Responsible Start Ohio

Governor DeWine rolled out Responsible Restart Ohio has just about finished the phased reopening of the state. Only a few public sectors remain closed. Here is the current list of what is opening up and when:

  • Laser tag facilities, roller skating rinks, ice skating rinks, arcades, indoor trampoline parks, indoor water parks, indoor miniature golf facilities, and adult and child skill or chance game facilities. (Laser tag facilities, roller skating rinks, ice skating rinks, arcades, miniature golf facilities, and trampoline parks may open June 10.

  • Gambling industries. (Horse racing is permitted without spectators. Casinos and racinos are permitted to reopen June 19.)

  • Auditoriums, stadiums, arenas.(Still closed).

  • Movie theatres, performance theatres, and indoor concert and music halls. (Excludes drive-in theaters; movie theaters are permitted to open June 10; outdoor theaters are permitted to reopen June 19.)

  • Public recreation centers and indoor sports facilities. (Permitted to open June 10.)

  • Parades, fairs, festivals, and carnivals. (County fairs are permitted.)

  • Amusement parks, theme parks, outdoor water parks, children's play centers, playgrounds, and funplexes/indoor family entertainment facilities. (Outdoor playgrounds and funplexes are permitted to open June 10. Amusement parks and water parks are permitted to reopen June 19.)

  • Aquariums, zoos, museums, historical sites, and similar institutions. (Aquariums, zoos, museums, and art galleries are permitted to reopen June 10.)

  • Country clubs and social clubs. (Permitted to reopen June 10.)

  • Certain spectator sports, sports tournaments, and organized recreational sports leagues. (Skills training for all sports is permitted. Non-contact and limited-contact sports are permitted. Batting cages, bowling alleys, tennis facilities, and golf courses are permitted to open.)

  • Some public and private pools. (Public pools and club pools regulated by local health departments are permitted to open. Use of swimming pools for single households also is permitted.)


Large gatherings over 10 people in any one area at a time without social distancing are prohibited.

Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov and the Department of Health hotline, 1-833-4-ASK-ODH are great resources for those who have questions.

More from the Governor's Office:

Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy announced the Stay Connected program which will provide a daily check-in by phone for Ohioans ages 68 or older.  If no one answers after three attempts, a call is then made to an alternate contact (if provided) or to non-emergency services.  The service can be canceled at any time. Staying Connected is not an emergency response service, and participants should always use 911 or their emergency response system if they are injured or in need of emergency assistance. Eligible Ohioans can sign up at or by calling 1-800-266-4346.
Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email

Ohio has utilized COVID-19 testing priorities to manage limited testing capacity.  Under the guidance of clinical experts, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio has modified these groups in light of changes in testing availability and evolving knowledge of COVID-19 and its impact on Ohioans. Testing must be first available to individuals described in Priority Groups 1, 2 and 3, but Ohio is expanding to allow partners and communities to test Ohioans in Priority Group 4 which includes testing “Individuals in the community to decrease community spread, including individuals with symptoms who do not meet any of the above categories.”

Governor DeWine announced a plan to lift restrictions on visitation at assisted living homes in Ohio. Beginning June 8, 2020, properly prepared assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities can begin to allow outdoor visitation. The lifted restriction do not yet apply to nursing homes. Each facility can determine how to best implement outdoor visitations, however, at a minimum, all facilities must develop a policy that includes: screening for temperatures and symptom-reporting for visitors; scheduled hours and time limits for visits; proper social distancing measures; face coverings; Resident, family, and friend education about the risks of the spread of COVID-19.  Consideration for visitors during end-of-life situations will also be expanded.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is deferring Ohio employers' premium installments for the months of June, July, and August. Businesses will have the option to defer the monthly premium payments with no financial penalties. This is the second payment deferral BWC has given to employers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor DeWine's Fair Advisory Group has released guidelines for how county fair boards and agricultural societies can work with county health departments to safely operate junior fairs for kids. The decisions about county and independent fairs need to be made locally. The Ohio Department of Agriculture is in the process of distributing all state funding available for Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs. Attached is the Responsible RestartOhio guidance for county fairs.  

