Coronavirus: Grants, loans, and foreclosure moratorium

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Small Business Administration loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Ohio small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act recently signed by President Trump, to declare a disaster following a request received from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on March 17.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Ohio, as well as the contiguous counties in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Ohio small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” said Jovita Carranza, SBA administrator.

SBA customer service representatives are available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private nonprofit organizations is 2.75 percent.

SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years, and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s customer service center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21, 2020.
For more information about available SBA resources and services, visit SBA.gov/coronavirus.

ServOhio’s community resiliency grants
ServeOhio, in conjunction with its partners, the American Electric Power Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service, announces the availability of grants to support community resiliency initiatives that mobilize residents to address significant needs in their community as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Grant awards will range between $500 to $2,000, and projects must take place prior to April 30, 2020.

Examples of such initiatives may include:
• organizing a food drop-off program for at-risk populations (children, older adults, etc.);

• organizing a diaper drive;

• organizing a toiletry drive to support residents unable to purchase essentials; and

• creating cards and letters for older adults in nursing homes.

There is no requirement for residents to physically come together for this initiative. Social distancing is encouraged. These funds are intended to support initiatives that mobilize the power of local communities to solve complex problems as a result of COVID-19.

How can the funding be used?

The grants support projects that provide opportunities for citizens to solve an immediate need caused by COVID-19. Funds may not be used for staffing, travel costs, gift cards, awards, or administration or overhead costs. All awards will be paid by reimbursement upon submission of the project report and documentation of expenditures.

Who is eligible to apply?

Non-profit and public organizations in Ohio including, but not limited to, volunteer centers, school districts, community colleges, universities, and local governments are eligible to apply.
Ready to apply?

For the application and instructions, go to https://serve.ohio.gov/Grants-Funding/National-Days-of-Service-Funding. Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2020, and projects must take place prior to April 30, 2020.

Direct questions regarding this grant competition to Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss at Rebeccah.Verhoff-Kiss@serveohio.gov.

ServOhio is the state’s commission on service and volunteerism and is part of the Ohio Department of Health.

Eviction and foreclosure moratorium bill introduced
State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) and Jeffrey Crossman (D-Parma) introduced a bipartisan bill Sunday morning to put a stop to evictions and foreclosures for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

The bill was written in consultation with the Legal Aid Society of Columbus.

“Many people just lost their source of income, and they don’t know how they’re going to pay their rent or mortgage,” said Rep. Leland. “We need to make sure the people of Ohio are safe… at home.”

The legislation also addresses financial difficulties Ohioans may face due to job losses during the emergency and gives them time to fix monetary defaults that occur during the emergency.

“We know that this crisis is going to cause financial hardships for many people in Ohio and we need to craft solutions to help people impacted by job and income loss. These are commonsense measures that will give people time to work out solutions to keep people in their homes,” said Rep. Crossman. “What we learned from the Great Recession is that failing to do enough to keep people in their homes will devastate communities across the state, and we need to do as much as possible to ensure that doesn’t happen again.”

The Ohio House of Representatives is scheduled to convene for the first time since the State of Emergency was declared this Tuesday, March 24.

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