Commentary: How the SBA responded in Ohio to COVID-19 – Business Journal Daily

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By Gil Goldberg, SBA North Ohio District Director
CLEVELAND, Ohio – According to the 2020 Ohio Small Business Profile from the SBA Office of Advocacy, for the most recent year of small business reporting, there were 965,576 small businesses in our state, representing 99.6 % of all Ohio businesses.

The 2.2 million employees of these companies represented 45.3% of all employees in Ohio. Small businesses account for 44% of all U.S. GDP, create two-thirds of net new jobs, and employ nearly half of U.S. workers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration and Congress have made equitable aid to hard-hit small businesses a top priority.

The American Rescue Plan Act, enacted by President Joe Biden on March 11, has provided additional relief to small businesses and industries across the country hit hard by COVID-19. The SBA Northern Ohio district office continues to help provide these programs to small businesses in our area.

We have had an increased impact in all communities in the district, with targeted efforts for entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities, women-owned businesses, and veteran-owned small businesses. Here is an update on the accomplishments of these programs:

In response to the continuation of COVID-19 and the Delta Variant, small business owners and nonprofits can still apply for the COVID-19 Economic Disaster Loan for working capital shortfalls. This 30-year term loan at a concessional interest rate – 3.75% fixed for businesses and 2.75% fixed for nonprofits – has no penalties or prepayment charges. There is also an 18-month moratorium on payments of principal and interest; interest accrues during this period. This program will expire on December 31 at 11:59 p.m.

As of July 29, nationwide 3.8 million EIDL loans had been approved, with a combined value of more than $ 236 billion. Over 86,600 Ohio EIDL COVID-19 loans have been approved for more than $ 5 billion.

The EIDL Targeted Advance and Additional Targeted Advance are intended for the hardest-hit businesses and nonprofits, and these are funds that do not need to be repaid. As of July 29, 7,127 small businesses in Ohio have received a targeted EIDL advance, totaling $ 60,095,000. Over 5,406 small businesses in Ohio also received an additional targeted EIDL advance, totaling $ 27,030,000. In addition to the Targeted EIDL Advance and the Additional Targeted EIDL Advance, in 2020, 129,501 Ohio EIDL beneficiaries received a total of $ 479,911,000 in EIDL advances, which remained outstanding.

The Paycheck Protection Program provided nearly $ 800 billion to 11,823,594 applicants. Small businesses have been given the help they need to stay open and employ the country’s workforce. In 2021, 32% of PPP loans went to low and moderate income communities. 96% of PPP loans went to entities with fewer than 20 employees, and these loans averaged $ 42,000, indicating that the program has relieved smaller organizations. In 2021, 218,210 small businesses and nonprofits in Ohio received a total of more than $ 9 billion.

The $ 28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund has supported more than 100,000 US restaurants and other food and beverage companies. Significant funds have gone to the hardest hit and underserved businesses. The average grant amount awarded to applicants was $ 283,000. In Ohio, 2,829 restaurants, bars and similar businesses have been approved, with an average funding of $ 206,961.

The live performance industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of August 2, the SBA has made a decision on 97% of all grant applications for closed site operators. Nationally, $ 6.9 billion was disbursed, with an average grant of $ 772,000, and $ 4.61 billion was awarded to companies that employ 50 full-time employees or less. In Ohio, 318 entities have received more than $ 228 million through the program.

SBA is offering debt relief to existing SBA loan borrowers whose businesses have been affected by COVID-19. Several thousand businesses that have had SBA loans approved until September 27, 2020, have seen the SBA make six months or more of installment payments on their behalf, helping them through the worst of the pandemic period. Additionally, SBA debt relief extends to new SBA-backed loans approved from February 2021 to September 30. These new loans have received or will receive up to three months of installment payments as long as the funds remain in the program.

For more information on SBA Northern Ohio’s programs and services, please visit us on our web pages at SBA.gov/oh/cleveland. follow us on our Twitter page for the latest local and national updates from the SBA. You can also call us at 216 522 4180. Our staff are available from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday. In partnership with you, we envision a prosperous future for the economy of Northern Ohio.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.


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