Ohio Opens Business Relief Site, OKs Drinks with Takeout

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — To help Ohio small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic and get them ready for a rebound, the state has created the Office of Small Business Relief.

Throughout the pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration has worked to provide a number of resources piecemeal, such as the liquor buyback program for bars and restaurants, deferrals to workers’ compensation insurance premiums, a grace period for health insurance premiums, to name a few. Information on those programs has been spread throughout the state’s coronavirus website at Coronavirus.ohio.gov.

The new Office of Small Business Relief, operating out of the Ohio Development Services Agency, puts all of that information in one place at Coronavirus.ohio.gov/businesshelp.

The office will “help coordinate those efforts” and identify ways to provide support for the nearly 950,000 small businesses in Ohio, said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted during the daily coronavirus briefing Tuesday.

Since the pandemic began, businesses in Ohio have reached out to Husted and DeWine about what the business environment will look like after coronavirus pandemic has run its course. This website is one response to that to get businesses thinking about what they’ll need to do to ensure a successful transition back to being open for business after the coronavirus peaks, Husted said.

“At the point and time when we start to see the cases to down and the hospitals not be filled up as much as we expect them to be, it’s not going to be like flipping a switch,” Husted said. “It’s going to be gradual.”

The new website includes information on safe practices that will still need to be employed after the virus peaks, he said.

Separately, in an effort to help restaurants now, the DeWine administration met with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control in a response to restaurants with a liquor license. Going forward, residents ordering takeout meals from a restaurant that holds a liquor license will be permitted to purchase two prepackaged alcoholic beverages per order of food “that cannot be opened until you get home,” DeWine said.

Husted gave an update on the state’s job search website at Coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch, which now has more than 30,000 jobs posted throughout the state.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.