**Download Help is Here Ohio Graphics HERE** 

CLEVELAND, OH – Every day this week, the office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is highlighting key victories for Ohioans in the American Rescue Plan, critical legislation that will help Ohio recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, as part of the Help is Here Ohio series, Brown’s office is drawing attention to relief Brown secured for Ohio small businesses and small business owners as part of the American Rescue Plan. The package, which President Biden signed into law earlier this month, includes $50 billion in funding to help small businesses keep their doors open and get back on their feet, and additional support for programs that help small business owners better understand and navigate federal relief programs that are available to them.

Brown also helped secure a deadline extension for Ohio small business owners last week that pushes the deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to Monday, May 31, 2021, and gives the Small Business Administration (SBA) one additional month to process any loan applications they received by that date.

·       Ohio small business owners should visit the SBA website or call either the Cleveland District SBA office at 216-522-4180, or the Columbus District SBA office at 614-427-0407 to learn more about the COVID-19 relief options that are available to them.

“Ohio’s small businesses create jobs and economic growth in our own communities – communities in the heartland, Black and brown communities, and places that often don’t get a lot of outside investment,” said Brown. “While this pandemic has been a long, frustrating time for many, the American Rescue Plan provides relief that will help keep workers employed and uplift local economies.”

The key relief provisions Brown helped secure in the American Rescue Plan, include:

·       $50 billion in funding to help small businesses keep their doors open and get back on their feet, including $28.6 billion for restaurants, an additional $7.25 billion for the PPP, $15 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants, and funding to help businesses better understand and navigate the federal programs that are available to them. The Rescue Plan also expanded PPP eligibility to include additional non-profit organizations and allowed eligible applicants to apply for PPP and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.

·       $10 billion for the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which provides funding to states to create or expand their own small business financing programs.

In addition to securing the funds included in the American Rescue Plan, Brown also worked with his colleagues to provide additional funding that has recently become available from the COVID-19 relief package that was signed into law in December. The December relief package included $325 billion in aid for small businesses struggling after almost a year of pandemic-induced economic hardships, including more than $284 billion to the SBA for first and second PPP forgivable small business loans and $20 billion to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants to businesses in low-income communities. It also ensured tax deductibility for business expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans, made Sec. 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organizations eligible for loans for the first time, and offered businesses facing severe revenue reductions the opportunity to apply for a second loan.  In addition, shuttered live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions will have access to $15 billion in dedicated funding.

In February, Brown hosted a webinar with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for Ohio small business owners to learn how they can access federal COVID-19 relief programs to support their businesses or venues. Brown gave remarks during the event and the small business owners heard from Cleveland and Columbus SBA representatives on PPP, EIDL, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, Enhanced SBA Guarantee and SBA Debt Relief.