COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Jobs Ohio, Peoples Bank and the First Federal Home Savings Bank are partnering to support those banks’ existing small business clients in Ohio.

“The partnership of these Ohio headquartered financial institutions will help small businesses maintain operations and payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic,” DeWine said. “I want to thank these Ohio banks and Jobs Ohio for this unique partnership. This will get much needed capital in the hands of small businesses that are so critical to Ohio’s economy.”

Jobs Ohio has committed up to $50 million to assist Peoples Bank and First Federal Home Savings Bank.

“This assistance will bolster each bank’s ability to provide additional financing on favorable terms for local businesses in good standing; small businesses that would other wise not be able to access this credit due to the COVID-19 virus,” DeWine said.

Eligible businesses can use the loan for working capital, which can include payroll, rent, mortgages or other fixed debts, utilities and other bills.

DeWine also added that less than two weeks ago, the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Board of Directors approved a measure to send up to $1.6 billion in dividends back to Ohio employers.

“This dividend is intended to ease the impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s business community and economy,” DeWine said.

Starting on Monday, the first round of those checks went out in the mail to employers who can invest that money into the needs of their businesses. A total of 170,000 checks will be mailed over the next five days.

This dividend equals approximately 100 percent of the premiums paid in 2018. Dividends like this are possible because of strong investment returns, declining injury claims and other cost-saving measures. Roughly $1.4 million will go to private employers and nearly $200 million will go to local governmental taxing districts such as counties, cities, townships and schools.

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