Weathering the Storm: Small Business and Workforce Retention Resources

Ohio small businesses, nonprofits, and employees are facing unprecedented concerns and financial instability as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ohio, several measures are being taken to offer necessary financial support to the backbone of our economy – our small businesses. While Ohio and the world navigate through this crisis one this is certain, our economy is resilient, and it will soon flourish again. As economic development practitioners we must remain focused on delivering critical resources to our business and workforce community.

U.S. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Small businesses and nonprofits in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia are eligible to apply for low-interest, long-term loans of up to $2million through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Qualifying small businesses are those without credit available elsewhere.

Loan Fund Uses:
⦁ Fixed debts
⦁ Payroll
⦁ Accounts Payable
⦁ Other bills that cannot be paid because of disaster’s impact

Interest Rates
⦁ Small Businesses – 3.75%
⦁ Nonprofits – 2.75%

Loan Term
⦁ Up to 30 years, based on borrower’s ability to repay

Layoff Aversion Programs Retain Workforce and Provide Worker Funding
Many city, county and state welfare offices have layoff aversion programs to permit employers to reduce the hours of workers and let these workers utilize the welfare system to make up for this loss of income. Ohio offers a worthy layoff aversion program worthy of review. SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff aversion program that allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain their existing workforce during times of reduced business activity. The SharedWork Ohio program functions helps “close the gap” between what the employee is getting paid during reduced work schedules and what the employee was getting paid under normal business activity.

⦁ Participating employees worked the reduced hours each week and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides the eligible individuals unemployment insurance benefits proportionate to their reduced hours
⦁ Hours must be uniformly reduced by 10 to 50 percent and program benefits can remain in effect for up to 52 weeks

⦁ Employers have at least two affected employees that do not work on a seasonal, temporary or intermittent basis
⦁ Employers must be current on all Ohio unemployment insurance reporting, contributions, reimbursements, interest and penalties due
⦁ Employees must have earned enough wages and worked at least 20 weeks in “covered employment,” for an employer that paid unemployment taxes
⦁ Employees must not be otherwise disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits, for example because of unresolved suspensions
⦁ Working a second or part-time job will affect weekly SharedWork Ohio benefits

Maintaining solvent business operations during this time will not be easy, but with the SBA loan program and SharedWork Ohio program there are some immediate funding mechanisms available to preserve your bottom line and your most important asset – your employees.

The Montrose Group is here to assist local economic development organizations and your small business community with analyzing appropriate SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan requests and application completion and strategizing how to retain your workforce. Connect with Jamie Beier Grant at to see how we can assist.