News & Opportunities

Please also see the “Resources” tab for these pages –  

N.E. Ohio SBDC Network: Seminars, Workshops & Webinars, and Community Partners Seminars, Workshops and Webinars

for additional important events!


Scroll down to view info on COVID-19 issues and resources…including a new SBA Loans Comparison Chart that briefly explains and compares EIDL, EIDL Forgiveness/Advance, PPA SBA 7a, SBA Express Bridge Loan and SBA Small Business Debt Relief Program.

Please note:

Some information on this page may be subject to change



Treasury & IRS Tax Deadline Announcement

On March 20, 2020 the US Treasury and the IRS announced they will move the national income tax filing day ahead to July 15th.  This extension will give all taxpayers and businesses more time to file returns and make payments without interest or penalties.  The IRS move will increase pressure on states and cities to align their deadlines with the new one for federal income tax returns.  

Those that are due a refund are urged to file their returns by April 15th.  “Those filing will be able to take advantage of their refunds sooner,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.   “Treasury and IRS are ensuring that hard working Americans and businesses have additional liquidity for the next several months.”    

Announcement Link:

Additionally the IRS has setup a Coronavirus Tax Relief Page for tax related updates:



Tax Commissioner Jeff McClain today announced that Ohio will be following the federal government and IRS in extending the deadline to file and pay the state income tax.
The new deadline is July 15, an extension of approximately three months from the original deadline of April 15.

(For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson, Communications Director, at (614) 466-0099, or [email protected] )


The SBA has granted Governor DeWine’s request for an emergency declaration from the SBA.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan application is now open to Ohio Businesses.

SBA To Provide Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Up to $2 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

  • These loans may be used 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%.

  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.

A few caveats about the EIDLs: 

• These loans are only intended as working capital loans utilized to assist with impact caused by the coronavirus emergency efforts. The EIDL’s are not for other purposes such as expansion, new equipment, property purchases, etc. that do not have anything to do with the national emergency we are facing.
• Loan applications will be evaluated by SBA loan officers. Criteria includes:
– Credit history acceptable to the SBA
– Repayment abilities
– Eligibility – businesses in a declared state/county, suffered working capital losses due to the declared disaster (not a general downturn in business due to the economy or other reasons.
– Paper application can be submitted but this will slow the process considerably


Since last week, the SBA has come out with a new, streamlined application.  It is available at:

The Ohio SBDCs have a webinar on how to complete this new application at:

  • Still need help?  Call the SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email [email protected].  Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call 800-877-8339.

The following is some of the information that you will need to complete the application:
• Completed SBA Loan application
• Tax Information Authorization for the applicant, principals, and affiliates
• Complete copies of the most recent Federal Income Tax Return (including all schedules)
• If 2019 has not been filed, you will need a year end profit and loss statement and balance sheet.
• Schedule of Liabilities
• Personal Financial Statement
• Current Year-to-Date Profit and Loss statement

For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail [email protected].




The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed.

“This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly. Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level,” said Administrator Carranza. “Speed is the operative word; applications for the emergency capital can begin as early as this week, with lenders using their own systems and processes to make these loans. We remain committed to supporting our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees, so that they can continue to be the fuel for our nation’s economic engine.”

“This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day.  The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”

The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.

The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.

  • The new loan program will be available retroactive from Feb. 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.


Loan Terms & Conditions

  • Eligible businesses: All businesses, including non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees, or no greater than the number of employees set by the SBA as the size standard for certain industries

  • Maximum loan amount up to $10 million

  • Loan forgiveness if proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated business operating expenses in the 8 weeks following the date of loan origination (due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs)

  • All loans under this program will have the following identical features:

    • Interest rate of 0.5%

    • Maturity of 2 years

    • First payment deferred for six months

    • 100% guarantee by SBA

    • No collateral

    • No personal guarantees

    • No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA

SBA’s announcement comes on the heels of a series of steps taken by the Agency since the President’s Emergency Declaration to expeditiously provide capital to financially distressed businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since March 17, SBA has taken the following steps:

Visit for more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses.

For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, visit and for information on all federal programs, visit or (en Español).





The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

Fully Forgiven
Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Must Keep Employees on the Payroll—or Rehire Quickly
Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

All Small Businesses Eligible
Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors—are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.

When to Apply
Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.

How to Apply
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of participating lenders as well as additional information and full terms can be found at

The Paycheck Protection Program is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury. 



