October 28, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently designated $125 million in funding received from the federal CARES Act for a small business relief grant program (the “Grant Program”). The Grant Program will provide $10,000 grants to Ohio small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the effects of COVID-19. The Grant Program will help businesses pay for a variety of expenses, including mortgage expenses, salaries, wages, or compensation for employees, and other COVID-related expenses. The Grant Program will begin accepting applications from eligible small businesses on November 2, 2020.

The Grant Program will certainly help Ohio small businesses that are hurting because of COVID-19. But, it is critical that grant applicants follow the Grant Program’s terms and conditions, including conditions related to eligibility, use of funds, and maintenance of records. Otherwise, the State of Ohio can deny grant applications or claw back any funds it distributes.

Only eligible businesses can receive funding from the Grant Program and must meet all of the criteria listed in the application. Eligible businesses can only use the Grant Program funds for certain COVID-related expenses. In addition, businesses that receive funds from the Grant Program must keep records of the specific eligible expenses they incurred for five years from the final expenditure of received funds. For more on the eligibility requirements, use of funds requirements, or the maintenance of records requirements, please visit the Grant Program website terms and conditions section here.

Businesses can start applying for Grant Program funds online here starting November 2, 2020, at 10:00 AM with a new or existing OH|ID. Applicants must provide certain required information during the application process. A list of the required information is available on the Grant Program website here.

Businesses that want to apply for Grant Program funds should start assembling the required documentation now, as the funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. We would be happy to help small business owners through the process of applying for funds, documenting the use of funds, and complying with the Grant Program’s terms and conditions.

Mike Sorice is a law clerk in the Columbus, Ohio office of Walter | Haverfield. He recently graduated from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Vince Nardone is Partner-in-Charge of Walter | Haverfield’s Columbus office. He serves as a business advisor to owners and executives of closely-held businesses, counseling them on business planning, tax planning and controversy, cash-flow analysis, succession planning, and legal issues that may arise in business operations.