Last updated: May 19, 2020
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan, China, and reported by the World Health Organization on Dec.31, 2019 and has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including the U.S. Around the globe, the Coronavirus is receiving heightened attention for infecting tens of thousands of people. The Centers for Disease Control is also issuing regular updates through this web site.
Ohio is now one of the areas impacted by its arrival and it’s resulted in large-scale closures and a call by state officials to self-quarantine. Today is a day the likes of which we have never seen. But we’ve been tested before and have emerged stronger after each challenge. The Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce has no doubt we will emerge from this situation and, in time, be more resilient as a community because of it. So, to help, we’ve compiled resources to help your business, employees, and the community cope with this unprecedented time. This list is by no means comprehensive, but let us know if there is something that should be added.
Want to suggest an addition or change? Email Mike Throne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONLINE: Please visit www.Coronavirus.Ohio.gov for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health.
PHONE: For any questions you have about COVID-19, please call 1 (833) 4-ASK-ODH from the hours of 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
DAILY UPDATES: Governor DeWine is holding regular press briefings at about 2 p.m. on most days 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.) The Ohio Channel also has a YouTube page that carries the briefings.
Click here for all of the Governor’s Bulletins, Official Announcements and Health Department Directives.
COVID-19 information from the state:
- Myths vs facts
- Checklist for employers and businesses
- Want to support local? Here’s how!
- Fact sheet on the state’s dispute resolution process
The state has issued an amended StaySafeOhio order.
United Way of Ross County has created a pair of funds designed to
The recently revamped 2-1-1 line is a tremendous resource for people who have questions about virtually anything in Ross County.
Safety Council/Bureau of Workers Compensation
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is announcing that insurance premium installment payments due for March, April and May for the current policy year may be deferred until June 1, 2020, at which time the matter will be reconsidered. This applies to public and private employers.
*updated 4/15/20* FAQs about COVID-19 impact on BWC Operations (PDF)
Safety Council meetings: BWC also announced the cancellation of May safety council meeting. They had already announced cancellation of March and April. All current members will receive one credit for each month. BWC will not lapse (cancel) coverage or assess penalties for amounts not paid because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Installment payments due for the three-month period total approximately $200 million.
If you have questions about Safety Council’s or rebate status, please contact Phillip King at email@example.com.
Small Business Support
SBA disaster loan fact sheets:
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan fact sheet
- Working Capital Loans fact sheet (English / Spanish)
- Breakdown of SBA’s response to COVID-19
- Ohio has been certified for economic injury disaster assistance funds. Here are step-by-step instructions to fill out the online forms to apply. Click here to apply now.
- Disaster Assistance Loans: Businesses & Nonprofits (English | Spanish)
- Disaster Assistance Loans: Homeowners & Renters (English | Spanish)
- Disaster Assistance Loans: Community Impact (English | Spanish)
The state has also created the Office of Small Business Relief, which will help small business owners across the state navigate the resources available in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional information can be found at OhioSE, formerly APEG, and their COVID-19 resource page. The OSU South Centers Business Development Network is available as well. The CDC also has advice for businesses and employers, including some interim guidance on business. The US Chamber also has some great information on Combating the Coronavirus.
Impacted Employee Support
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has a page dedicated to those whose jobs are impacted by COVID-19 related work stoppage.
Congress recently passed, and the President signed into law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which helps provide emergency paid sick leave for employees. Here’s an article that will help explain what’s in the law.
If you are interested in job retraining, we’ve compiled a list of options available in Ohio.
Guides for the public:
- Tracking Coronavirus Unemployment in Ohio – https://www.moneygeek.com/coronavirus/unemployment-statistics-forecast/us/oh/
- How to Pay for Coronavirus Healthcare
- Your Rights If You Have to Miss Work Due to Coronavirus
- How Small Business Can Stay Afloat During Coronavirus
Unemployment & Businesses
The Governor also announced some relief for businesses regarding unemployment:
- Because they do not want to penalize individual employers for the impact of this outbreak by increasing future taxes, the costs of these additional benefits will be mutualized.
- ODJFS will also waive employer penalties for late reporting and payments for the next quarter to assist employers impacted by a lack of staff availability.
The state’s SharedWork Ohio site can offer a way to equally cut back worker hours and use unemployment compensation to fill the gap.
Ohio Dept of Jobs and Family services has employers and employees go here… http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm
Employers, please distribute this form to employees laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic to expedite their claim process: http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/JFS00671/pdf/
Careworks also shared this FAQ sheet from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. For questions about COVID-19’s effect on BWC, you can email BWCCOVID19@bwc.state.oh.us for more information.
Responsible Reopen Ohio guidesheets for business sectors
Signage to place in your businesses as you reopen can be found here.
Director Dr. Amy Acton’s Dine Safe Ohio order can be found here.
Looking for guidance on best practices and requirements for specific business sectors? Click here.
Responsible protocols to open business can be found here.
Additionally, Congress acted to pass legislation to support businesses and families affected by the disruption. Here is an excellent overview by the US Chamber.
- US Chamber breakdown of Coronavirus emergency loans
- Treasury Department FAQ on Paycheck Protection Program
- A side-by-side comparison of the programs offered currently, from the Development Services Agency.
- Can faith-based organizations apply for these programs? Here is guidance for those organizations.
From U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers’ office, here is some specific guidance on sick leave and unemployment insurance:
- Sick Leave:
- Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide 14 days of paid sick leave to employees affected by COVID-19.
- Additionally, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) expansion, COVID-19 affected employees are entitled to up to three months paid leave at two-thirds of the employee’s pay. Including
- Businesses with more than 500 employees do not have to provide 14 days of paid sick leave
- Businesses with fewer than 500 employees will receive a 100% tax credit for both types of leave up to capped levels, credited against quarterly payroll taxes
- Additionally, the Secretaries of Treasury and Labor will have regulatory authority to provide flexibility so small businesses under 50 employees are not unduly harmed
- Affected employees include those with COVID-19, under quarantine, caring for someone affected, and with children whose school has closed
- Unemployment Insurance:
- Provides $1 billion in 2020 for emergency grants to states for activities related to processing and paying unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, under certain conditions
- $500 million would be used to provide immediate additional funding to all states for staffing, technology, systems, and other administrative costs, so long as they met basic requirements about ensuring access to earned benefits for eligible workers
- Full Federal Funding of Extended Unemployment Compensation for a Limited Period. For states that experience an increase of 10 percent or more in their unemployment rate (over the previous year)