Covid-19 Info

Scroll down to view info on COVID-19 issues and resources…

The ODA customer service info is: 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing 1-800-877-8339, and

Please note – information on this page subject to change.




We’re Here to Help Businesses Get Assistance

The Ohio Development Services Agency has many resources to help business owners make it through the current crisis and prepare for a strong future. Here are some of the resources, and most of them are offered at no cost to businesses.






SBA Disaster Loan Phishing Scam Alert!!!!

Multiple sources identified an SBA-themed phishing email that is addressed to, “Valued SBA Applicant” and signed by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA). The body of the email requests user to verify the account, “due to high fraudulent claims and identity theft cases used by hijackers recently in regard to loan applications.” The statement is false, and the links could lead to financial or personally identifiable information (PII) loss.

Any email communication from the SBA will come from email accounts ending in sba[.]gov. Loan applicants should:

  • Confirm the application number referenced in the email is consistent with their actual application number.

  • Do not click on any links or open any attachments unless you are sure of the recipient.


Applicants who receive email correspondence asking for PII are often targets of email phishing scams. For more information on email phishing scams where bad actors are taking advantage through “SBA Loan Applications” please visit this site:


If you see this or similar activity, immediately report the activity to NOTE: Contacting individual staff members for service/support may result in a delayed response.

Alert #: 20201161305



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State of Ohio Small Business Relief Grant  

On Friday, October 23rd, Governor DeWine and the Ohio Development Services Agency announced two new COVID Relief grant programs for Ohio companies that will provide more than $162 million in grant support.  One program is focused on all small businesses with one to twenty-five employees.  The other is specifically for Bars and Restaurants for Division of Liquor Control permit holders. Go to www.BusinessHelp.Ohio.Gov site for all available details.

Applications for both programs will open on November 2, 2020 and will be on a first come, first served basis.  Small business owners should work to prepare their required application information between now and the open date.


For the Small Business Relief Grant:

  • These will be grants up to $10,000

  • Must be a for profit entity, have a physical presence in Ohio, and have been in continuous operation since Jan. 1, 2020, except for interruptions required by COVID-19 related public health orders

  • Must earn at least 90% of annual revenue based on activities performed in and taxable to Ohio

  • Must have documentation to prove one to twenty-five total or full-time equivalent W2 employees as of Jan. 1, 2020, or an FTE calculation for all of 2019

  • Will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.  Money has been allocated so that each county will have at least 50 grants and then the balance of funds will go to additional applicants.

  • Funds must be used for costs caused by COVID-19.  Eligible expense types are listed on the program site.

  • There is a list of questions, required documents and other information necessary to complete your application (when it goes live on November 2nd) at the web site for the program at

A business will not need to create an ODSA specific account to apply, they will need to login using their OH ID account.  This is the same login businesses use for the Ohio Business Gateway.

The first question a business will be asked on the application is for either a SSN or EIN. The business must use their EIN to apply for the $10,000 grant.

CPAs may apply on behalf of their clients using their firm’s OH ID account and creating separate applications under each client’s EIN.

This grant is not for future expenses, but rather is a reimbursement for costs already incurred by the business between March 22, 2020 and the date of application.  This means the business will need to retain evidence that they spent they had eligible expenses during that period (payroll, rent, mortgage, equipment, etc.).  This is separate from the attachment requiring proof of business activity in the prior 60 days. 


For the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund:

  • These are $2,500 grants for on-premise liquor permit holders. These can be received in addition to the small business relief grants described above.

  • All such permit holders will be eligible (and presumably have access to one of these grants)

  • Permit must have been active as of close-of-business on October 23, 2020

  • Businesses applying for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund do not need to complete separate applications for multiple liquor permits, as long as those permits are held under the same EIN (they can add new liquor permit fields in the application).  If separate entities “own” the permits it will require separate applications to each unique EIN.

  • Funds need to be used on COVID-related expenses due to business interruptions caused by the pandemic.

