Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 3/19/2020 with new information from the SBA on Disaster Loan Assistance.
Over the last several days, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has taken aggressive action to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, including shuttering schools, closing bars and restaurants to dine-in patrons, and ordering gyms, movie theaters and more to close. Many small, independent businesses have also made the difficult decision to voluntarily close during the pandemic.
The weeks and months ahead will be difficult to navigate for small business owners from restaurants to retailers. Below is a list of resources and organizations providing assistance to small business owners on a local to national level.
Most of ECDI’s employees are working remotely. Limited staff are on-site at 1655 Old Leonard Ave. with the office closing at 3:30 p.m. daily. In-building support staff can help with:
- Paying a bill
- Dropping of an invoice
- Answering questions related to the disruptions of your small business and loan & business assistance
A Facebook post also provides additional details on programming. Some workshops will likely be postponed until late spring 2020. ECDI will also not release an April Training Calendar, but instead host workshops and trainings online through its hybrid learning platform, Initiate. The Initiate program brings ECDI clients 24/7 online access to customized how-to videos, quick references, resources and more.
For more information, visit ecdi.org.
The Ohio Small Business Development Centers at Columbus State Community College are cancelling all in-person events and will be conducting one-on-one advising remotely until further notice.
Outside of scheduled changes in events, the SBDC says they remain fully operational to ensure small businesses receive the business management and technical assistance needed to navigate the challenges ahead for businesses in the coming days and weeks.
The organization will continue to provide updates on their website SBDCColumbus.com and Facebook page facebook.com/SBDC.Columbus.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has complied a list of guidance and resources for small business owners.
The organization is working with state governors to qualify states for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. As of Thursday, March 19, small businesses in the State of Ohio are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On Tuesday, March 17 the SBA revised the criteria for states seeking an economic injury declaration related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The relaxed criteria will create a faster, easier qualification process for states seeking SBA Disaster Assistance and expand statewide access to these loans.
The program will provide small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million. Loans may be used by small business owners and non-profits 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%.
Ohio business owners can find a step-by-step guide to applying for a loan here. Additional details on Disaster Loan Assistance are available here.
SBA’s information also recommends businesses to review their policies if they have business interruption insurance and understand precisely what they are and are not covered for.
Facebook has announced a Small Business Grants Program. Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Applications will launch in the coming weeks. Business owners can stay up to date here.
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.