Lt. Governor Husted announced today that 150 Ohio companies have been approved for TechCred funding, which will help them upskill their current and incoming workforce to meet the needs of the increasingly tech-focused economy, particularly amid the COVID-19 health crisis. Many of the TechCred pre-approved credentials can be completed 100 percent virtually. Examples of these credentials and training providers can be found at

Lt. Governor Husted announced the creation of three programs to help small and medium-sized businesses in Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency. Programs include the Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program, Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program, and the Appalachian Region Loan Program. Ohio small businesses can learn more about these and other resources available through the Office of Small Business Relief and Development at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp.

Ohio was approved for the federal P-EBT Program on May 12 in response to Ohio children who missed out on their free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school because of COVID-19. Now, children are starting to receive that benefit in the form of a credit to spend at local grocery stores and other retailers. Because Ohio schools physically closed for more than 50 days, the benefit amounts to approximately $300 per child. For most Ohio children who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the P-EBT benefit was loaded onto their card recently. For Ohio children who do not currently receive SNAP benefits, a P-EBT card will be sent in the mail. This benefit is automatic. Families are not required to sign up for this program. Families can call the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services at 866-244-0071 with questions.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation “Protecting Ohio's Workforce- We've Got You Covered” program has also sent over 1.5 million face coverings to employers to support and enhance any workforce safety and health efforts that businesses already have in place. Ohio is also providing PPE to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, through their Office of Pharmacy Services, to support requests for PPE from state agencies, boards, and commissions.
Ohio is currently looking at long-term solutions to PPE supply chain issues plaguing the country. This includes longer-term contracts for ventilators and N95 masks. Ohio is also currently evaluating the results of a recently issued Invitation to Bid for gloves, gowns, and three-ply masks.
GOJO, an Akron-based manufacturer of hand sanitizer, and part of the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, has been working with JobsOhio and today announced that it is expanding in Navarre and Maple Heights to meet the demand for their products that are helping fight COVID-19. The projects are expected to create 200 new jobs.



Employee/nonprofit/small business resources

A comprehensive list of state and local grants, loans, and government/non-profit resources for small businesses.

Nav’s Small Business Grant contest (Deadline May 30) -

JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Commerce are working together on a liquor rebate program, to assist businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. The $500 rebate is good only for high proof spirituous liquor at the permit holder’s assigned wholesale Contract Liquor Agency. Permit holders will place the order as normally, starting in mid-May. Rebates will be instantaneous. To apply for a rebate go to:

Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley: Emergency Impact Fund

Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, and Tyler, WV; and Belmont and Jefferson, OH  
The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley’s Emergency Impact Fund is accepting applications from organizations that have been directly impacted by the coronavirus in an unexpected loss of revenue or unexpected increase in expenses. Priority will be extended to organizations providing basic human needs.

Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio: COVID-19 Community Impact Funds

Trumbull County, OH, and Lawrence and Mercer counties, PA
The COVID-19 Community Impact Funds support organizations that serve either Lawrence or Mercer counties, PA or Trumbull County, OH. Funding priorities include hunger, shelter/housing, mental health, access to health services, and assistance to programs that do not have access to government funding.

Foundation for Appalachian Ohio: Appalachian Ohio Emergency Response Fund
The Appalachian Ohio Emergency Response Fund makes grant awards to help nonprofit organizations in Appalachian Ohio whose resources are, and will continue to be, strained because of the COVID-19 crisis and need to expand and modify how they deliver services. Interests include, but are not limited to, health, social services, seniors, and children. Nonprofit organizations may share their needs by sending an email to the Foundation at

Greater Toledo Community Foundation: COVID-19 Response Fund
The COVID-19 Response Fund supports area nonprofits in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan delivering critical services during this unprecedented time. Priority areas include immediate economic needs of economically vulnerable populations, the elderly and other high-risk populations, residents who are food insecure, and residents who have no medical insurance or who are underinsured.

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and United Way of Greater Cincinnati: COVID-19 Regional Response Fund

For the greater Cincinnati Region, which includes the following counties: Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clermont and Brown counties in Ohio; Kenton, Campbell, Boone, and Grant counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn and Ohio counties in Indiana
The COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, a joint effort by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and United Way of Greater Cincinnati, is designed to be responsive and flexible to address community needs of the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Current priorities include requests involving basic necessities and safety of families most impacted by COVID-19, such as food insecurity, housing/shelter, childcare, care of the elderly, and support for medical response.

