The wildfire spread of the novel coronavirus is, without a doubt, changing the landscape of how we live and work. During this unprecedented public health crisis, we’re seeing bans on public gatherings and demands for employees to work from home when possible. With workers from CEOs to interns working remotely, how can we keep going with business as usual?
In Columbus, OH, much like everywhere else, the expectation is that, despite the difficulties, we must adapt to our new situation to continue working. To that end, we’re starting to see the government roll out various programs meant to alleviate the financial pressure on small businesses and sustain our workforce.
Government Support Programs Rolling Out Now
Support systems are in place to help businesses continue to function despite the economic downturn. Congress just recently passed the unprecedented CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) to help employers and employees alike weather the storm.
Paycheck Protection Plan, Loan Advance, and Debt Relief
The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued a comprehensive guide to the new programs that are in the process of rolling out.
One of these initiatives is the Paycheck Protection Program. Through this proposal, the government is allocating $349 million to eligible small businesses (as defined in the Small Business Act) as well as workers who are self-employed or independent contractors. These funds will go towards loan deferrals, covering payroll costs, and other hard costs that continue, despite enforced closures.
Small business loans, insurance, debt relief, disaster loan assistance, and financial guidance procedures are also on the table. Our federal and state governments know how important it is to ensure that small business owners are supported and protected as much as possible.
The Cost of Keeping On
Aside from accessing these emerging financial assistance platforms, how can small business owners and employees in Columbus afford to continue working? Here are a few programs that can help.
- SharedWork Ohio is an invaluable resource for anybody whose working hours have been reduced. This voluntary layoff aversion program allows eligible employees to work their reduced hours. Then, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) compensates them with an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to the number of working hours lost.
- TechCred is a platform designed to help employees learn additional skills and earn credits in the tech industry. Employers can choose from a range of tech-based courses that can be completed online. On successful completion, the employer could receive a partial reimbursement of the cost of the course.
Also, there are many existing business finance resources available to help you continue to build and improve your business. Ohio’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is an excellent resource for business owners, offering a range of programs and supporting you through these times with lots of helpful tips.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners are the backbones of our state and country. Now, more than ever, our small local businesses need support at all levels. Our state and federal government is stepping up in a big way to bridge the financial gap while we all do what we can to make it through.
If you would like to learn more about disaster assistance programs for small businesses and independent contractors in Ohio, reach out today. We would love to show you how we can help.