• This page is dedicated to providing businesses with the most up-to-date information and resources regarding COVID-19 and the business community.  Please Contact Dan Bates, President/CEO, via cell # (267) 249-9649 with any questions. Find information from the State of Ohio at: coronavirus.ohio.gov


  • Important Contact information:

    State of Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov or 1-833-4-ASK-ODH

    Find your local HEALTH Department 

    SBA programs for the coronavirus, www.sba.gov/coronavirus 

    Federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/espanol (en Español).

    Employers and Job Seekers:
    State of Ohio https://jobsearch.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/jobsearch/home
    Butler County - OhioMeans Jobs | Butler County ohiomeansjobs.com/butler

     FEMA with questions/concernsFema-nrcc-nbeoc@fema.dhs.gov

    Department of Justice’s new Civil Rights Reporting Portal civilrights.justice.gov/

  • Explore Hamilton Promotion

    The Greater Hamilton Chamber is promoting all bars, restaurants, retail, gift & specialty shops, service industry businesses and Arts, parks & recreation at www.hamilton-ohio.com/explore-hamilton.  If your business would like to be listed on that page, please complete the Business Promotion Form HERE!


  • SBA Loans & Funding Opportunities​


    How to Get Your PPP Loan Forgiven

    Paycheck Protection Program loans were a popular option for businesses hoping to survive COVID-19-related shutdowns. Here is what businesses need to do to get their PPP loans forgiven.

    By: Sean Ludwig, Contributor

    One of the single largest ways the federal government sought to aid businesses suffering from coronavirus-related shutdowns was the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). After its creation in March 2020, the program was modified several times to ensure more businesses could participate, with the final deadline for PPP hitting on August 8, 2020. As of that deadline, the SBA approved 5.2 million loans worth more than $525 billion.

    What made the program so popular was the ability for businesses to have their loans forgiven, effectively making them grants. However, the loans came with specific criteria that needed to be fulfilled in order to have them forgiven. Below we will outline requirements for loan forgiveness, how to get a forgiveness application and other important details for those businesses hoping to have their PPP loan forgiven.

    [Go here to see the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's PPP Loan Forgiveness Guide]

    Background on PPP

    First, let’s explain briefly how the PPP program actually worked to better explain the forgiveness aspect. The PPP program was created in March 2020 as part of the federal government’s $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. On top of tax breaks and changes in the CARES Act, the PPP was designed to provide a simple way for businesses to keep their employees on payroll.

    Generally speaking, PPP loans were issued with generous terms. PPP loans have an interest rate of 1%, with loans issued prior to June 5 maturing after two years and loans issued after June 5 maturing after five years. No collateral or personal guarantees were required for the loan and no fees were charged to small businesses by the banks or credit unions authorizing the loans. The maximum size allowed for a single loan was $10 million. While the loan terms were generous, the best aspect of them was that they could be forgiven.

    The Treasury Department has indicated that it plans to automatically audit all PPP loans larger than $2 million. Smaller loans most likely won’t be targeted for audit but some “spot checks” will occur. Additionally, banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co (the single largest lender of PPP loans) said they will investigate instances of borrowers misusing PPP funds.

    Watch Now: CO— Blueprint, 9/9

    Check out the video from our CO— Blueprint event that took place Wednesday, September 9, 2020, where the panel discussed everything you need to know about rebuilding your brand.


    REPLAY 9/9: CO— Blueprint: Rebuilding Your Brand

    Requirements for loan forgiveness

    To qualify for PPP loan forgiveness, the SBA set up various requirements that must be fulfilled. Effectively, forgiveness is granted to employers that kept or rehired employees while also maintaining general salary levels from before the pandemic. Employers can still be eligible for partial forgiveness if they don’t meet all of these criteria, such as if full-time headcount declined or salaries decreased somewhat.

    Requirements include:

    • Funds are allowed to be used for payroll costs, rent, utilities and interest on mortgages.
    • At least 60% of loan must be used for payroll costs.
    • While the loan is being used, employers must attempt in good faith to maintain similar levels of employment and pay that they had prior to the pandemic.

    Notably, as long a business submits a loan forgiveness application within 10 months of their loan being used, they are not required to make any payments on the loan.

