar with important updates and information directly from the Ohio BWC, click here.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine asked the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to give up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s economy and business community.
The proposed amount equals 100% of the premium employers paid in policy year 2018. As in previous years, the dividend is possible because of strong investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year, and prudent fiscal management.
BWC provides workers’ compensation insurance to more than 248,000 private and public employers in Ohio. Should the proposed $1.6 billion dividend total be approved by BWC’s Board of Directors:
- An estimated $1.4 billion would go to private employers.
- Approximately $200 million would go to local government taxing districts (counties, cities, schools, etc.).
Premium Installment Payment Deferral
Unpaid insurance premium installment amounts due for March, April, and May for the current policy year can be deferred until June 1, 2020, at which time the matter will be reconsidered. This is for private and public employers. The deferral is automatic–no application is necessary. Employers that wish to submit payments for March, April, and May are free to do so. BWC will not lapse (cancel) coverage or assess penalties for amounts not paid because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Installment payments due for the three-month period total approximately $200 million.
For more information, click here.
In response to COVID-19, the state’s unemployment insurance system has been expanded to immediately cover workers who are displaced, even temporarily. The state will waive the typical waiting period required to qualify. The emergency measure also would apply to workers without paid time off who are under quarantine by their job or a health-care professional.
For employers: An executive order issued by Governor DeWine allows unemployment benefit charges to be mutualized for contributory employers. In addition, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will waive penalties for late reporting and payments during Ohio’s emergency declaration period.
For more information, click here or call 877.644.6562
Centers for Disease Control
The CDC’s website has an abundance of information on how to plan, prepare and respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Information includes resources for your home, cleaning and disinfection recommendations, interim guidance for businesses and employers, and much more.
For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov
U.S. Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus. Their website includes information on workplace safety, wages, hours and leave, unemployment insurance flexibilities, and much more.
For more information, visit: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus
SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff aversion program. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, the participating employer reduces affected employees’ hours in a uniform manner. The participating employee works the reduced hours each week, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.
Visit JFS.Ohio.gov/ouio/SharedWorkOhio for more information.
Sam Adams Restaurant Strong Grant Program
Beginning Friday, April 3 workers can apply for the grant if they meet the five requirements:
- Completed application form in employed state
- Full-time restaurant employee (minimum 30 hours/week, can be multiple restaurants)
- Employed for three months or longer at the same location
- Worked in a restaurant, bar, cafe or nightclub
- Submit the last two pay stubs received
To access the grant application, click here.
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund
Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, they are offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.
Who is eligible?
LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.
What it can be used for?
- Paying rent and utilities
- Meeting payroll
- Paying outstanding debt to vendors
- Other immediate operational costs
Applications for the first round of grants must be completed by April 4th, 11:59 PM ET. They will continue to accept applications for the second round.
For more information and to access the grant application, click here.
HFLA of Northeast Ohio COVID-19 Emergency Loan Application
The mission of HFLA of Northeast Ohio is to provide interest-free loans to address the financial challenges of
residents of Northeast Ohio who lack access to traditional lending sources.
All loan applicants must:
• Live in Northeast Ohio.
• Have an income with the ability to repay the loan on a monthly basis.
• If married, apply with spouse/partner as co-applicant. A co-applicant may also be appropriate in other situations.
• Have been financially impacted by the current pandemic.
Other important things to know:
• Credit will be checked for all applicants and co-applicants with an emphasis on payment history, not a three digit score.
• The maximum loan amount is $1,500.
• If you need more funds you may be eligible to apply for our standard interest free loan.
For more information, visit www.interestfree.org or call 216.378.9042
Congressional Action on Coronavirus Response
On March 18, 2020, the Senate passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill provides, among other things, provisions to address Paid Sick Leave, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Unemployment Insurance for workers displaced by the ongoing outbreak. Furthermore, it includes provisions to provide diagnostic testing for coronavirus, and bolsters Medicaid and nutrition programs for at risk populations. Click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s summary.
Congress’s focus will now turn to the Phase Three stimulus package. Click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s letter to Congress and the President with the business community’s recommendations. We expect this process to move very quickly, so please continue to send me anything you are hearing from your members that could be useful as we advocate on your behalf.
For more information on the federal government’s response to the outbreak and subsequent programs and benefits they are rolling out, please click here.
Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
To qualify, applicants must be a Bartender or the spouse or child of a Bartender. The Bartender Emergency
Assistance Program defines a “Bartender” as an individual employed in serving beverages or otherwise
engaged in the production, promotion or distribution of alcoholic beverages.
