- Ohio Department of Health
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- Ohio Office of Small Business Relief
- PHONE: For questions you have about COVID-19, please call 1 (833) 4-ASK-ODH from the hours of 9 am -8 pm or use the local Hancock County Resource Call Center by calling 419-425-9999 from the hours of 9 am – 8 pm Monday through Friday.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: @GovMikeDeWine, @LtGovHusted and @OHDeptofHealth
- DAILY UPDATES: Governor DeWine is holding daily press briefings at 2:00 p.m. to deliver the most recent updates as well as give updated guidance for the state’s response. These press events are carried live at www.OhioChannel.org.
Employee & Small Business Support
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that the administration, in partnership with the General Assembly, is developing a package of more than $419.5 million CARES Act funding to help Ohioans. This package includes funding for small businesses, restaurants and bars, hospitals, higher education, arts, nonprofits, and low-income Ohioans impacted financially by the pandemic.
The package includes $125 million in CARES Act funding to provide grants to small businesses with no more than 25 employees. The grant funding will help businesses pay for a variety of expenses, including mortgage or rent payments; utility payments; salaries, wages, or compensation for employees and contractors; business supplies or equipment; and other costs. The application for the Small Business Relief Program will be available November 2, 2020 at businesshelp.ohio.gov.
Home Relief Grants
The state of Ohio will allocate $50 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund from the CARES Act to 47 Community Action Agencies to help Ohioans that have experienced economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each Community Action Agency will receive a portion of the funding based on their Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) CARES Act allocation. Learn more about the Home Relief Grants.
Bar/Restaurant Owner Support
The Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund is designed to assist Ohio’s on-premise liquor permit holders. This $37.5 million fund will help those licensees significantly impacted by COVID-19 and limited in the full use of their liquor permit. Funding for the program is from the CARES Act. Learn more about the Bar and Restaraunt Assistance Fund.
Jobs Ohio and the Ohio Department of Commerce will offer a one-time rebate to bars and restaurants to defray the cost of restocking high-proof spirituous liquor. For more information visit: visit Wholesale.OHLQ.com.
Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill (HB) 606. Under HB 606, all Ohio employers are granted qualified immunity from lawsuits alleging their action or inaction exposed someone to COVID-19. You can read a full summary of the bill here.
To explain the bill to employers, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce has created this graphic.
Small Business Association Disaster Guidance
Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. Information on Small Business Disaster Guidance can be found here.
Impacted Employee Support
Your employees may be affected by the temporary restrictions put in place. The Governor’s office also announced several initiatives to help:
- They are broadening current state policy to clarify that individuals that are quarantined by a health professional or by their employer are considered to be unemployed and will not be subject to requirements to actively seek work during the period of emergency.
- This also applies to companies that determine it is necessary to temporarily shut down operations due to the current emergency.
- Ohio currently has a 1-week waiting period before an individual can receive unemployment. In order to expedite the payments to impacted Ohioans, they are waiving the waiting week so that workers eligible for unemployment benefits will receive them for the first week of unemployment.
The Ohio Department of Job & Family Services also issued a FAQ page that you can use to share with affected employees if they need to access services.
Substantial but temporary changes have been made to Ohio’s Unemployment Comp System:
- Allows for individuals ordered to self-quarantine by a medical professional or their employer to be eligible for unemployment compensation
- Eliminates the one-week waiting period and work search requirements
- Holds harmless an employer’s experience rating due to layoffs resulting from the coronavirus
- Waives employer penalties for late reporting and payment of next quarter’s unemployment compensation contributions.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted has announced the development of a website specifically geared toward matching essential businesses with Ohioans who are able and willing to work as an essential employee during this crisis. Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/JobSearch
Ohioans who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19 but who don’t qualify for regular unemployment benefits can begin pre-registering for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers. To pre-register for PUA benefits, Ohioans should visit unemployment.ohio.gov and click on “Get Started Now.”
SharedWork Ohio Program
Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act
The U.S. Department of Labor has compliance assistance materials to help workers and employers understand their rights and responsibilities under the provisions of WARN. The employer guide provides a brief overview of the WARN Act provisions and answers to frequently asked questions about employer responsibilities and requirements. View the guide.
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) has the SharedWork Ohio Program, a voluntary layoff aversion program. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity.
Ohio employers may apply if they meet the following criteria:
- Have at least two affected employees that do not work on a seasonal, temporary or intermittent basis
- Are current on all Ohio unemployment insurance reporting, contributions, reimbursements, interest and penalties due
- Agree to the program requirements
More information on SharedWork Ohio, including employer FAQ, can be found on their website.
The Ohio BWC is waiving several requirements for employers participating in programs that lower their premiums as a reward for creating safer workplaces and doing BWC business online and on time.
BWC is waiving all safety education and training requirements for this policy year — July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, for private employers; calendar year 2019 for public employers — for participants in the following programs:
- Drug Free Safety Program.
- EM Cap Program.
- Grow Ohio.
- Industry Specific Safety Program.
- One Claim Program.
- Policy Activity Rebate Program.
Discounts offered through these programs will be applied automatically. Additionally, the annual report deadline submission for Drug Free Safety Program participants has been extended to June 1, 2020.
Additionally, unpaid insurance premium installment amounts due for March, April, and May for the current policy year can be deferred until June 1, 2020. BWC will consider the issue further as we approach June 1, 2020.
BWC will not refund amounts to employers who have already paid some or all of their premiums that were scheduled to be paid during those months. Employers that wish to submit payments for March, April, and May are free to do
For more on COVID-19 as it relates to BWC, visit this Frequently Asked Questions page. For the latest on COVID-19, visit the Ohio Department of Health website coronavirus.ohio.gov, or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
Tax Payment Deadline Extension
Tax payment relief details can be found on the IRS info page.
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