Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Outlines $1 B Program to Combat COVID Economy

Governor Mike DeWine, as part of his state operating budget kickoff, announced a broad and impressive $1 B Investing in Ohio program designed to impact the economic downturn created by the COVID 19 virus.  Ohio like many other states around the country have experienced reduced revenues, and economic activity due to the pandemic and the governor is focused on provided resources and support to help spur economic activity while supporting small businesses in the state.

The proposed $1 billion program would provide $460 million to support businesses to help cover costs to keep their doors open, including businesses in the entertainment, hospitality, and new business sectors. The $460 million would go towards:

  • Provide funding for grants of up to $30,000 to assist bars and restaurants that have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
  • $10,000 grants to the qualified Small Business Relief Grant applicants who have yet to receive assistance through the state’s share of the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
  • Provide funding for grants up to $30,000 to support lodging industry businesses that have seen a significant occupancy reduction during the pandemic.
  • Provide funding for grants up to $30,000 to support indoor entertainment venues that have been most impacted by the pandemic, including movie theaters, bowling alleys, trampoline parks, and privately-owned museums.
  • Assist 2,000 new businesses across the state that opened their doors between the beginning of January and the end of March 2020 with grants of up to $10,000 each. These critical grants will help our newest entrepreneurs make it through this challenging time.

Additionally, and additional $200 million is being proposed to support small to mid-sized cities in Ohio with infrastructure projects. These $2.5 million grants will support infrastructure projects in these communities. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a number of issues for states economically and Ohio’s municipalities have faced a significant reduction in their revenues due to the downturn. Another $250 million is being proposed to support grants to expand access to broadband to areas which lack basic connectivity.  Broadband service in rural markets has become a major issue as work from home orders from the government and companies as well as remote learning for students has brought to light the dramatic challenges many rural communities face with the lack of adequate broadband telecommunications services. 

In response to the changing dynamics of a post pandemic workplace, Governor DeWine also announced a new $50 million campaign to help market Ohio to attract businesses and people to live and work in Ohio. Ohio’s future is dependent on being able to retain and attract individuals and businesses to our state and this program is designed to help in that effort.  Companies and business leaders have been leaving high-cost states such as California—the most high profile move was Elon Musk leaving California for Texas.  Governor DeWine wants to capitalize on this opportunity to promote Ohio as a great place to live, play and work. More details will soon follow.  If you have an interest in the Governor’s $1 B Invest in Ohio program, please contact Dave Robinson at drobinson@montrosegroupllc.com.