The economic impact of COVID-19 on our economy is far-reaching; however, many programs have been and are continuing to be developed by multiple agencies and lending institutions across the country.

Listed below are some of the many programs that are available. For additional information, email the Development Department or call 614-277-3004.

Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund – Round 2 Extension

Round 2 of the Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund is now open. In Round 2, all businesses in Franklin County are eligible for Recovery Grants regardless of business owner income. Having received PPP/EIDL funding is no longer a disqualifier for Franklin County businesses outside of the City of Columbus municipal boundaries. For additional information visit Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery. The application deadline has been extended to Friday, Sept. 11.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The U.S. Small Business Administration has posted a revised, borrower-friendly PPP loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020. Also posted is a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan. For additional information, visit the Small Business Administration website.

Update: Effective June 30, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to extend the PPP application deadline until August 8, 2020.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Emergency Economic Injury Grants

This program provides an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying

  • To access the advance (GRANT), you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstances, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
  • Update Thursday, April 16: The SBA is currently unable to accept new application for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) – COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance Information

Additional Coronavirus Relief Options

Rebate to Support Bars and Restaurants

JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control announced they are offering a one-time rebate to bars and restaurants to defray the cost of restocking high-proof spirituous liquor. JobsOhio will provide a $500 rebate to eligible permits for purchases made through Ohio Liquor Contract Liquor agencies. Permit holders must register to be eligible for the rebate. For additional information, visit the JobsOhio website. To view qualifying permits and to register for the liquor rebate program, visit the One-Time Liquor Rebate Program website.

AEP Ohio

AEP Ohio is working closely with the business community as it navigates the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Agents are on standby to assist sole proprietors looking for payment assistance and larger companies hoping to retain their workforce, with information on the tools and resources being offered:

  • Payment plans to help navigate through challenging financial times.
  • Suspended processing fees on credit and debit card bill payments through June 30, 2020.
  • Loan programs, such as the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, that can be used to pay utility bills.
  • Energy usage and facility insights to help guide budget decisions.
  • Information on bonus incentives to purchase and implement energy efficient products for businesses.
  • Tips to avoid scammers and keep information safe during these uncertain times.

For additional information, call 888-710-4237 or visit the website.

Lending Support for Ohio Small Businesses

JobsOhio, Peoples Bank and First Federal/Home Savings Bank have announced a partnership to support existing small business clients with maintaining operations and payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. JobsOhio has committed up to $50 million to assist and provide lending support to companies that are negatively affected. For additional information, visit the JobsOhio website.

Need Funding for Your Startup or Small Business?

The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) is offering microloans ranging from $750 to $350,000. For additional information on the terms and application process, visit the ECDI website.

Liquor Buyback
The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. This is intended to aid those establishments that have stocked up on high proof liquor but are now facing closure to in-house patrons. Bars and restaurants can return unopened, high proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. Questions about this program should be directed to the Liquor Enterprise Service Center at 1-877-812-0013 or Wholesale Return Process.

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC)
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) system is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio and serves 249,000 public and private employers. To help businesses facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio BWC has approved to send up to $1.6 billion to Ohio Employers this spring to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Ohio’s economy and business community.

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and PBA Charities have created a new fund to help during this unprecedented crisis.
The PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide $500 to licensed beauty professionals who are unable to work due to COVID-19. The funding, if awarded, is intended to be emergency aid for short-term immediate needs such as food and bills.
For additional information, visit PBA COVID -19 Relief Fund.

Facebook announced a $100 million grant for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and launched the Business Resource Hub, which features recommendations to help small businesses stay connected to customers and stay on track.

GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp to allow independent businesses to start fundraisers and accept donations through Yelp’s pages. The Yelp Foundation and GoFundMe also pledged to donate up to $1 million to the GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund.

Google’s pledge to donate $800 million for COVID-19 relief includes efforts to help small and medium-size businesses gain access to capital.

James Beard Foundation started a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage small businesses in need.

JP Morgan Chase & Co. pledged $50 million to help struggling customers and $8 million in aid to small businesses.