  • More information on this program can be found at


Program details and applications when they become available can be found here:





Tips and tricks for accessing the  application:

  • Shut down and reboot your computer

  • Try going in through Google Chrome

  • Clear your cache and refresh your browser

  • Keep trying.  On the first day folks had to keep trying, and the average “success” time was about three hours


Attention Sole Proprietors and LLCs…

Q&A regarding the Ohio Small Business Relief grant:


Q:  The payroll proof  section in the application process only talks about W-2 employees.  What is required for self-employed individuals?  Sole proprietors and LLC’s who are taxed as sole proprietors are listed as eligible businesses.  Many sole proprietors do not have an EIN; they use their social security numbers to file their taxes.  What does a sole prop do if they do not have an EIN or W2, but are still legitimate businesses?

A:  If you are a sole prop and do not have an EIN, you can get one by visiting the IRS website – and you can apply for an EIN (Form SS-4) online, and at no cost to you.  This may affect how you file your taxes after receiving your EIN.


Sole proprietors attempting to apply for the grants are trying to use their Social Security numbers in the process, and the application is not geared for that number.

It appears that the grant is focusing the limited funding available on companies with one or more employees where W-2s are issued.  


Q: To be clear, you must have at least one W-2 employee to apply, correct?

A:  Companies with at least 1 employee on a W-2 basis (that can be a part-time employee) and not more than 25 employees on a W-2 basis (that total can be on full-time-equivalent basis, which expands the umbrella for companies with more than 25 employees, but some of whom are part-time).


Please address questions such as specifics on the number of employees, etc. to 


Regarding application acceptance/rejection:

Once an application is submitted the next communication an applicant will receive is a notice of approval or rejection.  The review process will take up to several weeks.

Once an application is approved the client will receive an email noting the approval and the client will need to log back into the portal within seven days to accept the grant.







Portage County
Small Business Emergency Relief GRANT Program


The Portage County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program (the “Program”) is a grant fund that the County received through section 5001 of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (that “CARES Act”). The Program has been created by Portage County in order to assist small businesses throughout Portage County with the financial hardships imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Qualifying businesses will be able to receive grant funds through the PC COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program to assist those businesses with operating expenses incurred after March 1, 2020 and no later than December 30, 2020. Overall eligibility for the grant will be tied to businesses that can demonstrate a financial hardship due to COVID-19 in the time period as described above.

The 1st application period will open on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 9am and will close on Friday, November 6, at 4:00 p.m. 

For Program Guidelines, Application Access, Applicant Certification Form (must be
downloaded and signed with application) visit

Submit Completed Applications to NDS no later than 4 pm Friday, November 6, 2020 to be considered for 1st Round funding.
-Via Email: Jen Davis at
-Via Online:
-Via Fax: 330-297-5303
-Via Mail: NDS, Inc., 120 E. Main St. Ravenna, OH 44266 ATTN Jen Davis
-Via Dropbox: NDS, Inc., 120 E. Main St. Ravenna, OH 44266 ATTN Jen Davis

For additional questions please contact Jen Davis at Phone: 330-671-0540
NDS may obtain additional information and documentation from any small business seeking assistance.





October 14, 2020 

The city of Akron and the Western Reserve Community Fund (WRCF) are launching a program that aims to provide low-cost loans to small businesses in Akron.

The city and WRCF announced Wednesday, Oct. 14, that they are immediately accepting applications for loans of between $10,000 and $70,000. WRCF is a nonprofit managed by the Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA).

The city and WRCF said they will work in partnership with existing support programs, such as Akron’s Great Streets and Rubber City Match programs, as well as with the Akron Urban League and the Bounce Innovation Hub, to “provide low-cost small business loans to help stabilize Akron’s small businesses.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge strain on individuals and businesses alike,” said Akron mayor Dan Horrigan in a news release. “To meet the evolving challenges and pivot to deliver goods and services as safely as possible in this current climate, small businesses need flexible capital. We are confident that this new loan fund will be able to provide just that.”

Beyond the current pandemic, the fund is intended to operate indefinitely, the city and WRCF said.

No dollar amount was specified for the size of the fund, dubbed the Akron Resiliency Fund, but funding will come from the city and hopefully additional sources, organizers said.

“The fund will be seeded with capital from the city’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation from U.S. Housing and Urban Development and will ideally leverage capital from local philanthropic sources, accredited individual investors, regional banks and national investment partners,” the release stated.

