OCIC has developed an interactive COVID-19 Resource Packet for quick and easy access to local, state and federal resources. We will continue to update the packet as we receive new information.

COVID-19 Response Form

We know and understand that times are difficult right now. If you have questions, please contact us and we’ll assist you as best as we can.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

In conjunction with the 4CG Initiative, Sandusky, Ottawa, Seneca & Huron Counties welcome SBA’s Ray Graves to discuss the new grant and loan programs through the CARES Act.

Recorded Webinar: Bob Hille, Ottawa County Treasurer, and Jennifer Widmer, Ottawa County Auditor, gave an update regarding the current status of both departments. Questions were asked at the end of the webinar.



Magruder Hospital is asking if any of our local businesses would be able to provide:

If you are able to help with either item, please contact Kelly Biggert directly at 419-734-3131 ext. 3652

Federal Resources

President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package, into law Friday, March 27th to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide emergency appropriations to support Executive Branch agency operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act includes:

  • $100 billion will go to healthcare providers, including hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $27 billion will go to bolstering life-saving capabilities, including developing vaccines and the development, purchase, and distribution of critical supplies.
  • $45 billion will go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund, more than doubling the amount available to support the President’s Emergency and Disaster Declarations to empower State, local, and tribal leaders to effectively respond.
  • Couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400, plus an additional $500 for each child.
  • Individuals earning up to $75,000 will receive $1,200, plus an additional $500 for each child.
  • $3.5 billion in emergency funding to our child care providers to stay open, keep payroll, and prioritize the child care needs of healthcare, emergency, and sanitation workers all across our country.
  • $17 billion to forgive 6 months of payments on any existing Small Business Administration non-disaster loans.
  • $500 billion for the Treasury and Federal Reserve to provide liquidity and purchase business, municipal, and State debt.

For economic developers, the bill contains many items of interest. View a first glance breakdown by agency or program.

Additional Links

The EA! – CARES Act Summary
Small Business & Entrepreneurship – Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

Ohio has been declared a disaster state, therefore making Ohio businesses and non-profits statewide eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance through the Small Business Administration (SBA).  Please understand that these will be loans, requiring repayment.  These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. These loans are only intended as working capital loans utilized to assist with impact caused by the coronavirus emergency efforts.  The EIDLs are not for other purposes such as expansion, new equipment, property purchase, etc. that do not have anything to do with the national emergency we are facing.

With the CARES Act signed into law, small businesses and non-profits can get up to a $10,000 advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan even if your previous application was declined or still pending. The SBA has provided additional guidance regarding the $10,000 forgivable loan advance under the CARES Act. To be eligible, businesses will need to complete the new application that launched March 30 — even if they have already competed an earlier version of the application or have already been turned down for a loan. For additional questions please call: 1-800-659-2955 or (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email: DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov 


View the EIDL Guidlines.

You can also reach out to the Small Business Development Center located in Fremont, Ohio.

View SBA Active Partners by program and area of operation.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need. Under the CARES Act, the new new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed. This program is expected to be up and running by Friday, 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. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. 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.

For more details, visit the latest guidance and facts sheets for the PPP.
To apply, download the PPP Application.

Under Section 2301 of the CARES Act, employers of any size, including small businesses, who have either suspended operations to some degree or experienced a loss of at least half of their gross receipts during the first quarter of 2020, are eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit equal to 50 percent of the wages paid to their employees, to a maximum of $5,000 per employee. Employers are only eligible for these credits if they have not applied for Paycheck Protection Loans or received credits for wages under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act. Employers are eligible to receive the credit either for the amount of time their operations were suspended or, if the credits were based on a diminution of gross receipts, until the quarter where their gross receipts reach the level of 80 percent of the prior year average. For more information, visit Employee Retention Credit FAQs.

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. View the program guide for more information.

President Trump announced on Sunday, March 29 to extend the national social distancing guidelines to April 30, from an initial 15-day timeline when they were implemented on March 16. The President previously stated that he wanted the country to reopen for business by Easter, however public health experts have warned that loosening restrictions by Easter, on April 12, would result in unnecessary death and economic damage.

