COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Gov. Mike DeWine signed a new order Wednesday to ease the financial burden on small businesses and property owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeWine described the order as a “plea” to lenders and landlords to provide relief to businesses and property owners facing rent or mortgage payments.
“We know that many of them are hurting,” DeWine said at his Wednesday afternoon news conference. “We know that they’ve had to make some very, very tough choices.”
The order asks landlords and lenders to stop payments for the next 90 days, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.
The order requests property owners suspend rent payments for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and place a moratorium on small business evictions.
The order also applies to lenders trying to collect mortgage payments from affected commercial real estate borrowers.
The goal behind the order is to prevent foreclosures, Husted said.
“Everybody in the process will get a chance to get through this, particularly for small businesses who will want to keep that cash in their pockets to keep their employees hired and to have the money to restart their business,” he explained.
“If I don’t have to pay my bill for 90 days, then maybe I should pay it forward and not charge my tenants for the 90 days,” said Andrea Hoover, who owns the Coldwater Cafe and Bodega Market in Tipp City with her husband.
Hoover told 2 NEWS they were able to pay rent this month on the market space. But in the section of the building they own, they told the two businesses upstairs they don’t have to pay rent in April, she said.
“We are just very fortunate with a very vibrant downtown area, great businesses that draw in a lot of customers even from outside of our community, and so I think overall the businesses in our area will be able to rebound from this,” Hoover said.
The order does not prevent landlords and lenders from collecting missed payments at a later time.
Businesses that can pay rent should still do so, Husted said.