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DeWine Announces CARES Act Funding to Support Nonprofits, Small Businesses and Ohioans Impacted by COVID-19

The application for the program will be available Nov. 2

Today, Governor Mike DeWine and announced that the administration, in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly, is developing a package of more than $419.5 million CARES Act funding to help Ohioans. This package includes funding for nonprofits, small businesses, restaurants and bars, hospitals, higher education, arts and low-income Ohioans impacted financially by the pandemic.

“We know that Ohioans are hurting, and the needs are great. We must do what we can to help them through this crisis,” said DeWine. “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.”

The package is be taken to the State Controlling Board for approval on Monday, October 26.

The package includes $125 million in CARES Act funding to provide grants to small businesses with no more than 25 employees. The grant funding will help businesses pay for a variety of 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, 2020 at

With this package, the administration also is allocating $50 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund 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.

Ohio households behind on their bills with an annual income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines will be eligible for assistance. For a family of four, that is an annual income up to $52,400. Starting Nov. 2, 2020, Ohioans will be able to apply for assistance through their local Community Action Agency. A list of agencies can be found at

In addition, $25 million CARES Act funding will be designated for nonprofits, and $20 million to support Ohio’s world-class arts organizations. These funds will be used for costs incurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today's announcement is supported by several Ohio organizations, including OSAE, the Ohio Hospital Association, NFIB, Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, Ohio Bankers League and others. 

“We are very excited that Governor DeWine and his administration are finally making funds available to Ohio’s nonprofits,” said OSAE President & CEO Jarrod A. Clabaugh, CAE. “Throughout the pandemic, these organizations have been supporting countless communities without any assistance from local, state or federal government agencies. Now, some assistance is coming their way, and many of them are in desperate need.”

The administration will also designate $37.5 million of CARES Act funding for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund. This fund will be available for Ohio restaurants and bars struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited in the full use of their liquor permit. Businesses with an on-premises consumption permit will be eligible to receive $2,500 per unique business location.  Businesses need to have an active on-premises permit as of close of business Oct. 23, 2020. Starting Nov. 2, permit holders will be able to apply for assistance at

Additionally, the package allocates $62 million in CARES Act funding for rural and critical access hospitals as the response continues for the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding may be applied to additional costs associated with the ongoing pandemic, including various safety measures, and the purchase of critical PPE for first responders.

“We are seeing a record-breaking number of hospitalizations throughout Ohio,” DeWine added. “This is deeply concerning as we are nearing the winter season. COVID-19 is not slowing down and continues to hit our rural communities hard.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our hospitals significantly, amassing more than $4 billion in financial hardship and demanding our caregivers go above and beyond to meet the healthcare needs of our communities," said Mike Abrams, president and CEO of the Ohio Hospital Association. "We appreciate Governor DeWine’s action today to provide Ohio hospitals much needed financial support as we continue to lead the frontline response to combat this crisis.”

It also includes $100 million in CARES Act funding for higher education. This funding will 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.

“Our colleges and universities have done a great job at promoting the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff this fall,” said DeWine. “We know that there is a greater need for mental health services, and this funding may be put towards expanding access to those services on campuses.

To date, more than $2.1 billion Coronavirus Relief Funds have been distributed to local governments, childcare, PPE, broadband access and other critical areas in need of financial assistance.

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