Gov. DeWine announces 7 initiatives to get CARES Act funds to Ohioans


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced that $429.5 million in CARES Act funding will be distributed to a range of people and organizations who were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a news conference Friday, DeWine spoke about seven initiatives that will act as a means to get the CARES Act funding into the hands of Ohioans.

The first initiatives sets aside $50 million for rental, mortgage, water and/or sewer utility assistance. Any Ohioans at or below 200% of the federal poverty level can apply for help with past-due balances. Click here to apply with your local Community Action Agency.

$125 million will go to the Ohio Developmental Services Agency, which will be used to establish the Small Business Relief program. This aims to provide funds for eligible small businesses with 25 employees or less. The money can be used for a variety of expenses — including mortgages, rent and utility payments, salaries and other costs.

The program will go live on Nov. 2 and businesses in every county will get some of this money. Husted said that each county will have enough set aside for at least 50 businesses. To apply for funds through the Small Business Relief Program, click here.

The state will also set aside $37.5 million for eligible restaurants and bars with on-premise consumption. Those businesses do not currently need to be open, but they need a liquor license. Some of these businesses may be eligible for both the $10,000 and the $2,500.

The state will set aside funding that will allow hospitals to continue responding to the ongoing pandemic. The $62 million is intended for rural and critical access hospitals, giving them the ability to address costs associated with increased safety measures.

The second highest allocation of funds goes towards higher education, with $100 million for critical services at colleges and universities. These funds are intended to help mobilize COVID-19 testing and mental health services.

Nonprofits that provide services have been allocated $25 million and the arts have been allocated $20 million. Both were not allocated as much money due to difficulties categorizing them, so this $45 million is for 501(c)(3) organizations impacted by COVID-19 who have not yet received CARES Act funds.

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