Businesses with gross annual revenue of less than $3 million and fewer than 50 employees will be eligible to receive the loans, providing at least 25% of their employees are Akron residents.  Businesses in low- to-moderate income areas which includes all of Akron with the exception of Ellet and most of Northwest Akron, are eligible.  Nonprofits and certain businesses are not eligible.  

The city said applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis, but that consideration will be given to businesses located in low- to moderate-income Census tracts.

Businesses can use the loans for things such as payroll, working capital, equipment and refinancing debt, the city said.

To learn more about the program or apply for a loan, please contact the Development Finance Authority at 330.762.4776.

Applications are also available online.





Release date 10/30/2020



A PPP factsheet for borrowers that provides a high-level overview of what they have to do as part of the PPP Forgiveness process has been developed for SBA field offices and SBA Resource Partners.

The basic premise is that the borrowers in all cases should work with their PPP lenders on forgiveness.

Here is the link to the document.

The link is also on


In Case You Missed It: Did you know that PPP Forgiveness information is available in 17 languages? You can find all 17 languages by visiting



Release Date: June 17, 2020                           Contact:, (202) 205-7036

Release Number: 20-48                       Follow us on TwitterFacebookBlogs & Instagram

SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020.  In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers.  Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form.

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.  These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan.

Click here to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.

Click here to view the Full Forgiveness Application.



posted 10/9/2020

SBA & Treasury announce simpler PPP forgiveness applications

for loans less than $50,000

The goal of the new application is to streamline the PPP process and allow lenders to process forgiveness more quickly.  Click the corresponding links for details:



Forgiveness IFR


PPP FAQ Document Updated

The online FAQ has been updated to include the following:

Q52 – The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (Flexibility Act) extended the deferral period for borrower payments of principal interest and fees on all PPP loans to the date that SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender (or, if the borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, 10 months after the end of the borrower’s loan forgiveness covered period). Previously, the deferral period could end after 6 months.  Are lenders and borrowers required to modify promissory notes used for PPP loans to reflect the extended deferral period?

A – The extension of the deferral period under the Flexibility Act automatically applies to all PPP loans.  Lenders are required to give immediate effect to the statutory extension and should notify borrowers of the change to the deferral period.  SBA does not require a formal modification to the promissory note.  A modification of a promissory note to reflect the required statutory deferral period under the Flexibility Act will have no effect on the SBA’s guarantee of a PPP loan.

Click below for the full FAQ for Lenders & Borrowers……


Forgiveness FAQ

For more information and updates, visit or


Forgiveness Platform Reminders

The SBA Office of Capital Access sent a letter via the PPP Forgiveness Platform Oct. 6 reminding lenders that to ensure successful payment processing they will need to:

  • Recheck institution settings within the PPP Forgiveness Platform (e.g. Distribution List for Email Notifications, Routing and Account Number and Interest Accrual Method Selection).
  • Perform a final check of submitted forgiveness decisions to ensure the Forgiveness Amount in the Platform matches records. As a reminder, the Platform does not accept or support corrections after payment remittance by SBA.
  • Confirm institution’s interest accrual method. Unless SBA is notified otherwise, the interest rate for Loan Forgiveness payments is simple interest at 1% using the “Bank Method” – 360/365. If your institution used the “Stated Method” (365/365) or compound interest, please make this selection within the platform under Institution settings. All questions can be directed to

Additional information on the forgiveness process, including relevant Procedural Notices, IFRs, and other CARES Act and PPP resources, as well as instructions for authorizing accounts and submitting forgiveness decisions in the Platform can be found in the Lender User Guide and platform videos below.





PPP Loans and Changes of Ownership

Issued on Oct. 2, Procedural Notice 5000-20057 covers the required procedures for changes of ownership of an entity that has received Paycheck Protection Program funds (a “PPP borrower”).

E-signatures extended Procedural Notice 5000-20050

extends guidance on use of electronic signatures (previously covered in Procedural Notice 5000-20009 that expired Sept. 30) for the 7(a) and 504 programs through Nov. 30, 2020, due to the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Notice should be posted to the SBA documents site soon.