Borrower Paycheck Protection Program Application (v1) From US Treasury Dept




This hyperlink displays a chart that explains and compares features of new SBA loan and grant options…

SBA Coronavirus Pandemic Disaster Loans Comparison Chart





Summit County Creates COVID-19 Small Business
Emergency Relief Grant Program

SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO—On Monday, March 30, 2020, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro introduced, and Summit County Council passed, emergency legislation authorizing the creation of a COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program.

Over the last week, the Greater Akron Chamber has been working closely with Summit County; the City of Akron; Jumpstart Inc. in partnership with the KeyBank Boost and Build Program ( to create the Summit County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program.  In addition, a number of local municipalities including Bath, Barberton, Copley Township, Coventry, Cuyahoga Falls, Fairlawn, Green, Mogadore, Norton, and Tallmadge have also committed significant funds to the grant program in support of their small businesses.  The program will provide more that $1 million  in amounts of up to $5,000 in grant funds to Summit County small businesses that meet the eligibility criteria.

The program will be administered by the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce and grants will be available to Summit County small businesses who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be eligible, a small business must be a for-profit enterprise with its principal place of business located in Summit County. The business must employee a minimum of three and a maximum of twenty-five individuals for at least twenty hours per week. Additionally, at least 50% of the employees must be residents of Summit County. Businesses must demonstrate a financial need and desire to continue operations by applying for a U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or another SBA loan program established to support small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses approved for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan or a Payroll Protection Loan and who also meet the county’s program guidelines will be automatically approved.  Details on both programs and links can be found at Businesses who are denied an SBA loan may still be approved for a grant following a review by the program’s Grant Underwriting Team. The program will conclude on December 31, 2020, or earlier if all available funds have been dispersed.

Please note that due to limited resources, the application period for these grants will close on Monday, April 13th or upon the receipt of 400 applications, whichever occurs first.  Once we have exceeded that limit, we will continue to accept information from companies so that we may understand the needs of those companies and potentially connect them to other support options.  While not eligible for this grant program at this point, those companies may be directed to other resources that may be of help.

This message is to let you know that the application for the program is now available.

Details about the program and the process are at There is a link to the online application on that page. If you have questions about the program that aren’t addressed online or in the application, please email us at [email protected]. Please understand that we are getting a lot of inquiries and we will work to respond as soon as possible.

For more information or to apply for a grant, please contact Gregg Cramer at the Greater Akron Chamber at (330) 237-1213 or [email protected].
For more information about SBA loans and other local resources, please visit

COVID-19 Impact Survey

With policies and circumstances changing so rapidly in response to COVID-19, we want to be agile in assessing and addressing your needs. The Greater Akron Chamber is seeking your input regarding the impact of COVID-19 on your business, so that we can effectively advocate for relief and ensure your experiences are taken into account in Columbus and D.C. To best serve your needs, please provide us with your contact information at the end of the survey. The survey should take about five minutes.

Take the Survey



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.



Checklist for Managing in Times of Financial Difficulty

This checklist is designed to give guidance to businesses on how they can manage through difficult times. Difficulties can be caused by external factors such as a natural, economic or man-made disaster, a decrease in consumer confidence, rising fuel prices, increased competition, difficulty accessing finances and/or increasing interest rates; or they could be caused by internal factors such as poor risk management, failure to manage cash flow properly or because of low profit margins.
Regardless of the causes, small businesses need to take action when the going gets tough. While there is no single cure-all, there are many steps a business owner can take to manage through the difficult times and position the business for future growth.
This checklist provides some tips and suggestions.



Governor shuts down bars, restaurants, issues unemployment

Mar 16, 2020 

Restaurants are still allowed to serve carry-out and delivery orders. 

An executive order was signed by DeWine to create unemployment compensation for employees without paid leave at work. Payments will be expedited and the current week-long delay will be waived for employees to receive immediate benefits.

*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.*


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




The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a one-time liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. This will especially aid those establishments that have stocked up on high-proof liquor ahead of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday for which they now have no use, due to their closure to in-house patrons.

Bars and restaurants wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should return their unopened, high-proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. This opportunity is also extended to those with temporary (F2) permits for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6, 2020. If a business has questions about this program, they should reach out directly to the Liquor Enterprise Service Center (LESC) at 1(877)812-0013 or by emailing [email protected].


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:


Great information on Workers’ Comp Payment Deferral, Health Insurance grace period, and more!

BWC-Health Insurance etc. info during COVID 19



This is a hard time for many who have suddenly been laid off or will be soon. Multiple area businesses are still open and hiring now.

