Small Businesses Support our Economy 

Small businesses in Ohio employ 2.2 million people, or 46% of all private employees in the state according to the Small Business Administration. In terms of overall economic impact, these businesses contribute an estimated 43% to 48% of Ohio’s total gross domestic product. There are 944,797 total small businesses in Ohio, representing 99.6% of total Ohio businesses. In short, small businesses are the backbone of our economy. 

Economic Impact of COVID-19 

With the onset of “social distancing,” school and retail closures, bar and restaurant dine-in bans, and other measures taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19 coronavirusconsumer confidence has fallen and is expected to fall further. With revenues dropping sharply, many small businesses are now in crisis mode, trying to figure out how to manage costs and plan for an uncertain future. Without dollars coming in, of course, dollars cannot go out—to employees, suppliers and service providers 

Many business owners are now contemplating measures such as employee layoffs, a difficult but often necessary decision in times as unique as these, where a global pandemic and the resulting government response has all but shut off the revenue spigot. Business owners are also trying to figure out what other levers they can pull to stem the outflow of cash, including unloading inventory, eliminating non-essential expenses and more. 

Economic Relief for Businesses 

Although Ohio’s state executives announced some heavy-handed measures to protect the public health, they did not do so without acknowledging the serious economic impact they would have. To offer some relief to affected businesses, among other measures, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted indicated on March 15, 2020 that the State of Ohio would be submitting a declaration to qualify the state as an economic injury disaster area for purposes of the United States Small Business Association’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDLProgram 

This program provides low-interest loans to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of a declared disaster. The loans are designed to provide necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume. Here are the key terms of the EIDL program: 

  • Substantial economic injury means the business is unable to meet its obligations and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses 
  • The loan proceeds can help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. 
  • Loan amounts are up to $2 million, with the actual amount based on amount of economic injury.  
  • The interest rate will not exceed 4% per year 
  • EIDL assistance is available only to small businesses when the SBA determines they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere. 
  • Repayment terms are up to 30 years and are determined based on the borrower’s ability to repay 
  • There are no upfront fees or early payment penalties. 

On March 15, Gil Goldberg, Director of the Cleveland District Office of the Small Business Administration, estimated that 950,000 companies in Ohio would be eligible to apply for the EIDL program. He also estimated that the Governor would sign the declaration for Ohio to qualify for the program within a few days and that small businesses should be able to start applying for the loans this week. As soon as Ohio businesses are eligible for the SBA loan program, we will notify our clients and provide assistance with those applications. 

To learn more about this loan program in the meantime, please refer to the following: 

Also, please reach out to us with questions you may have regarding any of your economic relief needs for your small business. We are here to help you lead your business through this chaotic and uncertain moment in time. 

To learn more about EIDL, contact Cary Zimmerman at or 216.736.7275 or one of our Banking & Finance professionals for assistance with your lines of credit or other loans.