IRS: Forgiven PPP Loan Reporting Requirements

The IRS shared forgiven PPP loan reporting requirements in a recent announcement, indicating: When all or a portion of the stated principal amount of a covered loan is forgiven because the eligible recipient satisfies the forgiveness requirements under section 1106 of the CARES Act, an applicable entity is not required to, for federal income tax purposes only, and should not, file a Form 1099-C information return with the IRS or provide a payee statement to the eligible recipient under section 6050P of the Code as a result of the qualifying forgiveness. The filing of such information returns with the IRS could result in the issuance of underreported notices (IRS Letter CP2000) to eligible recipients, and the furnishing of such payee statements to eligible recipients could cause confusion. This announcement is intended to prevent any such confusion. 






USPTO announces COVID-19 provisional patent application pilot program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced a collaborative deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program for inventions that combat COVID-19.


Read full news brief 








New information on an ECDI Recovery Loan



Business Resiliency Guide: Keeping the Lights on

America’s SBDC, Grow with Google and the Washington SBDC Network teamed together to bring small businesses across the country a Small Business Resiliency Guide.

The materials cover;

  • Identify your critical resources

  • Plan to use alternative resources

  • Respond with your plan

  • Bring your business back to normal


  • Discover Google tools that can help you work and manage your business during this time of uncertainty

  • Get insights on more online and timely resources for small businesses

Get the Resiliency Guide & Materials

Learn more about Grow with Google






If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, tax, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond.  These are scams.  Please contact the FBI at so that the scammers can be tracked and stopped.

Also, please remember to check with the Better Business Bureau regarding businesses about whom you may have questions or other information you may need.

Businesses with less than 500 employees can get funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. More on this and other IRS info related to COVID-19 outbreak at:

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.  Please click on the following hyplerlink for the printable workplace poster.

DOL – FFCRA Poster Non-Federal 3-25-2020  





Ohio Department of Job & Family Services regarding mass lay off instructions:

All Ohio employers planning a mass layoff or shutdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should provide the following mass-layoff number – 2000180 – and the second link below to an instructional sheet to their employees to speed the processing of unemployment benefits.

COVID-19-affected claimants with otherwise valid applications for unemployment will be awarded benefits. While claimants must still meet the weekly requirements that they be able and available for work, the requirement that they actively search for work while receiving benefits has been waived.

COVID-19-affected contributory employers will receive regular monthly charge statements, but these charges will be charged to the mutual account and not the employer’s account.

Reimbursing employers will follow existing charging requirements under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4141.

For more information, please see the press release at the following link:
Press Release:

Instructional Sheet:

*Employers, please let affected employees know that unemployment benefits are taxed at the federal level (for planning purposes.)*

*To learn more about unemployment assistance, call 877-644-6562.*



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SBA-logo-for-use-by-SBA.jpgThe SBA’s mission is to empower small businesses with the resources and support that they need to start and grow their businesses, no matter what stage of the business they are at. This mission is no different during times of natural or economic hardship.
We stand behind Ohio’s 950,000 small businesses. Our top priority is to ensure that the state’s small businesses can continue providing needed products and services, driving the economic prosperity of our local communities. 
Our staff will continue to support small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their preparedness plans. I urge you to visit the resources listed below for more information and to follow us on Twitter for updates.

SBA Guidance & Assistance for Small Businesses
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has posted information regarding loan programs and guidance for businesses:
Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC Guidance & Prevention Protocols for Businesses

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued COVID-19 guidance for businesses and is updating them as new developments occur.
Please refer to the following links for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19:

  ·  Resources for Business & Employers

·     General Info & FAQs

·     Steps to Preventing Illness

·     Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities


COVID-19 Resources in Ohio

Inbox for legislative inquiries: questions@governor.ohio.govOhio

Department of Health Hotline: 1833-4-ASK-ODH

Ohio Department of Health Website:

  • The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has updated its website with links to a form that employers can provide to employees who have been laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic to expedite their claim process. Also, this ODJFS web page is specifically for employers seeking answers to coronavirus-related Unemployment Insurance questions.

Assistance for Businesses

  • JobsOhio will offer a six-month deferral of payment of loans for the nearly 50 companies that have executed loan agreements with JobsOhio.




The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.  Please click on the following hyplerlink for the printable workplace poster.

DOL – FFCRA Poster Non-Federal 3-25-2020