The Family First Coronavirus Response Act as officially been signed into law. This bill responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers. Specifically, the bill provides FY2020 supplemental appropriations to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for nutrition and food assistance programs, includingthe Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP); and nutrition assistance grants for U.S. territories. The bill also provides FY2020 appropriations to the Department of Health and Human Services for nutrition programs that assist the elderly. The FFCRA goes into effect April 1.

With additional guidance from the DOL, stay at home orders like the ones issued in Ohio and Michigan are qualifying under the Temporary Rules, recently released by the DOL.

As provided under the legislation, the U.S. Department of Labor will be issuing implementing regulations. Additionally, as warranted, the Department will continue to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. Click to view the Q&A.

The Family First Coronavirus Response Act provides that employers subject to the EPSLA and the Expanded FMLA paid leave requirements are entitled to fully refundable tax credits to cover the cost of the leave required to be paid for these periods of time during which employees are unable to work (which for purposes of these rules, includes telework).  Certain self-employed persons in similar circumstances are entitled to similar credits. For an overview of FFCRA’s refundable tax credit provisions, visit Tax Credit FAQs. Visit Basic FAQs for more detailed information regarding the requirements, limitations, and application of the paid leave credits.

State Resources

Ohio Governor DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-01D, declaring a state of emergency in Ohio to protect the well-being of Ohioans from the dangerous effects of COVID-19. The state of emergency allows state departments and agencies to better coordinate in their response.

On Sunday, March 22th, under the direction of Governor DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, issued a stay at home order to require all Ohioans beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020. Dr. Acton issued a new stay at home order that begins on April 7, 2020 and lasts through May 1, 2020. This order prohibits holding gatherings of any size and closes all nonessential businesses. Essential services will be operational including, but not limited to: Grocery stores, Gas stations, Pharmacies, Police stations, Fire stations, Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations, Garbage/sanitation, Public transportation, Public benefits (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines.  It does NOT prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care, or taking your pet for a walk. Residents can return home from out of state and can leave the state. View the FAQs here: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Governor DeWine signs Executive Order to expand assistance for rent and mortgage payments for small businesses on April 1, 2020.

“Through this order, I am issuing a plea — a plea to lenders and landlords across Ohio to work with their small businesses and suspend payments for at least 90 days.” – Gov. DeWine

“The goal of this is to prevent foreclosures. You know that the federal gov. stopped the foreclosure on residential mortgages. You know that through actions of the legislature, the courts have the ability to suspend eviction. But there is a connectivity problem – if someone can’t pay their rent and we’re not evicting them, then the person who owns the complex isn’t getting the money they need to pay their commercial loan. So we are creating a 90-day pause.” – Lt. Gov. Husted

Visit the Ohio Channel to listen to Governor DeWine’s live press conferences on the coronavirus, held Monday-Friday at 2pm.

Governor DeWine announced the creation of the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19. This private-public partnership was formed to help meet the urgent need for more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used by health care workers and first responders. The OMA is a lead partner in the effort, along with the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (and its partner organization MAGNET), the Ohio Hospital Association, JobsOhio, the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA), the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

  • “If you are a manufacturer, we need you and we need you right now.” Lt. Governor Husted praised Ohio manufacturers for “being part of the solution.”
  • Governor DeWine urged manufacturers who have the potential and competencies to help produce PPE to visit RepurposingProject.com.
  • If you have PPE (such as masks, goggles, gloves, gowns, and face shields) available for immediate donation, fill out your information here so Alliance can help ensure that resources are used where they are most needed to benefit all Ohioans.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation announced that insurance premium installment payments due for March, April and May 2020 have been deferred until June 1, 2020 (when the matter will be reconsidered). BWC will not cancel coverage or assess penalties for amounts not paid due to the pandemic. View the FAQs.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has created a downloadable, blanket permit for haulers carrying heavy or over-sized loads of food, non-alcoholic beverages, medical supplies, cleaning products and other household goods. The blanket permit applies to travel on roads and bridges maintained by the Ohio Department of Transportation (Interstate, U.S. and State Routes. Hauler loads may not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross vehicle weight and must comply with all posted bridge weight and height restrictions. Loads exceeding 90,000 pounds gross vehicle weight MUST contact the ODOT Special Hauling Permits main office line at 614-351-2300 during normal business hours.