  • Amazon

  • Giant Eagle, Heinen’s, Marc’s, Discount Drug Mart

  • GOJO, Parisco

  • Other essential retail

  • Healthcare

Openings at Amazon start at $17/hour for thousands of positions in Northeast Ohio. Find out more information at Amazon Jobs.
Several organizations and media outlets are developing resource lists

Apply online at

Please pass these resources on to your contacts and communities. If you have developed similar resources or know of openings, please let us know so that we can support your efforts.


Steve Fritsch
Vice President, Engagement and Promotion
Team NEO

Team NEO
1111 Superior Avenue, Suite 1600
Cleveland, Ohio 44114


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.*


Facebook is developing a grant program to help small businesses during this time.  No details yet.

More info at:


The 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 lifecycle 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

Inbox for legislative inquiries: [email protected]

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

Ohio Department of Health Website:




Huntington is offering the following programs to consumers and businesses, effective immediately:

  • Consumer Payment Deferral Program: For consumers facing a financial hardship related to family sickness or workplace closures due to COVID-19, Huntington will offer a payment deferral for up to 90 days with no credit bureau impact.

  • Small Business Payment Deferral Program: For small businesses experiencing financial hardship related to family sickness or workplace closures due to COVID-19, Huntington will offer a payment deferral for up to 90 days with no credit bureau impact.

  • Late Fees on Consumer Loan Suspension Program: Huntington has suspended late fees on consumer loan payments. This suspension is effective through the end of March 2020, and we will continue to evaluate considerations to extend this program.

  • Late Fees on Business Banking Loan Suspension Program: Huntington has suspended late fees on business loan payments. This suspension is effective through the end of March 2020, and we will continue to evaluate considerations to extend this program

  • Repossession Halt Program: Huntington has suspended initiating new repossession actions for vehicles, RVs, or marine craft. This suspension is effective through the end of March 2020, and we will continue to evaluate considerations to extend this program.

  • Suspension of Foreclosure Program: Huntington has suspended initiating any new residential property foreclosure actions unless required by federal or government agencies. This suspension is effective through the end of March 2020, and we will continue to evaluate considerations to extend this program.

Customers may contact Huntington at 1-800-480-BANK (2265) to speak with a customer service representative about products or programs that are available. Information about additional services is available at





Yesterday, the OMA held a call for manufacturers to learn about Ohio’s stay-at-home order and what it means for employers, as well as to share information to help keep employees safe.  (The OMA’s legal counsel, Bricker & Eckler, has produced this analysis of Ohio’s stay-at-home order and its impact on manufacturers.)

State Actions

  • The stay-at-home order issued by the Ohio Department of Health went into effect last night (Monday, March 23) at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in effect until at least Monday, April 6.

  • During today’s press briefing, both the governor and Lt. Gov. Husted discussed the stay-at-home order and its impact on essential businesses — including manufacturers and their suppliers. Lt. Gov. Husted said the best advice for essential businesses is that they read the order (see Section 15) and be able to explain their rationale for remaining open, if questioned — and to be prepared to demonstrate how the company is complying with the order’s directives to protect employee health. Employees who are not essential to operations should work from home, he said.

  • Gov. DeWine has ordered a freeze on state hiring immediately, with an exception for those who are directly involved in fighting the coronavirus. State agencies are looking to cut their budgets by up to 20%.

  • The governor announced that any child care facility that remains open to care for children under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license must give priority to families on the “front line” of the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily health care workers and first responders.

  • 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 CDC has updated its interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor has revised its COVID-19 page.

  • On Capitol Hill, a procedural vote on Senate Republicans’ $1.8 trillion “phase three” stimulus package failed earlier today — the second time in less than 24 hours.

  • HR Dive has published “five things to know” about the new “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (FFCRA) federal law, which mandates paid leave during the COVID-19 outbreak. The law takes effect Thursday, April 2. (For more on the FFCRA, see guidance from the OMA’s legal counsel, Bricker & Eckler.)

  • The U.S. Department of Labor announced it will issue a non-enforcement policy for 30 days after the FFCRA, goes into effect. The 30-day period will give manufacturers time to come into compliance with the law, and the DOL will focus on compliance assistance rather than enforcement for manufacturers that have acted in good faith to comply.

  • A second SBA loan relief program is currently being considered by Congress. OMA Connections Partner Roetzel has published this analysis on what the package could contain.

National Association of Manufacturers

  • To help companies navigate the regulatory climate during these turbulent times, the NAM will host a compliance and enforcement conference call on Wednesday, March 25, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT). Register here.

OMA Connections Partners

  • Calfee has published this helpful summary called, “What You Need to Know Now About Workers’ Compensation in COVID-19 Ohio.”