Opportunity Fund, which specializes in money lending to small businesses owned by women, immigrants and people of color, is collaborating with investors and nonprofits to put together a coronavirus relief fund that will provide grants and low-interest-rate loans to business owners in need.

COVID-19 Employer Mobility Survey

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) wants to help Central Ohio businesses responsibly return to work. As employers are planning to “re-open” operations, COTA would like to learn more about the plans of local employers as they evolve, and access to transit and mobility options are important for every business to consider.

COTA is seeking your input to better plan for the Central Ohio community. To assist in this process, please access a brief survey.

CORRE Virtual Hiring Event

One Columbus has joined the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio and OhioMeansJobs Columbus, Franklin County to help furloughed workers connect to businesses needing employees to continue vital services.

Businesses, find the CORRE Virtual Schedule and the Virtual Event business registration page to schedule participation in a 30-minute demo session to view the platform and learn how to set up your company’s virtual booth prior to the live hiring event. The Virtual Fair is free to your business and job seekers. A member of the CORRE team will reach out to you to schedule a demo session. They will need job descriptions and wage and shift information.

To learn more or register/participate in the event, visit the Ohio Means Jobs, Franklin County website, or call 614-559-5052 for details.

Learn New Tech Skills

TechCred is back. Employers can visit starting June 1 to apply for the fourth application period. TechCred helps Ohioans learn new skills and helps employers build a stronger workforce with the skills needed in a tech-infused economy. Many of these types of training can be completed online.

People + Work Connect, powered by Accenture, is a free, online employer-to-employer platform that connects organizations that are downsizing to those who are hiring. This will give organizations that have open positions a view into the workforce available to fill those jobs, enabling companies that have available employees assist their people in finding new opportunities quickly and efficiently. To learn more, visit People + Work Connect  or sign up here.

Ohio BWC to Provide Face Coverings to Employers

Governor DeWine announced the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) will begin distributing non-medical-grade face coverings to Ohio employers covered by the BWC. The masks, which are intended to support and enhance any workforce safety and health efforts that businesses already have in place, are funded through BWC’s existing budget and will not impact premiums.

Public and private employers that participate in the State Insurance Fund will receive a package from BWC containing at least 50 face coverings. These packages will be shipped in batches beginning May 20, 2020. For additional information, visit the BWC web page.

Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19 – In response to the COVID-19 challenges, The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA), Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), Ohio Manufacturing Extension Program (Ohio MEP), nursing homes and JobsOhio have joined forces to fight COVID-19. This collaborative effort will engage manufacturers to see which companies have an interest in repurposing their manufacturing operations to produce some of the most in-demand products in the fight against COVID-19. For additional information, visit Fight COVID-19.

Ohio Manufacturers Retooling and Repurposing to Create PPE – Share and purchase personal protective equipment created through the ingenuity of Ohio manufacturers who have answered the call to help. For additional information, visit Retooling and Repurposing to Create PPE.

Grove City COVID-19 Updates

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced an Ohio Department of Health order mandates face coverings in public in all counties that are designated as a Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency or a Purple Alert Level 4 Public Health Emergency.

Franklin County is designated Red Alert Level 3.

To file a complaint or report a business not following the county or state Responsible RestartOhio guidelines, visit the Franklin County Public Health website to complete the COVID-19 Responsible Restart Ohio Complaint Intake Form.

View the Director’s Second Order to Extend the Expiration Date of Various Orders, updated July 7, 2020. Mass gatherings (10 or more persons) increase the risk of community transmission of the virus COVID-19.

View the new Ohio Public Health Advisory System information and download the Ohio COVID-19 Risk Level Guidelines for the Public.

Review the Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus information and latest developments.

If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

U.S. Department of Labor – Webinar for Manufacturers

The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting a compliance assistance webinar, Thursday, June 25 at 1 p.m., to discuss how the Department is helping workers and employers by reducing regulatory burdens and making it easier to understand and comply with the law. This webinar provides an opportunity for workers, employers and state and local governments to ask questions and discuss how the Department can expand and improve access to its compliance assistance materials. To register, visit the U.S. Department of Labor registration page.

