Latest News Updates
In this edition: Important COVID-19 Federal and State Legislation Information, Latest Numbers, Rural Transportation Improvement Plan (RTIP) Public Feedback Request, Statewide Online Directory for Small Business Promotion, Don Myers Legacy Grant Applications Due March 31, 2020
Federal Legislators pass a $2 Trillion COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Bill “CARES Act” Including More than $1.5 Billion in Additional EDA Funding
Last Friday, March 27, 2020, the Senate and House passed the CARES Act, an economic stimulus bill (H.R. 748), and the President signed it into law.
A summary of the funding breakdown in the economic stimulus bill can be found here. This bill is the third phase of funding passed in response to COVID-19, following the passage of HR 6074 and HR 6201.
The bill includes $1.5 billion in supplemental funding for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and funding will be used to help revitalize local communities after the pandemic. Specifically, EDA assistance will be used to help rebuild impacted industries, for example, tourism or manufacturing supply chains, capitalize local funds to provide low-interest loans to businesses of all sizes, and support other locally-identified priorities for economic recovery.
The economic stimulus bill also includes a minimum of $1.5 billion allocated for each state. The total aid package of $2 trillion is the largest economic rescue package in the history of the US. The funding bill is intended to help mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition to the supplemental funding for EDA, the bill also includes additional funding for the following priorities that may be of interest to OVRDC regional partners:
- USDA Rural Development
- $25 million to support Distance Learning and Telemedicine
- $100 million for the ReConnect Program to help ensure rural Americans have access to broadband
- $20.5 million to support $1 billion in Business and Industry loans
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Provides $562 million to ensure that SBA has the resources to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to businesses that need financial support during this difficult time
- $10 billion in direct grants to businesses that do not qualify for the EIDL program
- $17 billion to have SBA step in and make six months of principle and interest payments for all SBA backed business loans
- Department of Transportation – Transit Systems
- $25 billion for public transit operators to protect public health and safety while ensuring transportation access to jobs, medical treatment, food, and other essential services remain available during the COVID-19 response
- HHS Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)
- $275 million for HRSA, including $185 million to support rural critical access hospitals and rural and tribal health and telehealth programs
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Disaster Relief Fund
- $45 billion to provide the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to protect citizens and help them recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19
- Department of Labor (DOL)
- $360 million for DOL to invest in programs that provide training and supportive services for dislocated workers, seniors, migrant farmworkers, and homeless veteran
- HUD Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
- $5 billion to allow states, counties, and cities to respond rapidly to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by it
Governor DeWine Signs House Bill 197 into Law to Help with COVID-19 Community Impacts
Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 197 into law on March 27, 2020, to provide emergency relief to Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Waives state testing requirements for school children this year.
- Extends professional licenses for those who cannot get them renewed.
- Allows local governments to hold public meetings remotely and with transparency.
- Extends the income tax deadline to July 15, 2020.
- Extends absentee voting by mail only until April 28, 2020. This is a change from the initial information issued by the Attorney General’s office last week. Go here to request your ballot https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/
- Provides funding for small businesses, such as day cares and services for the disabled.
- A summary of the funding breakdown in the Ohio Bill #197 can be found here:
Latest COVID-19 Patient Numbers for Ohio
(as of 3/30/20):
475 hospitalized, 39 deaths
The latest numbers on citizens impacted by COVID-19 are updated daily at 2:00 pm here:
The latest numbers for citizens testing positive in OVRDC counties:
There are 1,933 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 39 deaths. A total of 475 people have been hospitalized.
In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
Another dashboard for Ohio demographics (including age, health insurance coverage, etc.) that may be helpful to understand community impact is here: https://bao.arcgis.com/InfographicsPlayer/ArcGISPro/BA_Covid19Files/ohio.html
Only use the best resources and trusted sites for information, because there is a lot of misinformation out there.
State Government Official Sources of Information Updated Daily
ONLINE: Please visit www.Coronavirus.Ohio.gov for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health. The national CDC website is also trusted: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
PHONE: For any questions you have about COVID-19, please call 1 (833) 4- ASK-ODH from the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
SOCIAL MEDIA: @OHDeptofHealth @GovMikeDeWine @LtGovHusted
DAILY UPDATES: Governor DeWine is holding daily press briefings at 2:00 p.m. to deliver the most recent updates as well as give updated guidance for the state’s response. These press events are carried live at www.OhioChannel.org.
(Please note that with the popularity of these sessions you may have trouble accessing them immediately, but they are archived on the Ohio Channel website.)
Small Business Community Help “Support Local Ohio” Program
Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is launching a website to encourage Ohioans to continue to support local retailers and restaurants by shopping online, choosing local, ordering carryout from restaurants, and taking virtual tours of well-known attractions around the state.
There are currently more than 250 local restaurants, shops, and virtual activities being featured online at the “Support Local Ohio” website.
To find a local shop or restaurant to support, or to have your business featured, go to Ohio.org/SupportLocalOhio.
To add a local shop, business or restaurant to be featured in the database, go to https://ohio.org/industry/database/.