  • Roetzel has published this article called, “Unemployment Benefits: What Employers Need to Know,” which includes a section for Ohio.

  • Roetzel has also published this list of temporary policy changes implemented by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) in response to COVID-19.

Ohio Cases of COVID-19

  • At last check, Ohio had 442 confirmed cases, 104 individuals hospitalized, and six deaths. Positive test results have now been found in 46 counties. The median age of those diagnosed is 52 years old.

For health-related questions regarding COVID-19, contact the Ohio Department of Health’s call center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). The OMA encourages members to check for updates from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health, as well as the OMA’s COVID-19 Resources Page.




Don’t Get Scammed!


COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose today warned Ohio business owners to be on the lookout for a deceptive mailing from a business that is selling government documents for a significantly marked up price. 

The Secretary of State’s office provides Certificates of Good Standing to Ohio businesses, a document that confirms a business is properly registered and authorized to do business in the state of Ohio. While this certificate is not required to do business, it is sometimes needed by a business and is provided by the Secretary of State’s office for the cost of five dollars.

Secretary LaRose recently learned of a letter being sent to some business owners from a company called “OH Certificate Service” with an address of 1391 W. 5th Avenue, Suite 332, Columbus, OH 43212. The letter implies that business owners need a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State’s Office and the letter seeks to charge the business owner $67.50 for the Certificate. It’s not evident at this time how many Ohio businesses may have received this letter. 

“Entrepreneurs have enough on their mind as they work to grow their business,” said LaRose. “Deceptive mailings that look official but only serve to bilk Ohioans of their hard-earned money are simply unacceptable. If you need a Certificate of Good Standing, call my office and we’ll get you one for five dollars.”

In response, Secretary LaRose has added the following text to the communication new businesses receive from his office upon the business’ approval:

In the future if you need to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing, you may pay the $5.00 fee and instantly download from the website: in a new window). In most cases, a business would only need a Certificate of Good Standing when registering to do business in another state or country, competing for a government contract, or when seeking funding, insurance or potential business partners.

LaRose is also working with the Ohio General Assembly to explore legislation that will require businesses attempting to provide Certificates of Good Standing to include text that informs the recipient that these certificates are available at the Secretary’s office for five dollars. Additionally, the Secretary is referring this case to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O’Brien to investigate whether this exorbitant markup constitutes any legal wrongdoing.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), small businesses nationwide have lost over $290 million to scammers over the past several years. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) states that “scam activity directed at small businesses is growing, that these scams pose a significant risk, and that they can result in a higher monetary loss than those targeting individuals.”

For more on the Ohio Secretary of State’s Business Services Division, visit in a new window).






 The SBA is inviting proposals for funding from eligible non-profit organizations, local and state agencies and institutions of higher learning to further build their capacity to market and deliver their existing entrepreneurship training program(s) to women service members and veterans as well as women military spouses who aspire to be small business owners or currently own a small business.

A total of $300,000 in funding is available for the program in FY 2020. SBA expects to make up to six (6) awards; minimum award of $25,000, maximum award of $300,000.

For more information on this opportunity, click here.




Are You Hiring?

Post your open positions on Portage is Hiring!

Portage is Hiring (PIH) is a free job-board, available to all Portage County employers!

The PIH website was created as part of the Portage Development Boards workforce attraction initiative. More information on PIH can be found below:

Stay up on Portage County Events!








A Messsage from the IRS: Beware Phony Charities

With several natural disasters already making headlines,

folks also have to be aware of phony charities that may

take advantage of these and other causes. The IRS has a

special online tool where taxpayers can determine the

status of a particular non-profit. Please view here


Tax Tip of the Week – Author – Norman S Hicks, CPA
November 13, 2019

Veterans Who Own Small Businesses Can Follow the IRS on Their Smart Phones

I am a subscriber of IRS publications and recently received the following article which I wanted to share with our readers. The article is directed toward veterans who are small business owners but the following article and the links provided can be used by any small business owner, and by individuals as well. To all the veterans out there – all of us at Bradstreet & Company would like to thank you for your service and hope you had a great Veterans Day.
-Norman S. Hicks

Veterans who are small business owners likely have lots of questions about their business taxes. National Veterans Small Business Week is as good a time as any other to connect with the IRS over social media.

These business owners can pull out their smart phone or their computer and follow the IRS on these social media sites and apps:

@IRSsmallbiz tweets geared specifically to small business owners
@IRSnews posts tax-related announcements and tips
@IRStaxpros tweets news and guidance for tax professionals
@IRSenEspanol has the latest tax information in Spanish
@IRSTaxSecurity tweets tax scam alerts

Small business taxpayers can get tax tips and helpful news from the IRS on Instagram. The agency’s official Instagram account is IRSNews, which users can access on their smartphone.

