State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) recently announced the approval of $425 million in additional CARES Act relief funds to be used for low-income Ohioans facing evictions and foreclosures, as well as for Ohio’s small businesses, restaurants and bars, hospitals and non-profits, higher education institutions and arts organizations.

"Our low-income families and small business owners have been hit the hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Peterson. "This much needed relief will help prevent Ohioans from losing their homes and help businesses continue to recover from COVID-19."

Among the funds approved today by the state Controlling Board, which Peterson sits on, $50 million will be used for the Home Relief Grant program to assist low-income Ohio homeowners and renters facing evictions, foreclosures, and water and sewer service shut-offs during the current health pandemic. Beginning November 2, Ohioans will be able to apply for assistance through their local Community Action Agency, a list of which can be found at businesshelp.ohio.gov

Also announced was the Small Business Relief Grant program, which will provide $125 million in funding for small businesses with under 25 employees to use for pandemic-related expenses. An additional $38.7 million in grant dollars will also be directed to Ohio’s approximately 15,000 bars and restaurants. Details and eligibility information on the Small Business Relief Grant and the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund are available at businesshelp.ohio.gov . Applications may be submitted beginning November 2.

Also approved Oct. 26:

• $25 million in grant dollars for non-profits to assist charitable groups who are working every day to help those in need.

• $100 million for Ohio’s colleges and universities to use for increased COVID-19 testing and prevention programs.

• $62 million targeted to the state’s smaller hospitals that are providing critical care to Ohioans.

• $20 million for performing arts groups to use for hardships related to COVID-19.

To date, more than $3.3 billion in CARES Act relief dollars have been distributed in Ohio to help with the prevention, relief and recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s action follows the General Assembly’s approval in September of $650 million to local communities through House Bill 614; $350 million in June through House Bill 481; the state Controlling Board’s authorization in August of $175 million for counties, municipalities and townships; as well as the state Controlling Board's approval of $54.5 million specifically for local health departments.

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