For more information, visit: www.usbgfoundation.org
Your business could benefit from a microloan and the KIVA’s crowdfunding platform is easy to use and perfect for raising awareness of the impact of Covid on your business. Loans are 0% interest, with no fees. Loans can be up to $10,000, paid back over up to three years. Kiva approves many loans that other lenders would not. us.kiva.org/cleveland/
- Expanded eligibility: More businesses in the U.S. will be eligible for a Kiva loan.
- Larger loans: The maximum loan on the Kiva platform will increase from $10,000 to $15,000.
- Grace period: New borrowers may access a grace period of up to 6 months for greater financial flexibility.
Complimentary Employee Check In Survey
The Corporate University, Kent State University at Stark wants to support businesses in these trying times we all find ourselves in. They will work with you to design a complimentary, custom employee check-in survey. An employee check-in survey can provide your organization with feedback as to how everyone is really doing, both remote team members and in-place team members.
Maintaining contact and communication with your team and keeping a pulse on their professional and personal needs can be critical during times of stress and uncertainty. To inquire about this service, please contact Marshall Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greater Cleveland Partnership – Employers now Hiring
The GCP has compiled a great list of resources for those who are looking for employment, whether due to COVID-19 related layoffs or otherwise.
To view the list of employers who are currently hiring around Northeast Ohio, click here.
One-Time Liquor Buyback
The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a one-time liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. This will especially aid those establishments that have stocked up on high-proof liquor ahead of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday for which they now have no use, due to their closure to in-house patrons.
Bars and restaurants wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should return their unopened, high-proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. This opportunity is also extended to those with temporary (F2) permits for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6, 2020. If a business has questions about this program, they should reach out directly to the Liquor Enterprise Service Center (LESC) at 1(877)812-0013 or by emailing OhioLiquorInfo@Com.Ohio.gov.
How to Use your Downtime to become Better at Video Marketing
While things having slowed down for many businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, marketers and business owners can use this time to focus on marketing plans, including video. In this podcast from Flex Media, learn how to use your downtime to become better at video marketing!
To access the podcast, click here.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply through December 31, 2020.
For more information, click here.
Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety
- Family Activities to Try During COVID-19 Closures – Link
- COVID-19 and Reducing Panic – Link
- COVID-19 and Anxiety – Link
- Kids and COVID-19 – Link
- Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event – Link
- Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation – Link
- Coping with Stress During an Infectious Disease Outbreak- Link
- Supporting At-Home Children- Link
- Helping Children Deal with Stress – from WHO – Link
- Dealing with Stress – from WHO – Link
Pick Up + Share
This is an app where any restaurant, retailer, or business of any kind can offer delivery to their customers with no cost to the business. “Supporters” can sign up to volunteer to pick up items for “Neighbors” who pay a small delivery fee to have items picked up and brought to their doorstep. Those who volunteer as “Supporters” to pick up and deliver the items choose a non-profit to receive their portion of the delivery fee. This is a great service for helping to distribute goods to elderly residents and those at high risk during the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s also a great way for community members to support non-profits who may be struggling for revenue during the outbreak.
For more information on how to sign up as a “Neighbor” or “Supporter”, please visit: www.pickupandshare.com
For information and marketing materials that business owners can utilize to promote the service and offer the ability to have your products delivered to your customers, please contact Megan Baechle at email@example.com or (440) 243-8415.
*Please note that the Berea Chamber does not “endorse” the Pick Up + Share program, and those utilizing it should take precautions as recommended by the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This information is simply presented to be used as a resource for those who wish to investigate the program further.
Facebook’s Small Business Grant Program
Facebook’s Small Business Grants Program will have cash grants and ad credits available for eligible small businesses. This program is still being developed, but you can sign up to receive email updates when new information is announced. Facebook also offers advice on managing business during the COVID-19 outbreak in their Business Resource Hub.
For more information, click here.
Honeycomb Small Business Relief Loan
- Up to $50,000 in community-sourced loans
- 6 month interest-only period
- No prepayment penalties
- 45 day payment free period
To help the community of small businesses affected by this uncertain time, starting immediately, Honeycomb is offering the Honeycomb Relief Loan program. These loans, up to $50,000, will offer a 45-day payment free period and a six-month interest-only period. They are also streamlining their diligence process, accelerating the speed that they launch campaigns onto their platform, and reducing fees across the board.
For more information, vist: www.honeycombcredit.com
Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund
The Cleveland Foundation has established the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. It is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible. The Rapid Response Fund will provide grant awards on a rolling basis to nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.
The fund is a coalition of Northeast Ohio philanthropic, corporate and civic partners that have joined together to deploy resources to nonprofit organizations serving on the frontlines of the pandemic in our region.
For more information, click here.