The IRS offers video tax tips on its small business playlist. Videos are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.

The IRS uses Facebook to post news and information for taxpayers and tax return preparers. The IRS also has a Facebook page in Spanish.

The IRS uses LinkedIn to share agency updates and job opportunities.

IRS2Go App
The IRS also has their own app, IRS2Go. Taxpayers can use this free mobile app to check their refund status, pay taxes, find free tax help, watch IRS YouTube videos and get IRS Tax Tips by email. Like Instagram, the IRS2Go app is available from the Google Play Store for Android devices or from the Apple App Store for Apple devices. IRS2Go is available in both English and Spanish.

Thank you for all of your questions, comments and suggestions for future topics. As always, they are much appreciated. We may be reached in our Dayton office at 937-436-3133 or in our Xenia office at 937-372-3504. Or, visit our website.




GrowNOW is a partnership between eligible banks and the Ohio Treasurer’s office. The program enables small business owners to receive up to a 3% interest rate reduction on new or existing small business loans for two years, with the opportunity for renewals. Small business owners must commit to the creation or retention of at least one full-time job or two part-time jobs in the State of Ohio for every $50,000 borrowed, up to $400,000. GrowNOW broadly serves as a catalyst for Ohio’s economic development by supporting the small businesses that drive it.





Fiscal Year 2020 – Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – October 31, 2019 and March 31, 2020 Deadlines

Rural Development is accepting applications for the Rural Energy for America Program.  The next application deadline is October 31, 2019. This deadline is for projects requesting $20,000 or less.  

The final deadline for accepting REAP applications in Fiscal Year 2020 is March 31, 2020. This deadline is for projects requesting grants of $20,000 or less and for projects requesting grants of up to $500,000.

In brief, this program is designed to assist rural, small, for-profit businesses and agricultural producers install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. These types of improvements can help eligible applicants control energy costs and improve the overall profitability of their operations. The grant program can cover up to 25% of the eligible project costs or $500,000, whichever is less. The loan guarantee can cover up to 75% of the eligible project costs.  Federal participation cannot exceed 75% of eligible project costs.

Grants can range from $1,500 to $500,000 with loan guarantees up to $25,000,000.

Applications requesting only the REAP loan guarantee are received, reviewed and processed on a continual basis throughout the fiscal year.

In previous years, this program has helped farmers replace grain dryers; fans and lights for livestock operations; and install solar PV arrays to help offset electrical consumption. Small businesses have benefited through high efficiency lighting; improvements to HVAC systems; and the installation of a renewable energy system to help offset electrical consumption.  

Additional information can be found at: Rural Energy for America Program.


Should you be interested in discussing a specific project or in receiving an application for your project, please contact one of the persons listed below:


Josh Smith                           [email protected]            614-255-2426

Jennifer Brown                 [email protected]      614-255-2423

Randy Monhemius           [email protected]      614-255-2424  “Committed to the future of rural communities”

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.




Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs Survey


 For businesses to grow in Ohio, training providers, educators, and workforce professionals need to know the future hiring needs of employers. Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs List helps drive the state and federal investments in our workforce. As we design Ohio’s list, we want to make sure it accurately reflects the needs of Ohio businesses – your needs. So, help us help you. Your feedback will directly shape Ohio’s workforce priorities

Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted will be continuing efforts on the In-Demand Jobs Survey to forecast future workforce needs and create the In-Demand Jobs List. A top priority remains maintaining an accurate and useful In-Demand Jobs List and to do that, we need your help.

To take the survey, click here.



Patent Pro Bono Program for independent inventors and small businesses


2020 Ohio Minimum Wage To Be $8.70 Per Hour. As of January 1, 2020the minimum wage for non-tipped employees in Ohio will rise from $8.55 to $8.70 per hour, a 15-cent increase. Any tipped employees will have their base pay go from $4.30 to $4.35 an hour.




Online Business Filings

Connect with Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.  Learn about the resources and programs available in the Secretary of State’s office. Get information on how to start your own business and elections.







The U.S. Small Business Administration Columbus District Office will present a FREE webinar for small business owners and entrepreneurs through ATT Connect. This webinar will provide information about financing options for your business; SBA loans, programs and services; how to apply for a loan; and, what to include in your business plan. The webinar should last about 40 minutes with a Q&A at the end. ATT Connect is a call-in and web site login conferencing system which provides an audio presentation over the phone and a video presentation over the internet. All that is needed to participate is a computer with internet access and a phone to call a toll-free number. This webinar will be offered on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The Webinar is FREE, but registration is required so that you may receive instructions and the access code needed to participate.

