Relief coming for Columbus workers and small businesses

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Like all restaurants in Ohio right now, it’s carryout only at Katalina’s Too in Clintonville. Owner Kathleen Day says their revenue is down almost 90 percent.

“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,” Day said. 

Day started a petition with the Independent Restaurant Owners in Ohio on Change.org calling on Governor Mike DeWine for more help. 

The petition asks the Governor to consider: 

  • 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 includes $350 billion dollars for small business relief including Small Business Administration 90-day loans that won’t have to be repaid if the employer keeps its workers on the payroll through the crisis.  

But Day says the details of the program may prevent some small businesses from being able to participate.

“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,” Day said. 

Don DePerro, CEO of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, says he’s confident the local economy will bounce back.

“I know it’s going to be tough on a lot of business owners especially small and mid-sized companies, but we’re going to do our best to save every one of those employers and help them through this,” DePerro said.

DePerro is also urging small business owners to review the resources available on the chamber’s website Columbus.org.  

Alex Fischer, CEO of the Columbus Partnership, said small business owners should be talking to their bankers and 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.” 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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