    Complete a loan forgiveness application

    As long as you have abided by the rules and requirements provided by the SBA, it’s time to fill out and submit a loan forgiveness application. Small businesses with employees should fill out the standard PPP forgiveness application while sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed people who have no employees should fill out the EZ version of the application.

    For small businesses with employees, the fairly simple five-page application asks businesses to submit details such as payroll and nonpayroll costs, adjustments for wage reductions and potential forgiveness amounts. Additionally, you’ll use the application to certify that the loan funds were used as intended, that you verified payments to employees and generally that the forms and information submitted to the SBA are true.

    The loan forgiveness application also includes measures to “reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers,” including:

    • The ability for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that better aligns with a borrower’s normal payroll cycles.
    • The flexibility to include some payroll and nonpayroll expenses paid or incurred during the 24-week period after receiving their PPP loan (meaning employers would not be limited only to costs in the original two-month timeline).
    • Instructions on how to easily calculate loan forgiveness.
    • An exemption to help with loan forgiveness based on borrowers rehiring workers by June 30.
    • An exemption from loan forgiveness reduction for any borrowers who made a “good-faith, written offer to rehire workers” that was later declined.

    Once the loan forgiveness application has been submitted, then businesses will wait to find out if it has been accepted. Notably, as long a business submits a loan forgiveness application within 10 months of their loan being used, they are not required to make any payments on the loan. If the loan is then fully forgiven, then the business does not need to make any payments at all. If the loan is only partially forgiven or not forgiven at all, the loan must be paid off before its maturity date.

    Impact on business taxes

    After the loan has been forgiven, businesses should be prepared for the forgiven loan to impact their 2020 business taxes. While a forgiven PPP loan is tax-exempt, using the loan can also reduce how much you can write off on your business taxes. This means that some of your everyday expenses like payroll, rent and utilities that would normally be deductible from taxable income would not be deducted. Without this deduction, your business may in fact owe more taxes at the end of the year than normal.

    More questions and answers

    On a final note, the Small Business Administration has released an extensive document of frequently asked questions about PPP loan forgiveness. This document outlines specific use cases, including what types of compensation count as payroll costs, what costs are eligible for forgiveness, how to calculate how much will be forgiven and more. Additionally, it would be smart to get in touch with your personal financial advisor or accountant to review all of your PPP details before submitting a forgiveness application.

    For more resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

    CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

    Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners stories.

    Published September 11, 2020

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  • PPP-July-2020.png
  • EIDL is open again!

    EIDL has reopened to all!  

    If your original application begins with a “2” you need to reapply. Those applications did not transfer to the new system.


  • SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program

    The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

    • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
    • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
    • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

    Learn more

  • SBA Rolls Out Dedicated Tool for Small Businesses

    Jovita Carranza

    SBA Rolls Out Dedicated Tool for Small Businesses to Connect with CDFIs, Small Asset Lenders Participating in PPP

    Today, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced the launch of a dedicated online tool for small businesses and non-profits to be matched with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), Farm Credit System lenders, Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  

    Learn more

  • PPP Flexibility

    Information from Treasury on recently-passed PPP flexibility.  




  • EIDL Loans and Advance Program Reopened

    SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Reopened to All Eligible Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic


    WASHINGTON To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.


    “The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact.  With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Since EIDL assistance due to the pandemic first became available to small businesses located in every state and territory, SBA has worked to provide the greatest amount of emergency economic relief possible.  To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.”


    SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit.  These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue.  EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.  Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.


    SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance

    • The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.
    • These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan.  The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses.  The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
    • To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years.  Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
    • In addition, small businesses and non-profits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000.  The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.  This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.
    • SBA’s EIDL and EIDL Advance are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response.
    • The SBA is also assisting small businesses and non-profits with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently accepting applications until June 30, 2020.


    For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.



  • Main Street Lending Program

    The Federal Reserve has announced that it is establishing a Main Street Lending Program (Program) to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attached are the current details. More specifics to follow so, get your information ready for your financial partner so you can apply as soon as the portal opens.


  • Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

    Information about the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/small-business-assistance/small-business-relief-grants/verizon-small-business-recovery-fund/


  • PPP not an option? Main Street Lending Program could be next best bet

    By Sarah Shadburne – Reporter, Louisville Business First

    The Main Street Lending Program is the federal government’s latest installment of relief loans for businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

    This program seeks to support mid-to-upper-market businesses that may not have qualified for Paycheck Protection Program loans. The new program offers $600 billion of low interest, four-year loans for businesses with up to 10,000 employees or with revenues of $2.5 billion or less for 2019.

    READ MORE....


    A new office has been developed within the Ohio Development Services Agency to better coordinate Ohio's efforts to identify and provide support for Ohio’s nearly 950,000 small businesses.

    The Office of Small Business Relief will:

    • Serve as the state’s designated agency for administrating federal recovery funds awarded to Ohio for small business support and recovery;

    • Work with federal, state, and local partners to evaluate and determine possible regulatory reforms that encourage employment and job creation; and

    • Coordinate efforts of Ohio’s Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Assistance Centers.

    More information on all resources currently available to small businesses is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov/BusinessHelp.

  • Dave_Yost_Header

    March 31, 2020

    Dominic Binkley: 614-728-4127

    Don’t Let Thieves Snatch
    Your COVID-19 Stimulus Money

    (COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Attorney General Dave Yost today urged Ohioans to watch out for thieves as stimulus payments arrive from the federal government.

    “Thieves are drooling at the thought of getting their hands on your stimulus money,” Yost said. “Use these tips to send them home with nothing but the bitter taste of defeat.”

    Under the plan, the federal government will provide stimulus checks under these general guidelines (some exceptions apply):

    • $1,200 payment to individual taxpayers making under $75,000.
    • $2,400 payment for married couples filing jointly making under $150,000 combined.
    • An additional $500 per qualifying child under the age of 17.  

    Yost offered these tips to help Ohioans avoid scams related to the stimulus payments:

    • Know that you don’t have to sign up to get a stimulus payment. For most consumers, the IRS will use information from prior tax returns to calculate payment.
    • Don’t fall for scams claiming you need to pay money to receive your stimulus payment. The government will not ask for any upfront payment.
    • Watch out for anyone telling you they can get you an instant payment or speed up the process. Do not provide personal information or pay a “processing fee” to supposedly receive a quicker payment. According to the government, payments through direct deposit could go out in three weeks, but it may be longer, especially if you are expecting a paper check.
    • Don’t click on links or download attachments unless you have verified the source and know it is legitimate. Doing so could infect your devices with malicious software designed to steal your personal information or lock your computer until you pay a ransom.
    • The government will not call you asking for Social Security, credit card or bank account numbers. Also, do not disclose your PayPal information – no PayPal account is necessary to receive your stimulus payment. All payments will be through direct deposit to a bank account or paper check.
    • If you receive a stimulus check and it is for an odd amount of money (i.e. $1499.50) or if it states you need to verify the check online or over the phone, it’s a scam.
    • You should get a paper notice in the mail a couple weeks after your payment is sent, letting you know where it was sent and when. If you can’t locate the payment at that point, call the IRS at a legitimate phone number.

    For more information, consumers should visit the IRS website and other legitimate government agency websites and stay tuned for updates from reliable news sources.

    Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive sales practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.


  • Updates from Cincinnati Bell

    Cincinnati Bell is prepared to meet the needs of our customers and community during this unprecedented and challenging time. We are monitoring the ongoing status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak very closely.


    We are following the guidance provided by government and health agencies, and have taken a number of steps to prepare for, and prevent, the spread of this virus.


    We understand that you and your constituents may have questions about what steps Cincinnati Bell is taking to ensure our community members have ongoing access to broadband, voice, and other important services.


    We have created a special site for the community that provides important and regularly updated information about our business continuity efforts and safety measures that we’ve established.


    ·         https://www.cincinnatibell.com/special-pages/coronavirus

  • SBA Loan Deferment 

    Businesses with existing SBA loan payments can apply for those to be deferred. For more information, click HERE.  For questions, contact Access Business Finance, Inc. at (513) 777-2225.

  • Mark Your Calendar

  • Sustaining Sponsors