Download emergency permit
Download OS 1/A 1/18 Form

The Ohio Department of Insurance has issued an important ruling related to the state of emergency in Ohio pertaining to all health plan issuers. 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.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) extended temporary regulatory relief from the hours-of-service requirements for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles transporting consumer goods, medical supplies, gasoline, diesel, propane, heating oil, and waste within the state of Ohio. The regulatory relief is effective immediately and will remain in effect for the duration of Ohio’s state of emergency or unless rescinded. Carriers subject to this regulatory relief are not exempt from any other motor carrier safety regulations, including commercial driver’s licensing, controlled substance and alcohol use and testing requirements, and financial responsibility requirements. Carriers should continue to maintain records of duty status and take all measures to ensure that drivers have the ability to safely operate their commercial vehicles. Drivers must keep a copy of this notice on each vehicle affected by this relief.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) issued an order directing Ohio’s electric, natural gas, water & wastewater distribution utilities to suspend any in-person meter reading activities, and any other non-essential work that would create unnecessary social contact. In its order, the Commission noted functions that are necessary to initiate new service or to ensure the continuity of service should be deemed essential and should continue during the state of emergency. Utility customers who have questions or concerns regarding their utility service are encouraged to contact the PUCO online at PUCO.ohio.gov/contact-us.

Medical Mutual is waiving member cost sharing associated with COVID-19 testing and treatment. This applies to services provided by both in-network and out-of-network providers. For testing, this covers the cost of the test, as well as the cost of the provider visit, which could include a telehealth (telemedicine), urgent care or emergency room visit, to determine whether the COVID-19 testing is required, and the visit to administer the test. For treatment, cost sharing is waived for all treatment related to COVID-19 including hospitalizations and ground ambulance transfers, as well as FDA-approved medications and vaccines when they become available.

Lt. Governor Husted announced a temporary buy-back of high proof liquor products purchased within the last 30 days. The goal of this is to ease cash flow for bar/restaurant owners. Here is a release by the Department of Commerce. If you have questions you may call 1-877-812-0013 or email ohioliquorinfo@com.ohio.gov.

Local Resources

Effective March 20, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. the Board of Ottawa County Commissioners announced that all Ottawa County facilities will be closed to the public until further notice.

Ottawa County State of Emergency Resolution declared by the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Ottawa County Health Department, Ottawa County EMA, and Magruder Hospital are working hard with community partners during this ever evolving event. Read the joint statement.

Ottawa County understands the impact COVID-19 may have on local businesses supported by the State of Ohio’s CDBG Economic Development and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Programs. Given the recent mandated shutdowns of many industries statewide, the County will allow the following flexible financing terms for new and existing loans during the State of Emergency:

  • 0% interest loans
  • Working capital loans will not be capped at 30% of program income (principal, interest, and bank interest) received in one year
  • Working capital loans may be approved without accompanying fixed-asset investment
  • Deferred principal and interest for new and existing loans for up to 6 months with a 6-month renewal option as deemed appropriate and documented by the local RLF board

For additional information, please review the Guidance to Economic Development and Revolving Loan Fund Availability during COVID-19 Pandemic documentation from the Ohio Development Services Agency. For questions regarding the program or how to apply, please call the Ottawa Regional Planning Commission at (419) 734-6780 or email at mmessa@co.ottawa.oh.us.

