Author: davidzak1

3 new State programs announced to help business

From the Governor’s press release yesterday (June 2, 2020):

OHIO BUSINESS FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: 

“Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the creation of three programs to help small and medium-sized businesses in Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency:”

Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program

Ohio businesses and nonprofit organizations need personal protective equipment, which remains in short supply.  We are working to solve that issue through the ingenuity of Ohio companies and their employees. The Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program provides funds to help businesses innovate and create solutions to the PPE shortage.

Small and medium-sized manufacturers that retool existing facilities to make PPE or reshore PPE production to Ohio are eligible. The funding provides up to $500,000 per facility.

Needed PPE: Surgical masks, Gowns, Gloves, Community masks, Face shields, Thermometers, Hand sanitizer, Cleaning and sanitizing products,Other products and solutions.

Click here for program guidelines.

Click here to apply.

Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program

Many Ohio small, minority- and women-owned businesses have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program provides $10,000 in funding to help these companies through the current crisis and set them up for the future.

To be eligible, businesses must have been certified as a Minority Business Enterprise or woman-owned EDGE-certified business as of Feb. 29, 2020; have 10 or fewer employees and up to $500,000 in annual revenue; and have not received funding under the federal CARES Act.

To qualify, businesses must be current on all taxes and private or public loans. Grants will be awarded on first-come, first-served basis.

Click here to apply.

Appalachian Growth Capital Loan Program

Many small businesses in Ohio’s Appalachian region have been hit hard by the COVID-10 pandemic.  The Ohio Development Services Agency and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia will provide $10 million in funding to help these businesses through the crisis.

This new loan program provides funding to the Appalachian Growth Capital LLC, which is a U.S. Treasury-Certified Community Development Financial Institution that provides small business financing in the 32-county Appalachian region of eastern and southern Ohio.

  • Businesses located in the 32-county region with less than $40 million of revenue in the most recently completed tax year are eligible.
  • Appalachian Growth Capital will offer loans to small businesses at 2 percent interest.
  • The maximum loan amount is $500,000, and businesses will have the ability to defer payment for up to six months.

Businesses can apply at appcap.org.

Top 20 Coronavirus Sites & Programs

Here is the curated list of 20 of the most relevant and up-to-date information sites and programs to assist Seneca County (Ohio) businesses with the coronavirus. Contact us with any questions. Updated as of May 19, 2020.

Updates

Resource Hubs

Key Programs

Top 15 State Coronavirus Sites & Programs

Here is the curated list of the most relevant and up-to-date state resources. Updated as of May 19, 2020.

Ohio Department of Health

Governor DeWine Team (DeWine, Husted, Acton)

Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Services

Ohio Development Services Agency

JobsOhio

ODH and Ohio EPA Recommendations for Flushing/Disinfection for Unoccupied Buildings

We received this forwarded email from Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer, and she asked us to make it available to the business community.

Attachments:

Health Commissioners and Environmental Heath Directors:

Many health districts have been inquiring about appropriate guidance to provide to building owners, managers and tenants on appropriate actions to take as buildings re-open that have been vacant or only partially occupied to protect potable water quality.  Due to had little to no water usage during the Stay at Home Order due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  it is important to flush water, and if necessary due to building complexity or other conditions, perform disinfection of water systems that have been stagnant in both cold- and hot-water distribution lines and fixtures.  Low water usage can contribute to bacterial growth, including Legionella which can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. It also can also cause other water quality issues with potential health risks due to build-up of lead and copper in stagnant water that’s been collecting in older pipes and fixtures.  

Devices that store water, such as drinking water fountains, water heaters, storage tanks, and any droplet or mist-forming devices such as cooling towers, humidifiers, shower heads, and certain medical and manufacturing devices and process equipment should also be flushed and disinfected in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations or industry best practices.  