U.S. Chamber small business grant: A grant up to $5,000 for businesses 3-20 employees in vulnerable zip codes. The grant program can help meet short-term business needs. The qualifications and application can be found here:

Facebook small business grants:


Hello Alice small business grants through Verizon

Duke University created a coronavirus-related funding tracker. tracks grants available to nonprofits and small businesses

President Donald Trump said he will direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to postpone all debt collections and extend deadlines for benefits applications where possible in an effort to lessen the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on veterans and their families. Trump said he has instructed VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to use “any authority at his disposal” to deal with the benefits and collections issues. VA officials did not provide any immediate comment on the White House decision.

VA deploys Mobile Vet Centers to increase outreach during COVID-19 outbreak- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began deploying Mobile Vet Center units, the week of March 16, to expand direct counseling, outreach and care coordination to Veterans in communities affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic impact payments: What you need to know:  Stimulus checks will be coming in the mail soon. Military Benefits Info has a good article detailing who will get the checks: Also the IRS has a page dedicated to the program:,  Turbotax tool for those who do not normally file taxes with the IRS

U.S PIRG consumer guide - As the beginning of a new month comes around, many Americans are wondering how they’re going to pay their monthly bills. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in job losses, reduction in hours or pay across the board. This guide has tips for how consumers can negotiate with their banks to lower interest rates, waive overdraft fees, and agree on payment plans to provide more financial peace of mind in the months to come.

The Ohio Honor Project and The Honor Ride is available to help during this time. Please feel free to reach out to us at We have medical groups whom have volunteered to assist during this time and that would love to help in anyway that we can. Again, if any help is needed please reach out to us.

American Income Life Insurance: If any AMVETS member purchased insurance from American Income Life and have been laid off, AIL will waive their premiums for up to three months. Once they return to work they DO NOT have to pay it back. Downloadable Layoff Waiver.

Student Veteran Housing Bill Enacted - President Trump signed into law (P.L.116-128) legislation (S.3503), sponsored by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jerry Moran (Kan.). This bill will make sure student veterans impacted by the COVID-19-related school closings would not get their monthly housing stipends reduced. Since many classes are switching to online instruction, the VA determined those students should receive the "online only" housing rate, which is significantly less money each month. SVAC Chairman Sen. Moran quickly stepped in to make sure students using distance learning due to the outbreak would not be affected. The bipartisan, bicameral bill quickly passed the House and Senate before being signed into law by the President.  

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates to zero on 3/15/2020 in response to COVID-19. This move is in an effort to encourage support of businesses who will suffer financial injury during quarantine times. Find details here.

Access Entrepreneurship and Business Assistance Centers - Resources for starting or maintaining a small business in Ohio:

Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Program - The Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Program has been activated to help Franklin County nonprofit organizations that are responding to the spread of COVID-19 and experiencing financial challenges by doing so. Please follow the links below to learn about eligibility guidelines and to apply for help as a Franklin County nonprofit organization.

RestaurantStrong Employee Grants for restaurant employees:


Another list of grants for Non Profits, Individuals, Artists and Small Businesses.

Bartender Emergency Relief Fund  - To assist bartenders out of work due to COVID-19.

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation - Crisis Relief Fund to assist restaurants/bars/kitchens with low interest loans and  to assist restaurant or kitchen workers out of work due to COVID-19.

Southern Smoke Foundation - Houston chef Chris Shepherd’s Southern Smoke Foundation is accepting applications for funds from restaurants/bars and restaurant employees.

One Fair Wage - The OFW  has launched the OFW Emergency Fund. It will provide immediate cash assistance to restaurant employees, delivery workers, and other tipped workers in the food industry.

Unite Here Education and Support Fund - Unite Here, a labor union representing groups in the U.S. and Canada, has funds to help its 300,000 members with things like rent, groceries, health insurance, and lost wages.

ROC Disaster Relief Fund - The nonprofit Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United has set a target of $500,000 for its emergency relief fund, which seeks to help documented and undocumented restaurant workers who lose their jobs during the pandemic.

KIVA - Provides funding opportunities for entrepreneurs where conventional lenders won’t.

Dayton Power & Light Company -  Will suspend disconnections for nonpayment until further notice or at least 30 days for nonpayment by business and residential customers. 800-433-8500.