Workforce Resources

The Governor issued an Executive Order waiving certain unemployment insurance (UI) requirements. The measure was taken in order to expedite the processing of benefits for individuals who lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic and allow them to receive their first benefit payments as quickly as possible. 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. By law (Ohio Revised Code Section 4141.29), when an individual has been waived from the work search requirement, they are also exempt from completing their reemployment requirements. These are commonly known as the “8 week and 20 week” requirements. Once exempted, the exemption remains for the entire benefit claim.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is instructing Ohio employers planning layoffs or shutdowns as a result the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to share the following mass lay-off number with their employees to speed the processing of unemployment benefits: 2000180.

See COVID-19 Unemployment Response to Claimants for guidance.
See Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance: Employer Information for reference.

Ohioans can apply for unemployment online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at unemployment.ohio.gov. You can also file by phone at (877) OHIO-JOB (1-877-644-6562) or TTY at (888) 642-8203, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employers with questions should email UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov.

Those without internet access or who have case-specific questions can call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. (The call center formerly was operational from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.)

At the local level, the Rapid Response Program is also an option. This program is designed to overt layoffs. To qualify, you must continue to pay wages so that the program will pay for training. Here are some things to consider when requesting/using Rapid Response dollars:

  • What are you going to cross train your employees in?
  • As an employer, you need to continue to pay wages during this time.
  • Ottawa County will pay the training costs.
  • It is a 50%-50% match.  The wages can count as your contribution.

For more information, please contact Gaye Winterfield: gwinterfield@ocic.biz

SharedWork Ohio is layoff aversion program for employers. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain their staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, employers reduce hours to avert a layoff. Interested employers should provide the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services with a list of participating employees and specify their normal weekly hours of work, not to exceed 40 hours and not including overtime. Part-time employees may be eligible, but all employees in an affected unit must have their hours reduced by the same reduction percentage. For more information or to apply, please log in to your OJI Employer Benefits account at unemployment.ohio.gov and from the Main Menu under SharedWork Ohio (SWO), select View/Manage SWO Plans.

The restaurant industry is home to more than 15 million trained and skilled employees in restaurants across the country serving the public every day. To ensure that restaurants have the latest information about coronavirus, the NRA created this industry-specific guidance for owners and operators. For more information, please visit restaurant.org/Covid19.

Lt. Governor Husted announced the development of a website specifically geared toward matching essential businesses with Ohioans who are able and willing to work as an essential employee during the COVID19 crisis. Both essential businesses and current job seekers can visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/JobSearch to post and search. With questions, please email the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation at Workforce@OWT.Ohio.gov.

The purpose of the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP) is to assist qualified bartenders, bar backs, and bar servers who are in need of financial assistance as a result of a catastrophic event or an emergency hardship. Grant recipients will be selected solely on the basis of the eligibility requirements above. Each grant applicant will be pre-screened for compliance with the eligibility and application requirements on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis by the USBG National Charity Foundation.

Samuel Adams, in partnership with The Greg Hill Foundation created the Restaurant Strong Fund last month to give workers a one-time free grant of $1,000 to help during the shutdown. Beginning Friday, April 3 workers can apply for the grant if they meet the five requirements:

  • Completed application form in employed state
  • Full-time restaurant employee (minimum 30 hours/week, can be multiple restaurants)
  • Employed for three months or longer at the same location
  • Worked in a restaurant, bar, cafe or nightclub
  • Submit the last two pay stubs received

Applications can be submitted here.

Through the Employee Relief Fund, one-time $500 grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have been impacted by COVID-19, including a decrease in wages or loss of employment. For eligibility requirements or to apply, visit Employee Relief Fund Application.

Ogden Newspapers has established a $1 million Community Marketing Grant fund to assist locally owned businesses with marketing during this challenging situation. These funds are open to locally owned and operated businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Applications must be submitted via our online form below.

Law Updates

Attorneys at Eastman & Smith have been actively disseminating information addressing issues arising from COVID-19 pandemic.

Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The new law includes an emergency expansion of FMLA and emergency paid sick leave.  It expands FMLA leave benefits to all public and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.  Emergency paid leave would also apply to all public and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.