Business Volunteers Unlimited
BVU supports non-profit organizations with vital resources and educational programming. The BVU Resource Center is updated daily with useful articles, webinars, and other information pertinent to surviving and thriving during COVID 19. Topics addressed include fundraising, disaster relief, management, human resources, professional development, and more. bvuvolunteers.org/resource-center/
Frantz Ward 20 for 20 Program
The Frantz Ward 20 For 20 Program will donate cash and/or nonprofit services to 20 nonprofit organizations. 20 will receive $1,000 and one will receive an additional $20,000 grant. The recipient of the $20,000 will be decided via a social media campaign open to the public to vote.
Participation in 20 For 20 is open to nonprofit organizations that meet the following criteria:
- Established in the last five years (after January 1, 2015)
- Achieved 501(c)3 status
- Have an active board of directors
- Based in Northeast Ohio
For more information and to apply, click here.
Support our local Restaurants & Bars!
The Berea Chamber has created a Facebook page where our local bars/restaurants can post their offerings including their specials, hours, delivery options, take out options, etc. amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
We are encouraging all residents to like and follow the page for the most up to date information from our area restaurants.
To view the Facebook page, please click here.
Training Resources Available for Workers
The Ohio Governor’s office has compiled a list for workers who have been laid off due to the outbreak and are looking for re-training options as they look for new employement.
OHIO TECHNICAL CENTERS: www.ohiohighered.org/otc/locations
• Ohio Technical Centers provide post-secondary career and technical education (CTE) at 54 career centers across Ohio.
• These institutions offer programming in the skill trades (i.e., HVAC, Phlebotomy, Police Training, EMT, etc.) that prepare adult learners for certificates, industry-recognized certifications, and state licensures.
• Ohio Technical Centers are positioned to respond quickly to the needs of business and industry by providing customized trainings and business consultation services to companies in order to assist with meeting Ohio’s workforce goals.
COMMUNITY COLLEGES: www.ohiohighered.org/campuses/map
• Ohio’s two-year college system is made up of 23 technical and community colleges.
• These institutions allow students to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree and/or pursue a technical certificate, Associate degree, or microcredential.
• At an affordable rate, employers can utilize two-year colleges for upskilling and retraining their employees in a variety of fields.
• Two-year colleges also offer certification prep and customized training in Ohio’s most in-demand industries.
• Ohio is a national leader in postsecondary education with 14 public universities and 51 private colleges and universities.
• Many universities offer certificate programs that can be completed in less than a year, giving employees the opportunity to upskill in the short-term.
• Microcredentials indicate an understanding or mastery in a specific skill or set of skills. Most microcredentials can be earned online and in a self-paced format.
• Microcredentials provide an opportunity for employee development that leads to increased business productivity without the time commitment of other traditional educational programs.
• Through Ohio’s TechCred program employers can be reimbursed up to $2000 when employers complete these types of credentials.
• TechCred reimburses Ohio employers when they invest in their employees by sponsoring them to earn tech-focused credentials.
• Employers can apply for the current round of TechCred, which runs through March 31st.
• TechCred offers employers up to $2,000 in reimbursement for every technology-focused credential earned by an employee, up to $30,000 per employer per round.
• Credentials can be offered by a provider of the company’s choice and many of these trainings can be completed online.
• OhioMeansJobs centers are located within each of Ohio’s counties and assist job seekers, employers and youth with job search assistance, employee recruitment, job training, and more.
• Many OhioMeansJobs centers help subsidize the cost of employee training and upskilling through their Incumbent Worker Training and On-The-Job Training programs.
• Employers can connect with their local OhioMeansJobs center to connect with new talent or learn more about opportunities to upskill their current workforce.
• OhioMeansJobs.com provides all Ohioans with access to free online training and assessments. OhioMeansJobs.com has free online courses on business and computer topics, such as Microsoft and Adobe products.
• LinkedIn Learning is an online tool where users can take courses to earn business, creative, and tech skills. LinkedIn Learning has over 15,000 expert led courses.
• LinkedIn Learning is available for free to any Ohioan with a valid public library card.
OTHER FREE ONLINE EDUCATION AND TRAINING
• In addition to the resources available through OhioMeansJobs.com and Linkedin Learning, there are a number of other online education and training providers through which part or all of their course content can be accessed for free.
• A few examples of the many great online resources include: Code.org, Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Khan Academy.
• Code.org: https://code.org/
• Coursera: www.coursera.org/
• edX: www.edx.org
• Udacity: www.udacity.com
• Khan Academy: www.khanacademy.org
• The eBasedAcademy is an online learning platform hosted by OhioMHAS. From behavioral sciences to the science of addiction, eBasedAcademy offers classes from Ohio’s top educators, professors and professionals.
• Through the eBasedAcademy you can earn Continuing Education Credits in a variety of fields including psychology, nursing and social work.