ODH and Ohio EPA have partnered to develop general flushing guidance and protocols, in addition to specific guidance to address buildings where Legionella growth is a concern.  This guidance can be found at:

Ohio EPA Guidance for Premise Plumbing Water Service Restoration https://www.epa.state.oh.us/ddagw/covid19#187665334-consumers

ODH Recommendations for Unoccupied to Partially Occupied Buildings for Flushing and Disinfection to Reduce Legionella Growth https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/Legionella-Environmental/welcome/

Please note that this guidance applies to the water systems of all types of buildings that are unoccupied or partially occupied during the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to office buildings, manufacturing facilities, medical offices (e.g., physician and dentist offices, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient centers, etc.), government facilities, and religious institutions. If you are a tenant of a building, we recommend that you share this information with the building owner, building manager, or management company and ask them to consider taking these precautions.

Please direct questions to:

ODH, Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection

BEH@odh.ohio.gov

(614) 466-1390

Ohio EPA, Division of Drinking and Ground Waters

Emerging Contaminants Section

(614) 644-2752

Governor DeWine announces Restart Plan

Details of the Restart Plan will be available now at coronavirus.ohio.gov/responsiblerestartohio.

Governor DeWine just finished his press conference on Monday. He started by complimenting Ohioans on all of their efforts, which have resulted in decreases in the five-day trend lines for reported cases, deaths, and hospitalizations.

He discussed the anticipated increase in testing capacity, from 7,000 test per day today to double that next week, to reach more than 22,000 tests daily by May 27. He also presented a plan to ramp up a contract tracing workforce. We have 685 trained public health workers and 900 volunteers currently in Ohio, and the plan is to ramp that up to 1,750 workers by June 1. It will take additional funding to accomplish this, and the State will distributed that funding to the 113 public health departments into the state.

The Restart Plan has the following dates:

  • May 1 – all non-essential Health Procedures that can be done that do not require an overnight stay, including dentists and veterinarians will be allowed.
  • May 4 – Manufacturing, Distribution, and Construction will be allowed to open up. All essential businesses in these categories will have to comply with the details in the new order, including requiring face coverings for employees and clients/customers.
  • May 12 – Consumer Retail and Services will be allowed to open up.
  • Additional businesses, such as personal health care and beauty (gyms, hair and nail salons), will be considered for the future.

The Restart Plan has the following five Protocols for all Businesses:

  • 1. Require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times.
  • 2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit for duty.”
  • 3. Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand washing and social distancing.
  • 4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at close of business or between shifts.
  • 5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines. Establish maximum capacity at 50 percent of fire code. And, use appointment setting when possible to limit congestion.

In addition, there are detailed mandatory and recommended protocols and guidelines that will be made available as well.

Fostoria celebrates an incredible 2019

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation and the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce are not able to hold their annual meeting, which is a well-attended, celebratory event. They just sent out today a highlight video and some great information I wanted to share. They are an amazing community doing great things and an important part of the larger Seneca County community.

Here are some great pages from their annual report:

Additionally, they produced some great industry-specific videos this past year, promoting fantastic career opportunities in these fields:

State announces new job search site to assist essential businesses

Release from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, 4:35 pm, 4/2/2020:

COVID-19 Job Search Resource

Today, Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation has developed a website specifically geared toward matching essential businesses with Ohioans who are able and willing to work as an essential employee during the COVID-19 crisis.

Both essential businesses and current job seekers can visit Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/JobSearch to post and search.

The site features a highly-streamlined interface with only two main links – one for essential businesses, and one for job seekers. Applicants can search through jobs in their area, their region, and the entire state.

Though many businesses and public places across Ohio and the nation have had to close during the COVID-19 crisis in order to promote social distancing and slow the spread of the virus, there are many businesses, such as grocery stores, healthcare facilities, pharmacies, delivery companies, and many other types of businesses that are essential to ensuring the health and wellbeing of Ohioans during the crisis. These companies are in high need for workers during this time.

The site is a project of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, which Lt. Governor Husted leads as its director. The Development Services Agency (Development) and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) both aided in the site’s creation. Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/Jobs, like the entire coronavirus webpage, sits on the InnovateOhio Platform.