SBA Loan Assistance for Ohio and Michigan Small Businesses
The SBA is offering low-interest loans of up to $2 million for small businesses in states affected by COVID-19.  To determine which Ohio and Michigan counties are currently eligible for an EIDL, visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations.

Take 20 Seconds to Read Your Contract (and Wash Your Hands)! Force Majeure Clauses Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak
Employers in nearly every industry are implementing measures to reduce the spread of the disease which, in some instances, means bringing the supply chain of goods and services to a screeching halt. While the ultimate impact and duration of the outbreak remains to be seen, one thing is certain: a spike in breach of contract claims around the country is imminent.

Are Economic Losses Related to COVID-19 Recoverable Under Business Interruption Insurance Coverage?
Since the SARS outbreak many insurers have incorporated into their commercial property policies endorsements that exclude coverage for “Loss Due to Virus or Bacteria.”  However, policies may specifically include extended coverages for mitigation of communicable diseases, but only to the time necessary to detoxify from the communicable disease event.

COVID-19 and the Construction Industry
Contractors, subcontractors and suppliers can and should be proactive in addressing COVID-19 in a few different ways things can and will change quickly as the pandemic unfolds.

Workers’ Compensation and COVID-19: What Employers Need to Know
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and Ohio Industrial Commission have made changes to the processing and adjudication of workers’ compensation claims in light of COVID-19 (a.k.a. coronavirus).

COVID-19 Changes Tax Deadline
The Treasury Department is deferring the filing and paying of federal taxes to July 15 for individuals and businesses.  Since response to the pandemic has been so fluid, you should check with a tax professional regarding the filing and payment of federal, state, local and school taxes.

Excess Liquor Buy Back in Ohio
Establishments that sell liquor in the State of Ohio have stocked up in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day, and now may find themselves with an significant excess of inventory. Ohio is making economic assistance to the owners of bars, restaurants, and nonprofit organizations with temporary liquor permits.

Public Notices & Annoucements

Ottawa County Sanitary Engineer Suspends Sewer & Water Penalties – The Ottawa County Commissioners passed a Resolution, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to authorize the Sanitary Engineering Department to suspend future late fees. Click the link to view the resolution: Ottawa County Commissioners 03-25-20

Village of Elmore – Public Notice

Village of Genoa – Small Business News Release

Village of Marblehead – We ask that you call or email your needs to:
Police: 419-798-5881 or 419-635-5224 marbleheadpolice@cros.net
Streets: 419-798-9229 or 419-656-0085 blucasvom@yahoo.com
Zoning: 419-798-0517 marbleheadzoning@cros.net
Water Plant: 419-798-5836 marwater@cros.net
Water Billing: 419-798-4074 marbleheadbilling@cros.net
Fiscal Office: 419-798-4074 marblehead.ohio@cros.net

Village of Oak Harbor – 1) Disconnection for delinquent utility bills will be suspended until May 1, 2020; 2) Customers who have had a direct loss of employment due to the Coronavirus pandemic need to communicate this to the billing office staff so arraignment’s can be made for future structured payment plans; 3) Businesses that suffer a direct loss of revenue from State required closures or limited hours of operation may also contact the billing office at 419-898-3231 to make a plan for future payment of utilities.

Village of Put-in-Bay – Public Notice

City of Port Clinton – Public Announcement: Water Department

FirstEnergy, Columbia Gas and AEP have issued statements saying that they will suspend shut offs during the social distancing period to contain the COVID-19 virus: FirstEnergy | Columbia Gas | AEP

What You Can Do

Remember that the best thing you can do in the face of COVID-19 is to take precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your community:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces daily. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, desks, and tablets.

If you have questions about how to protect yourself and prepare for COVID-19 in your community, the Ohio Department of Health (OHD) can provide answers. The ODH coronavirus disease 2019 call center can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH. ODH staffers operate the center seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, including weekends. Find additional information at coronavirus.ohio.gov