Duke Energy  -Has immediately suspended disconnections for non-payment. This applies to all home and business accounts in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana as well as other states.

Unemployment claims - Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is instructing Ohio employers planning layoffs or shutdowns as a result the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to share the following mass lay-off number with their employees to speed the processing of unemployment benefits: 2000180.

United Way’s 211 hotline. Open 24/7. Or online at

Grace Period for Health Insurance Premiums - All health insurers are required to provide the option of deferring premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. This means that employers can defer their premium payments up to two months, giving them some relief on costs, while keeping their employees insured.

Ohio’s Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) - To help businesses facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio BWC is announcing the deferment of insurance premium installment payments for March, April and May until June 1, 2020. For more information, visit

Banks across the state -  Are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many banks are also suspending foreclosures where possible. Recent federal guidelines give financial institutions more tools to help Ohioans and the banking industry has welcomed these changes. Banks are also showing customers how to protect themselves from coronavirus-related scams and encouraging Ohioans to use digital banking features like mobile apps, online banking or banking by phone. If you need help, please reach out to your bank for assistance. Learn more at

Resources for individuals and families


The American Red Cross has an app called HeroCare which allows access to vital emergency and non-emergency resources for military members, veterans and military families. Visit here for more information.


Modest Needs seeks to provide short-term financial assistance to individuals and families in temporary crisis. Information about applying for a grant can be found here.


Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes has a program for emergency funds. The application can be found here.


Salute, Inc. has a program for financial assistance. The application can be found here.


Semper Fi & America’s Fund has established a special COVID-19 response team to assist in a variety of ways, including gas cards, gift cards and more. Information may be found here.


USA Cares has several programs for veterans, including financial assistance. Information can be found here.


H.E.R.O.E.S. Care offers financial assistance. Information on their program can be found here.


Operation Home front offers a critical financial assistance program and information can be found here.


The Code of Support Foundation has a search engine for identifying a spectrum of resources available to veterans and can be found here.


Operation Once In A Lifetime has a Coronavirus Emergency Fund and information can be found here.


Over 100 internet companies have pledged not to terminate services to any residential or small business customers who cannot pay their bills, waive any late fees and open its WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them. In a promise to “keep American connected,” the Federal Communications Commission’s site offers a full list of companies and associations that are participating.


COVID-19 and mental health: Here at AMVETS Department of Ohio, we have seen firsthand the impact the COVID-19 crisis has on those affected by substance use/misuse. Not only does this crisis complicate access to addiction treatment, including counseling and medication, it also limits personal relationships and access to loved ones. RALI Ohio is spreading the word about the ways you can help. Click the link below to learn more and join us as we continue to practice safe social distancing. RALI Ohio:

American Income Life  - Will not charge premiums for members that have been laid for the next 3 months. Once they start back to work they will not have to repay the premiums.

Banks - The DeWine-Husted Administration has worked with representatives from Ohio’s banking community. These companies recognize the hardships that many Ohioans are facing, and they have committed to working through creative ways to help. Ohioans can be confident that banks, both big and small, will be there for them as we move through the crisis and are offering a number of measures to help customers.

Banks across the state are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many banks are also suspending foreclosures where possible. Recent federal guidelines give financial institutions more tools to help Ohioans and the banking industry has welcomed these changesBanks are also showing customers how to protect themselves from coronavirus-related scams and encouraging Ohioans to use digital banking features like mobile apps, online banking or banking by phone. If you need help, please reach out to your bank for assistance. Learn more at and

Unemployment - Questions and answers regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact on unemployment benefits can be found here:

Pay benefits for reduced work hours - SharedWork Ohio allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours. To learn more:

Food, cash and medical assistance - The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides food, cash and medical assistance to individuals and families in need. To review eligibility requirements and apply for assistance, please visit:

School meals - Decisions on how free breakfast and lunches are distributed to students is being made by each district. Contact your local district. You may find additional information here:

Keep Ohio Connected (internet service availability) - Learn what Internet Service providers are doing to keep Ohioans connected, including keeping service turned on during the pandemic and waiving late fees:


Learn new tech skills - TechCred helps Ohioans learn new skills and helps employers build a stronger workforce with the skills needed in a tech-infused economy. Many of these trainings can be completed online. For more information:

Existing DSA Programs - Access existing programs to find local non-profit resources available for those in need, to help maintain your small business, and reduce energy costs to your home.