COTA Modifies Service in Grove City Amid COVID-19

In an effort to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) requests customers limit non-essential bus travel until further notice. COTA is assessing and directing its service daily, based on the needs of the community.

Line 61 to Grove City is no longer in service. Visit Major Service Change Announcements for adjusted schedules.

Effective Monday, June 8, COTA will restore early morning service on several lines, including the Line 3 Northwest/Harrisburg, which serves Broadway/Harrisburg Pike, Columbus Street/Stringtown Road and Buckeye Parkway in Grove City. This service will run from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For additional information visit the Line 3 schedule.

Please note, COTA Plus will continue to operate weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Please follow the following special protocol during this pandemic:

Bus riders should:

  1. Enter the buses from the back. The front bus doors will be closed. This is to provide their drivers some distance from the public.
  2. Don’t sit next to another rider. Maintain as much physical distance between riders as possible.
  3. Hand sanitizer will be available on the bus. Use it when you get on and off.

COTA reserves the flexibility to make adjustments to bus schedules as this situation evolves.

  • COTA has temporarily suspended AirConnect service and Night Owl service.
  • Effective immediately, all fares are waived for bus service, including COTA Plus.

For the latest service information from COTA, please visit the COTA website, call COTA Customer Care at 614-228-1776 or sign up for text or email alerts at

National Restaurant Association COVID-19 Reopening Guidance

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) partnered with representatives of the Food and Drug Administration, public health officials and industry representatives to develop a set of opening and operating guidelines to help restaurants return to full operation safely. For additional information and to view the Restaurant Reopening Guide visit the NRA web page.

Steps to Take Before Reopening Your Business

As the Governor moves forward, it is important to be aware that buildings have been vacant for several weeks and the plumbing systems are required to be flushed.

The Ohio Association of Plumbing Inspectors, the National Sanitation Foundation and the International Code Council have developed a list of important steps to take before opening your business or building. For complete information, visit the Ohio Association of Plumbing Inspectors website.

COVID-19 Survey

The Columbus Partnership has developed a survey to understand employee opinions about returning to the workplace.

This survey can be completed by individuals living or working in any area of the United States. What you share will help a variety of organizations prepare their workplaces for the future as they consider the impacts of COVID-19.

To complete the survey, visit COVID-19 Survey.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is ordering the relaxing of some unemployment compensation requirements and timelines for COVID-19 impacted workers who do not receive paid leave and for people who have been quarantined due to COVID-19. Visit the State of Ohio Businesses/Employers – COVID-19 Checklist for additional information.

Download the April 2 Stay at Home Order.

Rent and Eviction Suspension Order

Governor Mike DeWine issued an order that landlords are requested to suspend rent payments for at least 90 days for small business commercial tenants and provide for a moratorium on evictions of small business tenants for 90 days.

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)

The Ohio Department of transportation (ODOT) is modifying the process for haulers carrying heavy loads of essential goods. Generally, Ohio requires haulers with loads classified as “over-sized” to seek advanced permission from ODOT before they are legally allowed to travel in the state. Haulers carrying these essential goods can download and print the permit at Ohio Department of Transportation.

Grace Period for Health Insurance Premiums

All health insurers are required to provide the option of deferring premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. This means that employers can defer their premium payments up to two months, giving them some relief on costs, while keeping their employees insured.

Grace Period for Health Insurance Premiums

Pay Benefits for Reduced Work Hours

SharedWork Ohio allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours. For additional information, visit Shared Work Ohio.

Temporary Pandemic Child Care

Effective immediately, only child care programs with a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license will be permitted to operate in Ohio, serving only essential workers defined by the state with priority for key health and safety occupations.

Action for Children’s website hosts information for families including an interactive map of the ODJFS-approved Temporary Pandemic Child Care programs in Franklin and the surrounding counties. Action for Children will update the map twice daily as the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services approves new programs and some programs request removal. Families can also submit a help request online or call specialists at 614-224-0222, ext. 299, for help connecting with a provider.

Please refer families and employers that might need Temporary Pandemic child care to Action for Children’s website.