The link is:









Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Business Services Video Series

OOD has been working on producing a series of short videos about their business partnerships and the services they provide. Topics covered include:

  • How OOD Can Help Meet Your Workforce Needs
  • Employer Resources and Incentives
  • Effective Interaction with Individuals with Disabilities
  • Promoting Employer Peer to Peer Networking Opportunities
  • Workforce Success Stories

To view this video series, click here.








Ohio Proud Partners

If you produce a food or agricultural product that is at least 50 percent grown, raised or processed in Ohio, you can become an Ohio Proud partner. Ohio Proud will distinguish your products in the crowded marketplace, and increase sales for your company and retailer.


Ohio Proud
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068

Phone: 1-800-IMPROUD (1-800-467-7683)

Fax: 614-466-7754

Email: [email protected]




Job Description Writer:

Did you know the Department of Labor has a free tool to help small businesses develop position descriptions?





The SBA Blog:

Best Hiring Practices: What You Can and Can’t Ask a Job Applicant

In the course of your search for your next employee there are federal and state rules you will want to keep in mind.

According to the NFIB*  (National Federation of Independent Business), 62% of small businesses recently reported hiring or trying to hire employees. Many small businesses are stressed to find qualified job applicants and are scrambling to fill positions. If you are in the market for a new employee, there are many considerations: Does the applicant have the skills to do the job? Will he or she fit into your company culture? Can you afford the cost of a potential new employee? Great questions to ask. But in the course of your search for your next employee, be sure you don’t run afoul of federal and state rules. If you go about it the wrong way, you not only can lose out on hiring the next best employee, but can be exposed to possible legal action against you. Here are federal and state rules to observe so you can hire wisely.  Learn More Here





There will be two (2) sales and use tax rate changes effective October 1, 2019.

  • The Allen County sales and use tax rate will increase from 6.75% to 6.85%.
  • The Crawford County sales and use tax rate will increase from 6.75% to 7.25%.

Please visit our website at or contact the Department at 1-888-405-4039 with any questions regarding sales and use tax.

Ohio Department of Taxation
Business Tax Division
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0530
Telephone: (888) 405-4039
Fax: (206) 339-9305






This message is a reminder to all sales and use tax practitioners and taxpayers that the February 2020 monthly sales and use tax returns are due March 23, 2020.

Taxpayers are required to file sales and use tax returns electronically via the Ohio Business Gateway at  Alternatively, taxpayers may file sales tax returns for county vendor’s licenses (vendor’s license numbers beginning 01-88) through TeleFile by calling (800) 697-0440. 

Please visit our website at or contact the Department at (888) 405-4039 with any questions regarding sales and use tax.

Ohio Department of Taxation
Business Tax Division
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0530
Telephone: (888) 405-4039




The Ohio Department of Taxation has updated the Sales/Use Tax Application for Refund (ST AR) and the Sales/Use Tax Refund Checklist (ST AR C) form.  
 The new forms are available on the Department’s website:
Ohio Department of Taxation
Business Tax Division
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0530
Telephone: (888) 405-4039






The Pass-Through Entity Tax instruction booklets for Tax Year 2019 are now available for your reference in filing these returns (IT 4708, IT 1140 and IT 1041) that for most entities, trusts and estates are due by April 15, 2020. The booklets are located on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s web page at







Out-of-state companies must pay business tax, Ohio’s top court rules

State of Ohio Taxes More +

By Jay Miller

Crain’s Cleveland Business

Out-of-state businesses that sell into Ohio but have no physical presence will have to pay the state’s commercial activity tax (CAT), the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, Nov. 17.

In three 5-2 decisions, the state’s high court ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause, which requires a physical presence in a state to allow the state to collect sales tax, does not apply to the CAT.

“(T)he physical-presence requirement recognized and preserved by the United States Supreme Court for purposes of use-tax collection does not extend to business-privilege taxes such as the CAT,” associate justice Willliam O’Neill wrote, affirming a Board of Tax Appeals decision against Virginia-based Crutchfield Corp., one of the three cases decided together.

Justice Sharon L. Kennedy wrote a dissenting opinion in the Crutchfield case arguing that a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision saying that a physical presence in a state is required for taxing an out-of-state company, and “we are bound by the court’s prior holdings and by Congress’s inaction on this issue, given its power to regulate interstate commerce.”