With questions, please email the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation at Workforce@OWT.Ohio.gov.  

SBA update on Paycheck Protection Program

I received this update this morning (4/2/2020) from Tim Ensch, Lender Relations Specialist with the SBA (timothy.ensch@sba.gov, (216) 522-4190).

Paycheck Protection Program

  • “We’re aware that several fact sheets on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was posted on the treasury website, and we consider this information reliable.
  • The attached Application is also circulating.  There is a SAMPLE of it posted to the SBA’s website, but the version here appears to be more final and is from Treasury: https://home.treasury.gov/cares.
  • Please be patient.  Lenders are aggressively asking all the right questions, but we don’t have any more information at the Field level than you do. 
  • If you would like to take a considered approach, I would invite lenders at your institution to come up with a combined list of questions for the District, and I will try to compile them in a FAQ. Email me one email with PPP FAQ in the subject.

Payment Relief

The CARES Act established payment relief for SBA programs as well. 

  • Under the CARES Act, 7(a) Borrowers are relieved of any obligation to  pay the principal, interest and any associated fees that are owed on a 7(a) loan in a regular servicing status (including Community Advantage loans) for a 6-month period beginning with the first payment due on a loan after March 27, 2020. 
  • SBA will pay this first loan payment to the Lenders within 30 days of the first loan payment due date after March 27, 2020. If a Lender receives a loan payment from a Borrower after March 27, 2020, the Lender must inform the Borrower that it has the option of the Lender either returning the loan payment to the Borrower or applying the loan payment to further reduce the loan balance after application of SBA’s payment.
  • To make the first payment, SBA will need Lenders to provide the gross monthly loan amount due (that includes both the guaranteed and non-guaranteed portions of the loan) as soon as possible to the FTA. SBA will provide further guidance to Lenders on the method and the date by which Lenders must provide the gross monthly loan amount.

FTA means Fiscal Transfer Agent, which is Colson Services.  We will have to see what documentation Colson may request.

Finally, I have received direction that: “SBA will be providing more guidance to lenders shortly which will provided through their respective banking and trade associations. This will happen in the next 24 hours.”  I infer from this that the first information releases will likely be through trade organizations, rather than field offices.  Additional information will be forthcoming.”

For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).

Health Commissioner requiring open businesses to submit justification

Updated 4/2/2020.

Here is the official letter to businesses.

On March 30, 2020, Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer communicated in her Local Briefing (see 5:30 mark on video below) and via official letter that she wants all open businesses to submit a statement of justification to her via email as to why they are “essential.” Certain businesses–like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants with take out, hospitals–are obviously essential and do not need to fulfill this new requirement, but all others that are remaining open and have not yet done so need to.

We spoke to Health Commissioner Schweitzer today, and she affirmed her deep commitment to this community and understands how difficult and unprecedented these times are, but with the first death occurring recently, the community’s health is her foremost concern. Important to note is that she does have the authority to shut down a business if, in her opinion, it is not an essential business.

The statement and any other questions can be submitted via email to bschweitzer@senecahealthdept.org.

April 7 – Webinar: New CARES Act Programs for Business (SBA)

Tuesday, April 7 at 2:00 pm.

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce – together with other economic development organizations from the area – have invited the SBA’s Ray Graves to talk about the new business programs in the CARES Act on Tuesday, April 7 at 2:00 pm.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been signed into law. This Act provides additional assistance for small business owners through the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Emergency Economic Injury Grants can provide up to a $10,000 Advance (which does not have to be repaid) on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for emergency capital. It also includes the Paycheck Protection Loan Program, which offers forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees, and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year.

SBA Lender Relations Specialist Ray Graves provided an overview to these new programs, talked about how to apply them, and answer questions from webinar participants. Graves joined the Cleveland office of the SBA in 2013, and has been working to help businesses obtain SBA financing since 1999.