Businesses

CARES Act Relief Program

Are you a small business owner facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?  The President has signed into law the CARES Act, which establishes several new temporary relief program options that may be available for your business.  Find more information on the U.S. Small Business Administration Website at: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

RESTART OHIO

On April 27, 2020, Governor Dewine announced the first stages of Ohio’s plan to responsibly restart Ohio’s economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: with manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses, and general office environments beginning to reopen on May 4, 2020; and consumer, retail and services beginning to reopen on May 12, 2020.  On May 7, 2020, Governor Dewine announced that personal care services and outdoor dining at restaurants and bars would begin to reopen on May 15, 2020; with dine-in services at restaurants and bars beginning to reopen on May 21, 2020.

On May 12, 2020, Governor DeWine announced sectors licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio (massage therapy, acupuncture, cosmetic therapy) and tattoo and body piercing services would begin to reopen on May 15, 2020. On May 14, 2020, the Governor announced that: campgrounds would begin to reopen on May 21, 2020; horse racing with no spectators would begin to reopen on May 22, 2020; gyms and fitness centers, public and club pools, and (non-contact and limited-contact) sports leagues would begin to reopen on May 26, 2020; and child care providers and day camps would begin to reopen on May 31, 2020.

On June 4, 2020, Governor DeWine announced that the following entertainment venues may open beginning June 10, 2020 if they are able to follow Retail, Consumer, Service & Entertainment Guidelines and other applicable additional guidance: Aquariums, art galleries, batting cages, bowling alleys, country clubs, ice skating rinks, indoor family entertainment centers, indoor sports facilities, laser tag facilities, miniature golf, movie theaters (indoor), museums, playgrounds (outdoor), public recreation centers, roller skating rinks, social clubs, trampoline parks, and zoos.

Below are the guiding principles and protocols all businesses must adhere to.

CDC reopening decision tools and guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes

Creating a safe environment for your employees

There are many precautions you can take to make sure that your employees have a safe work environment. But you can’t do it alone.  Stress to your employees the importance of hygiene in the workplace.

  • Update your organization’s emergency operations plan and share it with employees.
  • Create a flexible sick leave policy so employees feel they are able to stay home from work when they are sick. And actively encourage them to do so.
  • Establish a plan to communicate information to employees about your infectious disease outbreak response plan.
  • Share up-to-date information with your employees regarding coronavirus.
  • Develop a plan if someone becomes ill with coronavirus during work, such as having a secure room for them to go, away from all other employees and clients.
  • If feasible, consider giving your employees the option to work remotely.
  • If employees working remotely is not feasible for your organization, consider staggering shifts, etc.
  • Cancel any large group meetings or events happening at your workplace.
  • Warn employees of the dangers of traveling and limit their need to travel as much as possible.
  • Encourage employees to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout your workplace to make it easy for employees to frequently sanitize their hands.
  • Provide boxes of tissues and waste baskets throughout the workplace.  Encourage employees to use tissues to cover their cough or sneeze., then to immediately throw the tissue away and wash their hands with soap and water afterward.
  • Stress the importance of not touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Be sure to thoroughly clean all frequently touched surfaces. This may include cash registers, door knobs, light switches, equipment, computers, desks, faucet handles, phones, countertops, workstations, remote controls, etc.

Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Creating a safe environment for your Customers

There are many things you can do to create a safe environment for the customers and patrons of your businesses during the outbreak of the coronavirus.

  • Be sure all employees are washing their hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially those handling money or food.
  • Make sure employees know to avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Encourage employees to cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately dispose of the tissue afterward. Provide boxes of tissues and waste baskets around the workplace to make it easy for employees to do this. Also stress the importance of washing your hands with soap and water after sneezing or coughing.
  • Actively encourage employees to stay home from work if they are sick. Be sure to provide enough flexibility in sick leave policies for your employees to be able to do this.
  • Provide hand sanitizer stations throughout your workplace, so that employees and customers can sanitize their hands often. Be sure it is an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Be sure to thoroughly clean all frequently touched surfaces. This may include cash registers, door knobs, light switches, equipment, computers, desks, faucet handles, phones, countertops, workstations, remote controls, etc.
  • In the instance that an employees begins showing symptoms of coronavirus during work, create a secure room for them to go until they are able to go home to prevent the spread to other employees and customers.
  • Consider canceling any large group meetings or events to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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