In 2005, the Ohio General Assembly overhauled the state’s business tax system and created the CAT, which taxes gross receipts on business transacted in the state. These cases challenged a tax commissioner ruling that transactions by Ohio consumers that result in goods shipped into the state are considered gross taxable receipts subject to the CA






To maximize awareness, the Ohio Department of Taxation is sharing an alert from the Security Summit regarding a new Two Stage E-mail Scheme that targets tax professional. Please visit for additional information.

Partners, The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and tax industry leaders are warning tax professionals to be alert to an email scam from cybercriminals posing as clients soliciting their services. A new variation of this phishing scheme is targeting accounting and tax preparation firms nationwide. The scheme’s objective is to collect sensitive information that will allow fraudsters to prepare fraudulent tax returns. These latest phishing emails come in typically two stages. The first email is the solicitation, which asks tax professionals questions such as “I need a preparer to file my taxes.” If the tax professional responds, the cybercriminal sends a second email. This second email typically has either an embedded web address or contains a PDF attachment that has an embedded web address. In some cases, the phishing emails may appear to come from a legitimate sender or organization (perhaps even a friend or colleague) because they also have been victimized. Fraudsters have taken over their accounts to send phishing emails. The tax professional may think they are downloading a potential client’s tax information or accessing a site with the potential client’s tax information. In reality, the cybercriminals are collecting the preparer’s email address and password and possibly other information. The IRS urges tax professionals and tax preparation firms to consider creating internal policies or obtain security experts’ recommendations on how to address unsolicited emails seeking their services. One tip: Never respond to or click on a link in an unsolicited email or PDF attachment from an unknown sender. As the IRS, states and the tax industry make progress in the fight against identity theft, cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their efforts to steal additional client information. Criminals need more data in their effort to impersonate clients and file fraudulent returns to claim refunds, and schemes like this can help in this effort. Read more at Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself, the Security Summit initiative to increase awareness about the tax professional community.








SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff avoidance program that allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during

times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, employers reduce employees’ work hours, but employees keep their jobs

and receive prorated unemployment benefits for up to 52 weeks.


Employers that do not already have access to Ohio’s unemployment system must register online. To obtain a registration code, call (614) 466-4047.

For more information, call (866) 733-0025, option 3, or visit









What is new hire reporting?

By law, all employers in Ohio must report ALL employees to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center, including new hires, re-hires, temporary or seasonal hires, and independent contractors.

State and federal laws require all employers to report each new and re-hired employee to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center within 20 days of the date of hire.

Failure to report a new employee could result in a financial penalty.

Employers are key partners in helping children in Ohio receive the child support they deserve by promptly and consistently reporting new hires. New hire information is used to establish and enforce child support orders.

The following information is REQUIRED on all new hire reports:

  • Employer FEIN
  • Employer name
  • Employer payroll address
  • Employer e-mail, phone, fax
  • Employee social security number
  • Employee name
  • Employee address
  • Date of hire (first day of work)
Include this information if reporting an Independent Contractor:
  • Independent contractor’s name
  • Independent contractor’s address
  • Independent contractor’s Social Security (SSN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Date payment begins
  • Length of time the independent contractor will be performing services for the employer

Why must I report?

Employers serve as key partners in ensuring stability for many children and families. New hire reporting speeds up the child support income withholding order process, expedites collection of child support from parents who have changed jobs, and quickly locates parents to help in establishing paternity and child support orders. New hire reporting helps children receive the support they need.

Who must report?

ALL employers doing business in Ohio must report all newly hired and returning employees. A new employee is considered any individual who is eligible for federal income tax withholding and provides a service to the employer. This includes part-time and temporary employees, and employees returning to work after a period of absence, such as seasonal employees.

An Independent Contractor is defined as “an individual who provides services to an employer as an independent contractor, for compensation that is reported as income other than wages, and who is an individual, the sole shareholder of a corporation, or the sole member of a limited liability company.”

What if I have employees in several states?

If you are a multi-state employer, you may choose to report your new hires electronically to one state. If you choose this option, you must provide written notification of your intent. Contact the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to register by visiting .

Reporting your new hires online is fast and simple and will ensure timely receipt of your new hire reports. Visit our website at to register.


Questions? Contact Us:


Ohio New Hire Reporting Center
P.O. Box 15309
Columbus, OH 43215-0309
Phone: (888) 872-1490
Fax: (888) 872-1611





What is Form I-9?

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form.


Home > E-Verify > What is E-Verify?

What is E-Verify?

What is E-Verify Monitor ImageE-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.

