$419 million relief package proposed for Ohio families, businesses and more

$419 million relief package proposed for Ohio families, businesses and more
An aid package that aims to help Ohio businesses, families and nonprofits through the pandemic will go for approval Monday, Gov. DeWine says. (Source: Pexels.com Kaique Rocha)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - A large aid package drawing from Ohio’s CARES Act money will be sent to the State Controlling Board for approval Monday.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced the package in a statement Friday. They say it was developed in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly.

Included in the $419 million package is funding for small businesses, restaurants and bars, hospitals, higher education, arts, nonprofits and low-income Ohioans impacted by the pandemic, the governor says.

The package would add to the $2.1 billion the state has already distributed, according to the statement.

Ohio received around $4.5 billion from the CARES Act in total, according to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“We know that Ohioans are hurting, and the needs are great. We must do what we can to help them through this crisis,” DeWine said. “Providing financial support to small businesses, the arts, and nonprofits will help them keep the doors open and Ohioans employed. For Ohioans in need, this assistance will help them stay in their homes, which can make all the difference.”

Here’s the breakdown, per the governor’s office:

  • $125 million in grants to small businesses with fewer than 26 employees to help pay for expenses including mortgage or rent payments; utility payments; salaries, wages or compensation for employees and contractors; business supplies or equipment; and other costs. The application for the Small Business Relief Program will be available Nov. 2 at businesshelp.ohio.gov.
  • $50 million to 47 Community Action Agencies to provide rent, mortgage and water and/or sewer assistance to Ohioans in need. This assistance will help Ohioans pay outstanding balances back to April 1, 2020.
  • $37.5 million to Ohio restaurants and bars ($2,500 per unique business location) struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited in the full use of their liquor permit. Starting Nov. 2 permit holders will be able to apply for assistance at businesshelp.ohio.gov.
  • $62 million for rural and critical access hospitals that can be applied to additional costs associated with the ongoing pandemic, including various safety measures, and the purchase of critical PPE for first responders.
  • $100 million for higher education to support critical COVID-19-related services provided at Ohio’s universities and colleges, including expanding testing for students, faculty, and staff and mental health services.
  • $25 million for nonprofits.
  • $20 million for arts organizations.
  • Additionally, bill-payment assistance will be provided Ohio households with an annual income at or below 200 percent of federal poverty. (For a family of four, the statement says, that’s an annual income of $52,400.) Starting Nov. 2, Ohioans will be able to apply for assistance through their local Community Action Agency. A list of agencies can be found at businesshelp.ohio.gov.

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