Find a Community Action Agency - Locally controlled private nonprofit organizations whose purpose is to reduce poverty and to help low-income people become self-sufficient:

Learn about Energy Assistance Programs - Learn how to manage your home energy costs:

Injured worker temporary telehealth policy - Learn how the BWC is initiating temporary policy changes that will allow flexibility in the provision of care to injured workers:

Medicaid provisions for uninsured - Learn about how to qualify for Medicaid coverage:

Maintaining Healthcare Coverage for Your Family - Health insurers must allow employers to continue covering employees, even if the employee would otherwise become ineligible because of a decrease in hours worked per week. We know employees may be working a significantly reduced schedule right now, through no fault of their own, and we want to make sure they continue to have access to their health insurance if it’s feasible for the employer at this time.


Assistance for Lost Insurance Coverage - Those who do lose insurance coverage, are eligible for a special enrollment period to gain new coverage. Premium subsidies may be available for those who qualify by purchasing plans on the federal exchange.

In demand jobs during the pandemic - Find available jobs now: Ohio Means Veteran Jobs or hiring.

USDA Nutrition Relief:

Grace Period for Health Insurance Premiums - All health insurers are required to provide the option of deferring premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. This means that employers can defer their premium payments up to two months, giving them some relief on costs, while keeping their employees insured.

US COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

The Department of Defense is poised to get another $10.5 billion in emergency funding and the Department of Veterans Affairs another $19.6 billion as part of a $2 trillion package designed to blunt the economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The money includes direct funding for National Guard deployments to help state governments respond to emerging health needs, direct funding for the expansion of military hospitals and mobile medical centers if needed, and direct funding for the Defense Department to help with production of medical supplies running short because of the pandemic. Within VA, the majority of the money will be used for direct care specifically in response to veterans health needs. Another $3.1 billion will be set aside for new telemedicine efforts within VA.

Summary of the stimulus package provided by CNBC:


  • Give one-time direct payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, with $500 added for every child, based on 2019 tax returns for those who filed them and 2018 information if they have not. The benefit would start to phase out above $75,000 in income for individuals and $150,000 for couples, going away completely at the $99,000 and $198,000 thresholds, respectively.


  • Boost unemployment insurance, adding $600 per week for up to four months on top of what beneficiaries normally receive from states. It expands eligibility to self-employed people and independent contractors.


  • Create a $500 billion pool of taxpayer money to make loans, loan guarantees or investments to or in businesses, states and municipalities damaged by the crisis.


  • Give $25 billion in grants to airlines and $4 billion to cargo carriers to be used exclusively to pay employee wages, salaries and benefits, and set aside another $25 billion and $4 billion, respectively, for loans and loan guarantees.


  • Provide $17 billion in loans and loan guarantees for unspecified “businesses critical to maintaining national security.”


  • Put $117 billion into hospitals and veterans’ health care.


  • Provide $16 billion for the strategic national stockpile of pharmaceutical and medical supplies.


  • Give $350 billion in loans for small businesses to cover salary, wages and benefits, worth 250% of an employer’s monthly payroll, with a maximum loan of $10 million.


  • Include a tax credit for retaining employees, worth up to 50% of wages paid during the crisis, for businesses forced to suspend operations or that have seen gross receipts fall by 50% from the previous year.


  • Require group health plans and insurance providers to cover preventive services related to coronavirus without cost sharing.


  • Delay payroll tax for employers, requiring half of the deferred tax to be paid by the end of 2021 and the other half by the end of 2022.


  • Ban companies that take government loans from buying back stock until a year after the loan is paid back.


  • Bar employees or executives who made at least $425,000 last year from getting a raise.


  • Stop President Donald Trump and his family members’ businesses from receiving emergency taxpayer relief. The provision also applies to Vice President Mike Pence, heads of executive departments, members of Congress and their family members.


  • Suspend federal student loan payments through Sept. 30 with no accrual of interest on those loans.


960 Checkrein Ave.

Columbus, Ohio 43229

(t) 614.431.6990  | (f) 614.431.6991

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