Instant Verification of Employment Eligibility

E-Verify’s most impressive features are its speed and accuracy. E-Verify is the only free, fast, online service of its kind that verifies employees’ data against millions of government records and provides results within as little as three to five seconds.

Today, E-Verify is:

  • Used nationwide by more than 600,000 employers of all sizes
  • Used at more than 1.9 million hiring sites
  • Joined by about 1,400 new participating companies every week
  • One of the federal government’s highest-rated services for customer satisfaction






Free podcasts: Securing Your Critical Data

GBSCorp recently published some podcasts regarding Securing Your Critical Data, which has some good information for companies as it relates to ensuring their company data is safe and secure.

Below is the link to the page with their podcasts on it.  One can listen to them without signing up for anything.








Ohio EPA –

Training Publications FAQ DEFA Home Forward to a Friend Subscribe

Helping communities and businesses access compliance, technical and financial assistance for their environmental needs.

Ohio Materials Marketplace is a new, free online platform whereby Ohio businesses, not-for-profits and government organizations can advertise and acquire scrap and by-product materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. The new Ohio Materials Marketplace allows these organizations to connect and find solutions to material reuse and recycling needs, thereby facilitating the shift towards a circular, closed-loop economy.

Examples of materials posted on the marketplace (and their potential re-uses) include common items such as bulk wooden pallets (mulch base) or used bricks (building materials). Other items reflect materials from industrial processes such spent foundry sand (to be mixed with potting soil), and specialized items such as spent hydro-treating catalyst (metals recovery).

Along with browsing for materials, users of the marketplace can post “wanted” items, thereby, seeking items that may serve as substitutes for raw materials or other items they currently purchase. Examples of such requests that have been posted thus far include bulk alumina oxide (for metals harvesting/recovery) and bulk food waste in packaging (to be used for aerobic digestion/energy recovery).

In the circular economy, products and by-products recirculate productively through reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and maintenance. Users of the Ohio Materials Marketplace can make or save money by finding a market for their unwanted materials and avoiding landfill tipping fees; buyers save money by having access to sellers’ discounted (or free) materials; Ohio’s environment benefits by having more material removed from the waste stream.

Ohio is the first state in the US to adopt a circular economy program of this scope and scale. This leadership from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is paving the way for other states – through a new public-private partnership between the US Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) – to launch state-level programs modeled on the Ohio Materials Marketplace over the next few years.

For more information on the Ohio Materials Marketplace and to get involved, please visit the program website at

If you have specific questions about the program, please contact Joseph Klatt at [email protected] or 614-644-2798.




The U.S. Postal Service has a mailing service called “Every Door Direct Mail” or EDDM. This is an opportunity for businesses and organizations to send Direct Mail advertisements to specific neighborhoods without the need or cost of mailing lists and permits.

Every Door Direct Mail is a great way that can potentially help increase your business with our advertising tool at USPS.COM

Every Door Direct Mail allows you to reach your local customers easily without names, addresses, or permits. You simply select the neighborhoods in your area based on demographics such as household size, age and income and we deliver your advertising mailpiece to each address. Every Door Direct Mail is relatively inexpensive. For example, currently priced at 18.3 cents per piece you could reach 1000 potential customers for only $183.00.


Cynthia M Mravec

Business Development Specialist

[email protected]

U.S.P.S. Northern Ohio

2200 Orange Ave Room 206

Cleveland, Ohio 44101



EDDM sample Pizza full menu



In the News…Fund for Farmers

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and a group of Ohio investors are launching a loan fund for entrepreneurs and small- and mid-size sustainable and organic farmers.

The association and a group of Ohio investors have launced the OEFFA Investment Fund, initially putting in $500,000. Loans are expected to be in the $5,000 to $50,000 range. Equity and revenue-sharing agreements will be considered, based on applicants’ requests and other circumstances, the association said.

The fund is open to Ohio-based association members who are farms or related businesses in the agricultural supply chain. Entities receiving money from the fund must commit to support sustainable agricultural products throughout the life of the investment, the association said.

For more information, go online to or call Carol Goland at 614-421-2022, or email [email protected].


Business Taxes and Affordable Healthcare -the Affordable Care Act


The Virtual Small Business Workshop includes 9 lessons with 3 being identified as follows:

  • What you need to know about federal taxes and your new business;
  • What you need to know about federal taxes when hiring employees or contractors; and
  • How to make tax deposits and file a return to report your payroll taxes.

Please direct all questions to




Fun word for merchants…and their customers!

A lagniappe (/ˈlænjæp/lan-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of
a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly,
“something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.”