Small businesses throughout the state of Ohio are finding it extremely difficult to get by during this coronavirus pandemic. For most restaurants, business is barely slipping through the cracks with offering carry out only services. In Clintonville, home of the pancake balls, Katalina’s Too owner says revenue is down nearly 90%!
Owner Kathleen May said, “Our employees are like family and having to tell an employee that their hours are cut or that we don’t need them right now is literally heartbreaking.”
Sadly, this is what a countless amount of people are facing, with some already being laid off until further notice.
May helped start a petition with the Independent Restaurant Owners in Ohio on Change.org urging Governor Mike DeWine to find more help to relieve the current strain. With every day that passes, it gets seemingly more difficult to hold on.
The petition is seeking Governor DeWine consider the following list:
- Emergency grants for immediate business needs such as payroll and crucial operating expenses including food orders and utilities.
- Commercial and residential rent abatement and a moratorium on evictions both for owners and employees.
- Immediate cash relief for current and laid-off employees.
- Abatement of payroll and sales tax.
- Temporary commercial and government loan payment relief
The federal stimulus bill is to include $350 billion dollars for small business relief. The bill will have Small Business Administration 90-day loans that will be forgiven if the employer keeps its workers on the payroll through the crisis.
However, according to May, certain details might prevent some small businesses from qualifying for SBA’s.
“It’s not feasible for a lot of small restaurants to wait even a week for an SBA loan or to pay payroll to someone who has been laid off because we’re trying to ensure we pay payroll to those employees that are still on staff,” May said.
Alex Fischer, CEO of the Columbus Partnership, believes small business owners need to talk with their bankers and start applying for the SBA loans online.
“I would expect that we’ll see funds flowing from that federal stimulus into our small businesses by the first of next week,” Fischer said. “These loan programs over a 90-day period of time are designed to act as loans but to provide special assistance for small businesses to meet their payrolls number one, to potentially meet rent payments, and then to have the opportunity, if needed, for those loans to be forgiven.”
Don DePerro, CEO of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, is confident the local economy will bounce back. He is urging small business owners to review the resources available on the chamber’s website Columbus.org.